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Mon Jan 21, 2013, 06:11 AM

Martin Luther King Jr. Was a Radical, Not a Saint

http://www.alternet.org/news-amp-politics/martin-luther-king-jr-was-radical-not-saint



Today Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. is viewed as something of an American saint. His birthday is a national holiday. His name adorns schools and street signs. Americans from across the political spectrum invoke King's name to justify their beliefs and actions, as President Barack Obama will no doubt do in his second Inaugural speech and as gun fanatic Larry Ward recently did in outrageously claiming that King would have opposed proposals to restrict access to guns.

So it is easy to forget that in his day, in his own country, King was considered a dangerous troublemaker. He was harassed by the FBI and vilified in the media.

In fact, King was a radical. He believed that America needed a "radical redistribution of economic and political power." He challenged America's class system and its racial caste system. He was a strong ally of the nation's labor union movement. He was assassinated in April 1968 in Memphis, where he had gone to support a sanitation workers' strike. He opposed U.S. militarism and imperialism, especially the country's misadventure in Vietnam.

In his critique of American society and his strategy for changing it, King pushed the country toward more democracy and social justice.

67 replies, 5770 views

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Reply Martin Luther King Jr. Was a Radical, Not a Saint (Original post)
xchrom Jan 2013 OP
Heidi Jan 2013 #1
xchrom Jan 2013 #3
Heidi Jan 2013 #5
graham4anything Jan 2013 #2
bread_and_roses Jan 2013 #26
bread_and_roses Jan 2013 #34
hfojvt Jan 2013 #50
graham4anything Jan 2013 #61
bvar22 Jan 2013 #38
WinkyDink Jan 2013 #45
CreekDog Jan 2013 #43
juajen Jan 2013 #58
In_The_Wind Jan 2013 #4
littlemissmartypants Jan 2013 #6
stultusporcos Jan 2013 #7
Wednesdays Jan 2013 #15
graham4anything Jan 2013 #51
Bucky Jan 2013 #55
Special Agent Oso Jan 2013 #8
H2O Man Jan 2013 #9
harmonicon Jan 2013 #10
caraher Jan 2013 #17
harmonicon Jan 2013 #21
HiPointDem Jan 2013 #52
bread_and_roses Jan 2013 #22
harmonicon Jan 2013 #24
HiPointDem Jan 2013 #46
auburngrad82 Jan 2013 #11
reeds2012 Jan 2013 #66
ashling Jan 2013 #12
In_The_Wind Jan 2013 #39
bemildred Jan 2013 #13
xchrom Jan 2013 #14
ananda Jan 2013 #16
jimlup Jan 2013 #18
Nye Bevan Jan 2013 #19
pampango Jan 2013 #23
xchrom Jan 2013 #20
judesedit Jan 2013 #25
jsr Jan 2013 #27
lunatica Jan 2013 #28
nolabear Jan 2013 #29
rurallib Jan 2013 #30
Luminous Animal Jan 2013 #33
ginnyinWI Jan 2013 #31
xchrom Jan 2013 #32
HiPointDem Jan 2013 #47
WinkyDink Jan 2013 #53
ginnyinWI Jan 2013 #57
Demo_Chris Jan 2013 #35
Libgirl Jan 2013 #42
pampango Jan 2013 #36
Fight2Win Jan 2013 #37
jbp23 Jan 2013 #40
Solly Mack Jan 2013 #41
WinkyDink Jan 2013 #44
Jefferson23 Jan 2013 #48
NealK Jan 2013 #60
Jefferson23 Jan 2013 #64
just1voice Jan 2013 #49
Bucky Jan 2013 #54
Fuddnik Jan 2013 #56
DrewFlorida Jan 2013 #59
Phillip McCleod Jan 2013 #62
limpyhobbler Jan 2013 #63
blkmusclmachine Jan 2013 #65
union_maid Jan 2013 #67

Response to xchrom (Original post)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 06:25 AM

1. Kick!

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Response to Heidi (Reply #1)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 06:38 AM

3. mornin, Miss Thing!

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Response to xchrom (Reply #3)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 06:40 AM

5. Why, good morning, handsome!

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 06:31 AM

2. And he worked from within, not tearing down, but building up. With NON-VIOLENCE

 

he most certainly was NOT an anarchist

and when he was arrested, he did not whine.
And he foretold his future, and it made him stronger.

