MLK 50

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15 Responses

  1. Outside T. Fold says:

    I’ve been tuning in to events in Memphis yesterday and today as people reflect and remember. (Was in elementary school at the time, so was clueless as a child.) I attend a monthly nonviolence workshop in L.A. with the man who was Dr. King’s strategist on nonviolence, Rev. James Lawson. At January’s workshop, Rev. Lawson showed the movie At the River I Stand, about the sanitation worker’s strike, and we discussed it afterwards. The movie is available for streaming right now. I highly recommend it.

    Also, in good current coverage, Rev. Lawson was interviewed at length (3 part total. Link: part 1), along with historian Michael Honey. He speaks of many things, including an emphasis on how both Dr. King and he himself see/saw themselves as pastors.

    Well, remember, I mean, you call King and myself civil rights leaders. The better term for us, by far, the term that we use, that we were pastors. We were pastors who insisted that the gospel of Jesus encompassed all humankind and that the other side of love was justice, so that you could not be a person of character and love if you did not want to see all sorts of people having equality of dignity, equality of work, equality of play.

  2. SMH says:

    I’m putting this as nicely as I can. If you think things haven’t changed for the black community since 1968 you are either being a silly, ludicrous person, a liar, or both.
    I for one do not think you are a liar. That means your opinion is pretty silly.
    That’s okay. I used to be a fan of neo-cons.
    Besides looking at the numbers of the rates by which black opportunity for Success has risen since the 60s you can simply look around at movements like BLM which walk the streets of Southern cities and towns preaching racism against whites and yet nothing happens to a single one of them. So if it is stifled or suppress hatred then we have done a damn good job of stifling and suppressing racist cucks.

  3. Josh the Baptist says:

    Michael, you gotta ban this guy.

  4. Michael says:


    Sometimes the comments prove the point of the piece I write…I’ll keep an eye on it.

  5. grberry says:

    “According to an early 1968 Harris Poll, the man whose half-century of martyrdom we celebrate this week died with a public disapproval rating of nearly 75%, a figure shocking in its own day and still striking even in today’s highly polarized political climate.

    White racial resentment was still a critical factor at that point. But Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s unfavorable numbers were at least 25 points higher in 1968 than in 1963, and his faltering appeal over the final years of his life was also a consequence of appearing to fall behind his times in some respects even as he was leaping well ahead of them in others.”

    Learning the fact in the first paragraph reminded me how little we should pay attention to approval ratings. Reading the rest of the article reminded me how selective we are in our memories of King.

  6. Michael says:

    Yes, we’re selective in our memories of King…and Kennedy, Lincoln, and even Steve Jobs.

    They have all become symbols of things to aspire to and that is always greater than the historical record.

  7. John 20:29 says:

    Dr. King and company saved this nation from a looming disaster… The resentment in the black community was totally justified. As much as any person on our soil they paid the price of their right to participate. What troubles me now is the validity we’re giving malcontents, loud mouthed rabble of every color. Destructive ignorance and entitlement knows no color and leads to a bitter end.
    BTW & FWIW
    “Bitter end” has its roots in sailing days of yore… If the sailor forgot to check his stopper knot at the end of his rope, he’d throw out his anchor and the whole length of the attached line would go to the bottom with it… a bitter end – or so i’ve been told…
    We need stopper knots of common sense or we’ll llose our anchors, too. ?

  8. Duane Arnold says:

    I live in Indianapolis. 50 years ago when Dr. King was killed, Robert F. Kennedy was scheduled to give an evening campaign speech in an inner city neighborhood. The city leaders urged him to cancel the speech and refused to give Kennedy police protection. He went anyway and delivered a short speech improvised on the spot from the back of a flatbed truck.

    The next day, numerous American cities burned… Indianapolis was quiet. You can hear and see the speech here:

  9. Outside T. Fold says:

    #6 Michael:

    Yes, we’re selective in our memories of King…and Kennedy, Lincoln, and even Steve Jobs.

    And Jesus of Nazareth too. Selective.

    They have all become symbols of things to aspire to and that is always greater than the historical record.

    This confuses me. Aspiring toward the selective memory? Where we, embodied in this or that cultural norm, just glance over this bit or that bit?

    The historical record has been, for me, an entry way. To learn about, and then to aspire to. A record that’s more comprehensive, nuanced, and conflicting, even, than our selective memory. This fiftieth anniversary has brought much to think about. Much that is hard. But worth it. 50 years ago, a prophet and teacher was slain. 50 years later, I am learning. I am slow to learn, yet I am still learning.

  10. John 20:29 says:

    OTF? Now i am confused… Who do we know who has a memory of Jesus Christ? Selective or otherwise…
    Is Jesus a symbol to aspire to? If he wasn’t God incarnate, he was a pathological liar or crazy as a loon – not a person to aspire to imitate, an example of good behavoir? Either that or his disciples were one of the greatest groups of loony con men ever assembled…
    But, yes, the others, whom Michael listed, were symbols of principles …

    Perhaps i misread?

  11. Jim says:

    I grew up believing MLK was a hero, and believe it more today. “We” didn’t shoot him, although my parent’s tax dollars surely were involved. Both my Nixonian step father and McGovernite mother celebrated his message and mourned his death.


    While SMH has an appropriate screen name, he should learn that only mommy’s basement boys say “cucks”.

  12. Captain Kevin says:

    “We need stopper knots of common sense or we’ll llose our anchors, too.”

    I haven’t read all the comments yet, but Captain says, “Aye!”

  13. Outside T. Fold says:

    John, there is a body of text and tradition about the historical Jesus of Nazarus. Some texts and teachings get higher priority than others. Was referring to how people these days refer to those teachings.

  14. Outside T. Fold says:

    Nazareth. proofread, OtF. Proofread. Nazareth.

    I looked at the text just after I had clicked the submit comment, knowing that I had committed myself. (I am used to edit buttons elsewhere. Oh woe is me, no edit button here.) Apologies for extra comment-noise wear and tear.

  15. filbertz says:

    I recall my parents expressing deep concern that King’s murder would trigger a wave of violence and blood-letting since the voice of non-violence was silenced. Sadly they were right, though much of it didn’t boil over until summer. Those were tense times as I recall. King, I have come to respect his cause, his methods, his leadership skills, and his great intellect. Perhaps his ability to communicate all of those was his greatest skill. He, no doubt, has become one of America’s true heroes–because like all the others, he did great things despite being a flawed, failing human being.

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