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Published 2 years ago with 15 Comments
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  • AdelleChattre (edited 2 years ago)
    +6

    Jacobin’s words, not his.

    Dr. King was not a member of a political party. Not a Democrat, not a Republican, nor a socialist, nor was he a Communist.

    When political parties claim Dr. King as their own, like this, it reminds of sundry and various Christian denominations sure that God is on their side alone. The claim itself is sad.

    • Appaloosa
      +4

      He was a human. Such monsters they are.

    • imokruok
      +1

      Socialism is not a US political party.

      • AdelleChattre (edited 2 years ago)
        +3

        Of course it is. There have been and will doubtless continue to be many socialist political parties in the United States. You may notice that I hadn’t capitalized ‘socialist’ above, which was because I meant it in a broader sense. Tell me, did you happen to’ve followed that link? Dr. King wasn’t about to endorse any system which oppressed its people, just as he wouldn’t pick and choose which atrocities to accept as necessary consequences of his side in a war. It was a sign of his first rate mind that he would hold many contradictory ideas in mind at the same time.

        Yes, he said “There must be better distribution of wealth and maybe America must move toward a democratic socialism. Call it what you may, call it democracy, or call it democratic socialism, but there must be a better distribution of wealth within this country for all of God's children.” He also said “I imagine you already know that I am much more socialistic in my economic theory than capitalistic. And yet I am not so opposed to capitalism that I have failed to see its relative merits. It started out with a noble and high motive, viz, to block the trade monopolies of nobles, but like most human systems, it falls victim to the very thing it was revolting against.”

        It’s easy to mistakenly pigeonhole people into our private interpretations of ideology. The wrong-headed urge to identify King with my own world view makes me see his relentless concern for suffering people as a sign of his humanism. Ultimately, while there is a grain of truth in it, that’s a simplification that I would find convenient to make, like when anyone claims him for their particular ideals of politics, or religion, or world view. Like many key historical figures, he was more than we make of him now.

        There is something much more basic than crass political labelling in ideas of King’s like this: “I started thinking about the fact that right here in our country we spend millions of dollars every day to store surplus food. And I said to myself: ‘I know where we can store that food free of charge — in the wrinkled stomachs of the millions of God’s children in Asia, Africa, Latin America, and even in our own nation, who go to bed hungry at night.’”

        • imokruok (edited 2 years ago)
          +2

          A political ideology is very different than a political party. Yes i read all your blue words and I'm familiar with wikipedia too, believe it or not. The article I snapped, imho, presents an interesting analysis (from Lee Sustar) of Dr. King's evolving political ideology and does not endorse any particular political party.

          • AdelleChattre
            +6

            By the end of his life, Martin Luther King Jr was an avowed socialist.

            The article’s good. This claim is unproven. I’m suggesting that it’s wrong, confuses what King believes is a means with an end in itself, and tries to appropriate King by sanding him into a grotesque caricature of a socialist hero, as if the complex truth of this historical figure can finally be ground down now to fit any pat, hackneyed worldview. Blame the editor who came up with the bogus subhead. Meant no disrespect.

            • imokruok
              +4

              Thank you for your comments. Debates such as ours are always useful. No disrespect from me either and I do not entirely disagree with you.

            • AdelleChattre (edited 2 years ago)
              +6
              @imokruok -

              King, in a speech that’s bang on point here, said: “I close by quoting the words of an old Negro slave preacher, who didn’t quite have his grammar and diction right, but who uttered words of great symbolic profundity: ‘Lord, we ain’t what we want to be. We ain’t what we ought to be. We ain’t what we gonna be. But, thank God, we ain’t what we was.’”

            • imokruok
              +3
              @AdelleChattre -

              Epic speech, required listening/reading for sure.

  • sgfc
    +4

    TIL that he was also a chain smoker of over 2 packs a day. But I have never seen a picture of him with a cigarette in his hand. That is apparently why he was outside on the motel walkway when he got shot.... smoke break. And one of his friends took the pack of smokes and lighter out of his pockets and flushed the butt.

    TIL I also learned that the wife of the owner of the Lorraine Motel, a woman named Lorraine, witnessed the shooting and had a heart attack and died. So when King's people tried to call for an ambulance they failed since Lorraine was also the motel's switchboard operator so they could not get an outside line.

  • MAGISTERLUDI (edited 2 years ago)
    +2

    As to the link, imokurok provided, one declaration proves its agenda/ innaccuracy.

    "King made direct pleas to labor unions to join his cause, arguing that he had the moral authority that the unions needed, and they had the wages that black Americans needed. Today, King’s methods would make him a direct threat to the Koch brothers, Wal-Mart, and just about every Republican politician in office."

    Yes he made such pleas,.......but they went unanswered.

    Labor unions were the last major institution to be desegregated. Not until the late seventies, early eighties, were labor unions forced by the federal government to accept a racial mix.

    As to "a direct threat to the Koch brothers, Wal-Mart, and just about every Republican politician in office." , there are no substantiations even offered to this offhanded statement/remark.

    While this offering by imokurok may have "some" valid points, its displayed bias proves it to be not "scholarly".

    • imokruok
      +4

      damn! and i was going for scholarly too! I'll do better next time guys, I promise.

    • imokruok
      +2

      btw /u/magisterludi, I'm for sure in love with you.

      • MAGISTERLUDI (edited 2 years ago)
        +1

        To not love me, simply the envelopment of every/all form(s) of denial.

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