Dr. King would have if alive now, been working side by side with President Obama.
(Though perhaps had Dr. King lived, he himself would have been President, quite possibly immediately after Jimmy Carter.)

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Response to graham4anything (Reply #2)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 09:49 AM

26. No, he did not work "from within" and as for "working" with Obama

You really think the marches were "working from within?" Marches may be "mainstream" today, but hundreds or thousands of Black Americans marching in the South were certainly not "working within" the system at the time. They were a direct challenge to the "within" - as were the sit-ins.

And I find it hard to imagine MLK standing side-by-side with Obama on his Drone Wars, his coddling of Wall Street, or his seeming indifference to the growing inequality in America - not to mention the near-total devastation of Black household wealth, the horrendous youth unemployment, etc., etc, ...

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Response to graham4anything (Reply #2)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 10:17 AM

34. "Cornel West Explains Why It Bothers Him That Obama Will Be Taking The Oath W ...

Cornel West Explains Why It Bothers Him That Obama Will Be Taking The Oath W

(with MLK's bible)

Says it a hell of a lot better than I can.


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Response to bread_and_roses (Reply #34)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 03:06 PM

50. tanj, that was good

thanks

but what the hell was Newt doing there?

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Response to bread_and_roses (Reply #34)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 10:31 PM

61. Is Cornel the Naderite feeling left out? Jealous? Personal grudge against Lawrence Summers?

 

from wiki

In 2000, economist and former U.S. Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers became president of Harvard. Soon after, Summers held a private meeting with West, where he reportedly rebuked West for missing too many classes, contributing to grade inflation, neglecting serious scholarship, and spending too much time on his economically profitable projects. Summers reportedly suggested that West produce an academic book befitting his professorial position, as his recent output had consisted primarily of co-written and edited volumes. According to some reports, Summers also objected to West's production of a CD, the critically panned Sketches of My Culture, and to his political campaigning, including an alleged three weeks to promote Bill Bradley's presidential campaign. West contended he had missed only one class during his tenure at Harvard "in order to give a keynote address at a Harvard-sponsored conference on AIDS." Summers also allegedly suggested that since West held the rank of Harvard University Professor and thus reported directly to the President, he should meet with Summers regularly to discuss the progress of his academic production.

Summers refused to comment on the details of his conversation with West, except to express hope that West would remain at Harvard. Soon after, West was hospitalized for prostate cancer. West complained that Summers failed to send him get-well wishes until weeks after his surgery, whereas newly installed Princeton president Shirley Tilghman had contacted him frequently before and after his treatment.

In 2002 West left Harvard University to return to Princeton. West lashed out at Summers in public interviews, calling him "the Ariel Sharon of higher education" on NPR's Tavis Smiley Show. In response to these remarks, five Princeton faculty members, led by professor of molecular biology Jacques Robert Fresco, said they looked with "strong disfavor upon his characterization" of Summers and that "such an analogy carries innuendoes and implications... that many on the Princeton faculty find highly inappropriate, indeed repugnant and intolerable."

snip

In 2000, West worked as a senior advisor to Democratic presidential candidate Bill Bradley. When Bradley lost in the primaries, West became a prominent endorser of Ralph Nader, even speaking at some Nader rallies. Some Greens sought to draft West to run as a presidential candidate in 2004. West declined, citing his active participation in the Al Sharpton campaign. West, along with other prominent Nader 2000 supporters, signed the "Vote to Stop Bush" statement urging progressive voters in swing states to vote for John Kerry, despite strong disagreements with many of Kerry's policies

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Response to graham4anything (Reply #2)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 11:36 AM

38. I also question your claims.

I lived through the MLK era.
He was killed on my 14th birthday.

While I believe he would have endorsed Obama over Romney,
and helped to get him elected,
in my opinion, MLK would have joined with outspoken rights advocates like Harry Belefonte in criticism of President Obama's Centrism,
cozy relationships with some of America's WORST predators (Wall Street Banks, etc.),
Expanding the War on Terror,
disregard for Civil Liberties,
participation in the militarization and national coordination of our local Police Departments,
spying on American citizens without warrants,
Drone Killings,
wasting of a Popular Mandate,
ignoring the plight of The Poor,
and especially critical of our President's Righward Shift and Capitulation to the Hard Right in seeking "Bi-Partisan Consensus" BEFORE the fight.

