30-something white radical nerd lady
transplanted to the East Coast US
happily living in sin with my co-conspirator Mr. Xrantings and ravings, Music, video games, graffiti, punk, postpunk, comics,art, general silliness and GPOB (gratuitous pictures of Bowie).
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In honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday, I think we should all take the time to read and view some of his work. Too often he gets quoted out of context by people with no real understanding of what he was trying to say.
Letter From Birmingham Jail [text]
Where Do We Go From Here? [text]
Longtime readers here know that, from my perspective, Dr. King’s most important yet untaught speech is “Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break the Silence”, delivered at the Riverside Church in Harlem on April 4, 1967.
This is the speech which turned White Liberal USA against him with seething hostility, because of the “lack of gratitude” it showed after all they had done for him. In it, he attacks US imperialism, names “the giant triplets of racism, materialism, and militarism”, shows sympathy for Communist Vietnam and Communist China, and softens his stand on non-violence by asserting that “I could never again raise my voice against the violence of the oppressed in the ghettos without having first spoken clearly to the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today — my own government”.
This went far beyond what was understood at that time as “Civil Rights”. This was dangerous revolutionary thought, and he knew it. This is the Dr. King that is scrupulously erased from official US history as surely as he was killed by a bullet in Memphis less than a year after delivering this speech.