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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-20-14 05:01 AM
Original message
Once, a relatively young pastor advocated non-violent protest for
Edited on Mon Jan-20-14 05:35 AM by No Elephants
equal rights, economic justice and peace. His methods won him a Nobel Peace Prize.

This meant he was surveilled by the USG, blackmailed by the USG, encouraged to commit suicide by the USG, arrested and treated brutally by local governments and, finally, shot to death not long after he turned age 39.

At the 1963 March on Washington, whose 50th anniversary we celebrated so reverently last year, officials of the USG stood ready to cut off speakers and substitute recordings of Mahalia Jackson singing the minute anything was said that sounded a bit like encouraging insurrection. A year later, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 passed. (Because Southern Senators thought it would kill the bill, they threw equality for women into the bill. So, merci from me to those assholes.)

We remember that man today mostly for his equal rights activities. His stand on economic justice and refraining from invading and occupying other nations, much less so. But he stood for all three.

Thank you, Dr. King, for your non-violent service and for your sacrifice.

Rest in peace.

Robert and Ethel Kennedy comforting Mrs. King and her oldest child about the assassination of Dr. King. Of course, they had recovered from the assassination of JFK not many years earlier; and RFK himself would be assassinated not long after.

(What a time it was.)
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-20-14 05:10 AM
Response to Original message
1. I did not know about the first march that was threatened.
Edited on Mon Jan-20-14 05:43 AM by No Elephants
The first march was proposed in 1941 by A. Philip Randolph, president of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters. Blacks had benefited less than other groups from New Deal programs during the Great Depression, and continuing racial discrimination excluded them from defense jobs in the early 1940s. When President Franklin D. Roosevelt showed little inclination to take action on the problem, Randolph called for a March on Washington by fifty thousand people.

After repeated efforts to persuade Randolph and his fellow leaders that the march would be inadvisable, Roosevelt issued Executive Order 8802 in June 1941, forbidding discrimination by any defense contractors and establishing the Fair Employment Practices Committee (fepc) to investigate charges of racial discrimination. The March on Washington was then canceled. Nearly 2 million blacks were employed in defense work by the end of 1944. Order 8802 represented a limited victory, however; the fepc went out of existence in 1946.

Supposedly, Eleanor was very much pro-equal rights, but Franklin did not want the "Solid South" to leave the Democratic Party over equal rights for African Americans.

As we know, the Bonus Army had marched on Washington while Hoover was President, camping out in the capitol of the nation it had served in the most horrific of all wars, World War I. The occupiers were met with brutal treatment by Generals Eisenhower and MacArthur, the comrades in arms of the members of the Bonus Army. (A PBS program said that was not what Hoover intended--that he had only told the generals to clear the area and they had overreacted.)

Yeah, right. Generals back then were so very mavericky when their Commander in Chief told them to do something. And generals never made sure they understood exactly what the CIC wanted before brutalizing their fellow World War I veterans.


That is just one example of how co-opted PBS is now, after Bush, Koch, et al., even though some individual shows are excellent.


It seems to me that government throws us a bone when it fears insurrection, as it did in 1929 and as the momentum in the Civil Rights movement proved to grow and grow, instead of dissipating. And perhaps as did Roosevelt when the first March on Washington for equal rights was threatened.

The surveillance/security state probably lessens those fears, as does sowing hatred among one segment of the population against others. The more they can divide us, the more bitter they can make the divisions, the better off they are--and the better off they are, the worse off we are.

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Enthusiast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-20-14 07:12 AM
Response to Reply #1
3. Thanks for all that, No Elephants.
That solid South turned out to be a wonderful electoral asset didn't it.
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-20-14 08:22 AM
Response to Reply #3
4. FDR was right, assuming what I've heard about his position is true.
The South was solidly Democratic from Emancipation until 1948, when Truman's integration of the military (in an election year, no less) prompted POS Strom Thurmond to challenge Truman for the Presidency on the Dixiecrat ticket. Democrats began to lose the electoral votes of Southern states gradually after the Civil Rights Act of 1964. And, now, it is as solidly Republican as it had been solidly Democratic after Emancipation.

California voted for FDR and Truman. However, it was not reliably blue in Presidential elections until 1992, just in time to help elect the first DLC President. Whooptiedo.

Without either California or the South, esp. Texas, winning enough electoral votes to win a Presidential election would be nigh impossible.
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Enthusiast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-20-14 07:10 AM
Response to Original message
2. In a nation with a long history of
persecution of minorities the persecution of MLK stands out.

There is simply no justification of the FBI's treatment of MLK and the civil rights activists. As a society we do not talk about these injustices enough. Maybe that's because the injustices continue unabated today. Look at the treatment of Occupy and the recent supreme court voting rights decision as examples.

The government was wrong back in MLK's day and they continue to be wrong today with the NSA debacle. France should take back the Statue of Liberty.
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-20-14 08:35 AM
Response to Reply #2
5. As Colbert recently pointed out, there's one in Las Vegas anyway.
I know it's corny, but I love that statue. It was Emma Lazarus's poem that got me when I was in elementary school. I am realizing more and more that the things that made a big impression on my emotions then never really let go.

However, the more I learn and think, the more I think the USG has been wrong from the jump. The colonists were right to distrust a strong central government so much. Then again, the First Nations would say the colonists were wrong from the jump, too.
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