MLK would have voted for President Obama,
but he would have been a constant thorn in his side.

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Response to bvar22 (Reply #38)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 02:56 PM

45. Your post looks, and reads, like a poem.

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Response to graham4anything (Reply #2)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 02:53 PM

43. that's such a big misunderstanding of King, I don't know where to start

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Response to graham4anything (Reply #2)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 06:59 PM

58. No, he would not have been President.

Note: I am of the generation with first hand knowledge of the times in which Dr. King lived. I saw him and his followers march. I lived in what is now called a red state. Some would call it Hell. The prejudice was way too deep. He was a catalyst for sure, but his assassination was inevitable.

We were ruled by hateful men who believed all their women were inferior, not to mention those men and women of another color. We had so much growing up to do, and the fights and violence against minorities was intense. Today, what we went through is just not imaginable. We have become so used to women's rights and civil rights, generally, that we have a sugar-coated view of the early struggles.

Indeed, even now, the remnants of that time, to those who lived it, make us afraid for our shiny Barack and family, at least, we progressives. The gun nuts of today were the KKK of yesterday; so, those of us who experienced those times fear for the life of our First Family and the people that support them.

Bullies are with us as much today as they were then, evidenced by gerrymandering, so-called gun rights activists, voter suppression, destruction of abortion clinics and clinicians, etc. It appears the work is never done; and, the younger generations need to be prepared to fight to preserve what we accomplished in the past. I am in my seventies. We are tired.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 06:38 AM

4. ~ K ~

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 06:42 AM

6. He was ahead of his time. That is all.

It's a wide view from "the mountaintop" expansive and grand. I am so glad we are celebrating the man who had that vision. Today is a great day to remember one can only smell fear through anger and love really does bind us together.

Thank you for reminding me how important it is to have a "dangerous troublemaker" holiday. Today is a great day.

Peace. lmsp

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 06:58 AM

7. MLK, Jesus and Gandhi all taken out because they preached Social Justice

 

and had a large and growing following.

All were threats to the existing power structure at the time.

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Response to stultusporcos (Reply #7)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 08:56 AM

15. They preached social justice AND non-violence

A dangerous combination to TPTB.

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Response to stultusporcos (Reply #7)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 03:08 PM

51. conspiracy theories

 

and because of what LBJ did with the civil rights, after JFK died, it won't happen again
the laws of unexpected consequences when LBJ actually achieved what no one had since Lincoln

but even that, it is why thousand times more security is needed now
then it wasn't
now it is

Rev. King is like the father of President Obama.

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Response to graham4anything (Reply #51)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 05:30 PM

55. the post you're replying to has no conspiracy theories in it

At least not the speculative kind like faked moon landings or US gov't agencies killing JFK. The people who hated and killed Gandhi and King and Jesus all explicitly fought against their messages of peace, tolerance, love, and liberation. Obviously someone planned each of these acts, so literally there was some kind of conspiracy. But you don't have to look behind the curtain to see who the culprits were in these cases. All the poster was saying is, they were struck down for speaking truth to power.

MLK inspired a lot of people, certainly Obama among us, but I think King's vision had a lot more to do with social equality and economic opportunity for all people in this country. I don't see the president having any kind of unique track record in that area. King's forte was working from outside the establishment to put moral pressure on the PTBs to live up to the country's ideals. Obama has more become part of the PTBs and tried to make management of the American Empire a bit more humane than the last guy.

I can't imagine any functioning president being a true spiritual heir to King's legacy. But they're both black, so I'll give you that.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 07:07 AM

8. dumb title. A Radical can be a saint

 

MLK was against killing people and for anything a Saint would advocate.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 07:39 AM

9. A "saint"

is but a dead sinner, who's life has been revised and edited.

Martin was a prophet.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 08:15 AM

10. If his ideas had been radical, we wouldn't know who he was.

When that many people are in agreement with you, you're no longer a radical.

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Response to harmonicon (Reply #10)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 09:10 AM

17. Only certain of his ideas are allowed to be taught

It's OK to quote from the "I Have a Dream" speech the line where he dreams that his children "will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character." As you know, that gets routinely spun by the RW to promote "colorblind" policies, regardless of the existence of true racial justice. Even a radical will say things that many people, including conservatives, tend to agree with.

The whole point of the OP is that we're presented a highly filtered and distorted image, not all the views of the man himself. We don't har about his antiwar ideas. We don't hear his words about economic justice. It's just like the sanitized image most people have of Helen Keller, who was also radical but whose image in the popular imagination is limited to her status as someone who found ways to overcome severe physical obstacles and live a "normal" life.

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Response to caraher (Reply #17)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 09:30 AM

21. Well, we shouldn't let people spin it then, should we?

My point is, those many millions who looked to King for leadership didn't see him as a radical. They saw him as mainstream, and together they changed the world. If we say the ideas were radical, doesn't that diminish them? What's radical is trying to deny the truth of his vision.

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Response to harmonicon (Reply #21)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 03:30 PM

52. no one saw mlk as "mainstream" while he lived. he was routinely vilified in the press, surveilled

 

by the government, imprisoned.

he gained followers because of or in spite of his radicalism, because people believed in the cause, not because they believed the cause was 'mainstream'.

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Response to harmonicon (Reply #10)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 09:31 AM

22. Take two history books, and call us in the morning

I can only imagine that you are focused on the kitch-y, sentimentalized MLK of the "Day of Service" that our weasel-ly so-called "Liberals" and have turned him into in the service of their Corporate Masters. MLK's ideas are as "revolutionary" today as they were in his own day - as witness the treatment of "Occupy" - the tactics and goals of which are probably closer than anything else recently to MLK's calls to action.

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Response to bread_and_roses (Reply #22)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 09:33 AM

24. The successful revolutionary is not a radical. The successful revolutionary is tapped...

into the main line.

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Response to harmonicon (Reply #10)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 03:01 PM

46. baloney. we know who lots of radicals were, & they're still considered radicals. not to mention

 

that mlk's message has been subject to revisionism, with the most radical aspects omitted from mainstream hagiographies.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 08:17 AM

11. Jesus was a radical

He preached non-violence, taking care of those who could not take care of themselves, etc.

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Response to auburngrad82 (Reply #11)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 06:14 AM

66. He was violent when he overturned the money-changers' tables with a whip!

!

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 08:27 AM

12. The broader concerns of all humanity



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Response to ashling (Reply #12)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 11:59 AM

39. I agree.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 08:41 AM

13. Anybody that thinks our moribund political system needs change is a "radical"

Been that way as long as I can remember. The most innocuous reformers, kids, grandmas, are painted as "radical" if they challenge the privileges of some plutocrat, corporation, or political hack.

Look at the things said about Obama, an Eisenhower Republican if I ever saw one ...

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Response to bemildred (Reply #13)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 08:46 AM

14. +1

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 08:58 AM

16. This radical thinks that kind of radicalism is holy!

nt

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 09:14 AM

18. Yes I remember this period well

I grew up in the South and my parents were white civil rights activists. They considered King too radical and didn't endorse him or his practices. They believed non-violent civil disobedience to be "too extreme" and they believed that it "hurt the cause." Needless to say they were proven wrong and this is a lesson which I took to heart in forming my own political understandings.

I also remember the news reports and the reaction of the reporters. The observation that King was a "radical" is absolutely spot on.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 09:19 AM

19. "The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral,

begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy.
Instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it.
Through violence you may murder the liar,
but you cannot murder the lie, nor establish the truth.
Through violence you may murder the hater,
but you do not murder hate.
In fact, violence merely increases hate.
So it goes.
Returning violence for violence multiplies violence,
adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars.
Darkness cannot drive out darkness:
only light can do that.
Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that."

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

http://www.drmartinlutherkingjr.com/mlkquotes.htm

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Response to Nye Bevan (Reply #19)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 09:33 AM

23. Excellent quote. Another one from that link:

Darkness cannot drive out darkness;
only light can do that.
Hate cannot drive out hate;
only love can do that.
Hate multiplies hate,
violence multiplies violence,
and toughness multiplies toughness
in a descending spiral of destruction....
The chain reaction of evil --
hate begetting hate,
wars producing more wars --
must be broken,
or we shall be plunged
into the dark abyss of annihilation.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 09:29 AM

20. Nina Simone - I wish I knew how it would feel to be free

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 09:36 AM

25. I'd use the word "activist"

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 09:50 AM

27. Recommend

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 09:53 AM

28. He was a non violence practicing radical

The scariest kind of all.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 09:53 AM

29. Author doesn't seem to understand saints very well. Lots of radicals among them.

Of course a saint is made by the Church, so there's that.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 10:00 AM

30. Jefferson, Payne, Franklin, Washington, Adams

et al. should also be in the list of radicals.

But not all radicals are good. I count W as the most radical president by far.

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Response to rurallib (Reply #30)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 10:15 AM

33. Bush wasn't a radical president, he was a reactionary president.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 10:03 AM

31. The term "radical" strictly speaking means

that you will resort to violence. I like the term "activist" instead.

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Response to ginnyinWI (Reply #31)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 10:06 AM

32. wrong

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/radical

1rad·i·cal adjective \ˈra-di-kəl\

Definition of RADICAL

1
: of, relating to, or proceeding from a root: as
a (1) : of or growing from the root of a plant <radical tubers> (2) : growing from the base of a stem, from a rootlike stem, or from a stem that does not rise above the ground <radical leaves>
b : of, relating to, or constituting a linguistic root
c : of or relating to a mathematical root
d : designed to remove the root of a disease or all diseased and potentially diseased tissue <radical surgery> <radical mastectomy>
2
: of or relating to the origin : fundamental
3
a : very different from the usual or traditional : extreme
b : favoring extreme changes in existing views, habits, conditions, or institutions
c : associated with political views, practices, and policies of extreme change
d : advocating extreme measures to retain or restore a political state of affairs <the radical right>
4
slang : excellent, cool

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Response to ginnyinWI (Reply #31)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 03:02 PM

47. no it doesn't.

 

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Response to ginnyinWI (Reply #31)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 03:31 PM

53. Say what?

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Response to ginnyinWI (Reply #31)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 06:34 PM

57. well of course I don't have a link anymore, but

I read a speech about eight years ago by FDR talking about the differences between the terms "democrat", "progressive", "conservative", and "radical" in a political context. That's where I got it from.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 10:18 AM

35. King has been polished, primed, and covered with three coats of high gloss white paint

 

So much so that many on the right believe he would be a Republican today. The entirety of his struggle has been largely reduced to a soundbite or two, a couple phrases that can fit onto a calling card:

"I have a dream, that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character."

And...

"Nonviolence is a powerful and just weapon, which cuts without wounding and ennobles the man who wields it. It is a sword that heals."

The first is used today to justify anything you like. 'I don't hate you because you're black,' racists say, 'I hate you because you act like a n******r!' They love to trot that phrase out to justify ending affirmative action and social programs under the excuse that any legal recognition of race or sex is wrong and a violation of that magical dream. In this interpretation King is like Jesus, offering dime-store priced forgiveness of sins and a simplistic moral code that allows for virtually any interpretation you like. So long as a white man doesn't judge and hate based exclusively upon physical appearance he's good to go. If, say, a black man is polite, if he smiles and dances, if he talks like proper white folks talk, and dresses like proper white folks dress, if he understands his place and doesn't get uppity, if he says yes sir and no sir and keeps a proper distance from white women, why hating him just because he is black is just wrong.

These days even the racists accept that Jim Crow laws and segregation are probably wrong. They surrendered that battle long ago. Instead they say that government should stay out of it. And if that means that a business owner refuses to hire minorities or allow them into his store, that's between that business owner and Jesus. It's freedom, and the free market will take care of it eventually.

The second point about King (or Ghandi) that people are quick to bring out is his belief in non-violence. Left out, either through convenience or ignorance, is that these calls for non-violence took place in an environment in which the threat of violence from militants was real. Further, non-violence is the ONLY effective tool for winning the hearts and minds of the people, and this was what King was trying to win.

King's struggle was to win the white majority over to his side, to convince them that black people were just like them, only currently oppressed, and please stop doing that. That's a battle that you cannot win with a gun. Just the opposite. But it was undoubtedly useful that other people with guns were waiting in the wings in case the nice approach failed to work. And it worked -- though it could easily be argued that people like Bill Cosby, Hattie McDaniel, Paul Robeson, Nichelle Nichols, Sherman Hemsley, Jesse Jackson, Eddie Murphy, and Michael Jackson did as much to win people's hearts. King stood on a mountaintop and preached, Bill Cosby was invited into their living rooms to talk to their kids.

Violence and non-violence are both tactics. When you are outnumbered and want peace on acceptable terms, non-violence is always the way to go. King recognized this reality. In his day, and for his struggle, non-violence was the only tactic that could work. Some have taken this to mean that non-violence is the proper tactic for every struggle, but this is of course absurd.

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Response to Demo_Chris (Reply #35)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 02:02 PM

42. King Has Been Polished Primed

ABSOLUTELY!!!! THANK YOU for posting the TRUTH!!!!

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 10:32 AM

36. From CAP - Martin Unchained: Radical Reformer, Nonviolent Militant



The Martin we celebrate today is more pabulum than protest, more anecdote than agitation. It’s as if we decided to fuse Martin Luther King with Rodney King, morphing the former’s radical message—“freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed”—into the latter’s accept-the-status-quo plea, “Can we all get along?”

It’s time that we free Martin. Unshackle him from a rose-colored past, a reconstructed history that never was. What the world needs today is Martin unchained.

Martin Luther King Jr. was a radical, in-your-face revolutionary who was all about troubling the waters. He was, as one biographer termed him, an “apostle of militant nonviolence.” Martin wasn’t afraid to inflict pain, no more than he shied away from enduring it. But the hurt he brought to America was of the emotional variety—the kind that comes from snatching back the covers on ugly truth and holding up for view a nation’s collective, institutionalized sin and forcing acknowledgement and honest self-reflection.

And let’s be clear: Many who celebrate him now would have condemned him then.

http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/progressive-movement/news/2013/01/21/50139/martin-unchained-radical-reformer-nonviolent-militant/

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 10:49 AM

37. killed one year from the day he gave this speech

 

Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence
http://www.commondreams.org/views04/0115-13.htm


Our only hope today lies in our ability to recapture the revolutionary spirit and go out into a sometimes hostile world declaring eternal hostility to poverty, racism, and militarism.

We must move past indecision to action. We must find new ways to speak for peace in Vietnam and justice throughout the developing world, a world that borders on our doors. If we do not act we shall surely be dragged down the long, dark and shameful corridors of time reserved for those who possess power without compassion, might without morality, and strength without sight.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 12:46 PM

40. Pardon Me

 

The boxer Jack Johnson tells you everything you need to know about what kind of person/president Obama actually is. It tells us his views on equality, fairness, righting past wrongs, and his feelings towards the black community. The pardon power gives us insight into what kind of men Presidents actually are.

Jack Johnson was the first black heavyweight champion of the world, he reigned from 1908-1915. He gave hope to African Americans all over the country for breaking down racial barriers and white people feared him more than anything. After his win over white boxer James Jeffries riots broke out across the country.

In 1908 Johnson was arrested for violating the Mann Act, which made it illegal to transport women across state lines for immoral purposes. It just so happened the woman involved was a white woman. He was convicted and sent to prison in 1920. There have been multiple attempts at granting him a posthumous pardon, there has been bi-partisan support in the House and Senate for such a move. Now you would think the 1st ever black president would give Johnson a much deserved pardon and right such a wrong. You would not even think twice about it. But so far Obama's Justice Dept, along with a black AG, has refused to right this wrong and give Johnson a posthumous pardon. At first they refused to comment on the issue and then later said its better to concentrate using the pardon power on those who are alive and not waste it on the dead. I am not paraphrasing the last sentence. However, Obama's use of the pardon power has been less than George W Bush and Bill Clinton and his only pardon in 2012 was for the White House turkey during Thanksgiving.

This tells you all you need to know if Martin Luther King would be at Obama's side or be on the outside speaking the truth.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 01:46 PM

41. K&R

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 02:55 PM

44. In a land of silent sinners, the courageous speaker is a saint.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 03:03 PM

48. "A Time to Break Silence"

By 1967, King had become the country's most prominent opponent of the Vietnam War, and a staunch critic of overall U.S. foreign policy, which he deemed militaristic. In his "Beyond Vietnam" speech delivered at New York's Riverside Church on April 4, 1967 -- a year to the day before he was murdered -- King called the United States "the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today."

Time magazine called the speech "demagogic slander that sounded like a script for Radio Hanoi," and the Washington Post declared that King had "diminished his usefulness to his cause, his country, his people.

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Response to Jefferson23 (Reply #48)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 09:08 PM

60. "the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today."

Sigh. The more things change...

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Response to NealK (Reply #60)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 05:57 PM

64. I know, it's so sad. n/t

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 03:06 PM

49. He was also "vehemently" anti-war

 

http://www.alternet.org/glenn-greenwald-mlks-vehement-condemnation-american-militarism

---Glenn Greenwald: MLK's Vehement Condemnation of American Militarism
His vital April 4, 1967 speech is a direct repudiation of the sophistry now used to defend US violence and aggression---

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 05:16 PM

54. Being a saint is pretty radical too.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 06:20 PM

56. This is radical. April 4th, 1967 "Beyond Vietnam" speech.

http://www.democracynow.org/2013/1/21/dr_martin_luther_king_in_1967




REV. DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING JR.: I am convinced that if we are to get on the right side of the world revolution, we as a nation must undergo a radical revolution of values. We must rapidly begin—we must rapidly begin the shift from a thing-oriented society to a person-oriented society. When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, extreme materialism and militarism are incapable of being conquered.

A true revolution of values will soon cause us to question the fairness and justice of many of our past and present policies. On the one hand, we are called to play the Good Samaritan on life’s roadside, but that will be only an initial act. One day we must come to see that the whole Jericho road must be transformed so that men and women will not be constantly beaten and robbed as they make their journey on life’s highway. True compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar. It comes to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring.

A true revolution of values will soon look uneasily on the glaring contrast of poverty and wealth with righteous indignation. It will look across the seas and see individual capitalists of the West investing huge sums of money in Asia, Africa and South America, only to take the profits out with no concern for the social betterment of the countries, and say, "This is not just." It will look at our alliance with the landed gentry of South America and say, "This is not just." The Western arrogance of feeling that it has everything to teach others and nothing to learn from them is not just.

A true revolution of values will lay a hand on the world order and say of war, "This way of settling differences is not just." This business of burning human beings with napalm, of filling our nation’s homes with orphans and widows, of injecting poisonous drugs of hate into the veins of peoples normally humane, of sending men home from dark and bloody battlefields physically handicapped and psychologically deranged, cannot be reconciled with wisdom, justice and love. A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.

America, the richest and most powerful nation in the world, can well lead the way in this revolution of values. There is nothing, except a tragic death wish, to prevent us from reordering our priorities, so that the pursuit of peace will take precedence over the pursuit of war.

AMY GOODMAN: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., speaking April 4th, 1967, a year to the day before he was assassinated in Memphis.


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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 07:45 PM

59. If the idea of America living up to the words of it's founding documents is a radical idea, then

I agree he was a radical, and that would mean that I am a radical also.
However, I disagree with that premise!

Dr Martin Luther King Jr. was a Saint and a true leader of people.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 01:01 AM

62. what's the difference between radical and saint?

 

many or most of the saints were radicals before they died and were canonized posthumously. can't become a 'saint' while breathing after all. more to the point many of the saints had radical ideas that challenge the orthodoxy and were canonized to disempower their notions.

in other words sainthood is a curse not a blessing.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 04:11 PM

63. another great MLK quote

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 09:17 PM

65. Down With DEM Bipartisanship !!!

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 08:04 AM

67. It's complicated I guess

I was of that time (18 when he died) and I did not think of MLK as radical. Malcom X, sure. But MLK, with his calls for passive resistance did not seem so radical. He seemed like a hero and incredibly courageous, but his goals only seemed to make basic common sense. Economic justice didn't seem nearly as radical then as it does now, either. He informed my views of Vietnam, too. Coming, as we had, out of a very patriotic era, when all of us, or so it seemed, had fathers who were WWII vets, that whole mess was confusing at first. But when MLK spoke out about it, I listened. I viewed him as the ultimate respectable source of information. I read press about him, too, and although there were those who tried to vilify him, it always seemed like a very transparent effort by some. I interpreted the vast majority of coverage about him as positive. I guess a lot of that had to do with geography. Wouldn't make a differnce in our more connected world today, but back then I saw the world through the diverse colored glasses of NYC, I guess.

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