MLK Jr Criticized Social Conditions Not the Rioters

    We know how King would respond to our current mean season of political unrest, racial division and state-sanctioned violence. He understood much more than the fact that “riots were the language of the unheard.” He eloquently argued that the racial upheaval gripping the country during the 1960s was the direct result of white supremacy’s uncanny hold on every aspect of American life, from public schools, housing and health care to criminal justice, employment and domestic and foreign policy.

    What would Martin Luther King Jr. do in our time? King would not denounce the looters, but focus on the economic, social, and political conditions that produced mass protests contoured by bursts of violence. He would find our age of racial division, white denial and spreading wealth inequality and violence an all too familiar artifact of his own time. His response, then, would be to speak on behalf of the indigent, to help feed the poor and to organize for the revolutionary policy changes that will finally make the kind of uprisings we are now experiencing a thing of the past.

    King wrapped his arms around the radical Stokely Carmichael 


    From the article

    King’s proposed answer to the urban violence that engulfed the cities of Newark and Detroit in 1967 was to eliminate black ghettos as a matter of policy and eradicate white racism to save the nation’s soul. When Johnson characterized looting in Detroit as having nothing to do with civil rights, King fired off a telegram challenging this perspective. Only “drastic changes in the life of the poor” would lead to peace, he suggested. “I propose specifically the creation of a national agency that shall provide a job to every person who needs work.”

    It is one thing to observe that certain conditions lead to a breakdown of civil order and another to see non-violent resistance as a path to political leverage. 

    The writing of MLK Jr. goes into both of those ideas.

    Yes, and furthermore, I didn't read actual support for rioting or looting into Peniel Joseph's interpretation either!

    What he's saying is that it was that MLK Jr. was  ruing the circumstances that make people do it. It was to speak to what needed to be fixed to stop it from happening. That what he still always supported is nonviolence theory.

    Matters not in the end because we see what we want to in see in old texts (i.e., the Bible as well.) And rmrd seems bound and determined to find old text that *proves* what MLK Jr. would support today. As if one really could do that and not just suppose.

    For example, Peniel Joseph conveniently leaves out trying to predict what MLK Jr. would say about white kids rioting against black police chiefs, black mayors, etc. and one of his main assistants becoming a highly honored and respected congressperson and being laid in state in the capitol with worldwide accolades, and a two-term half-black president of the United States for that matter. A lot of things he was fighting for happened, he would have moved on.

    He might have revised his thoughts on Stokley Carmichael, for example. Maybe he'd like his ideas even more, who knows.

    I would say take a look at how Al Sharpton has changed. He was with him and he's still with us.

    In your revisionist interpretation of King, would he support secret government police in Portland?

    Jesus, they killed the fucker. Give it up already. Its like some weird necrophilia thing - putting words and thoughts and actions into a long dead corpse - let the man rest, find a new hero.

    Your statement is illogical.

    King is an icon. He will continue to be a reference point..

    There is a book by the late Elijah Cummings set for publication 

    John Meacham has a book about John Lewis scheduled for publication

    Some compare current protests to Russian novels older than King

    Life goes on.


    Lit majors compare the current protests to Russian novels. Anna Karenina may yet inspire Melania to walk off a train platform, who knows. And sure, biographies are a dime a dozen in the used rack - i bet Lady Di's making a comeback.

    A diversion. Martin Luther King Jr. will remain a topic of discussion.

    I'm catching up on Pliny the Younger, no time for all these new fads.

    I wasn't interpreting King. I was interpreting Peniel Joseph surmising what King would think of current events and interpreting you surmising what King would think of current events. Actual history has nothing to do with this, revisionist or any other kind, it's about current events, and guessing what a character transported from history would think of them. Which I was interpreting.

    p.s. Not meant to disparage. This is a common activity, what Joseph and you are doing. People do it with the Bible, the Torah and the Koran all the time!

    I'm more curious how he got his name and how he survived growing up in the Bronx with it. (sez the juvenile smartasses in the back row)

    Would King support the government response in Portland?

    I suppose it's important somehow to hypothesize what MLK would think about anything that happens after his death. Would MLK support the rampant promiscuity of rock musicians, many of whom only began to play rock and roll music to get laid? My guess is yes given King's own rampant promiscuity. But you know the man better than I. What do you think?

    You did not address the question.

    I bet MLK woulda dug the shit out of Janis Joplin. Dont think Kylie Jenner's his type.

    I'm fairly certain that with changing mores that MLK would support polyamorous relations. It's strange you never see people making that point on sites explaining or defending polyamory.

    Dude, how CIS-latte privileged you behave. MLK wouldve totally been spearheading intersectionalist movements. 

    Though likely would be hesitant with satanic succuba and alien sex. Are we to "Snakes on an Astral Plane" already? Samuel L would be such a perfect pairup for MLK - "Say 'what' again, motherfucker - just try it..."

    Do you think MLK would expect everyone to answer any question on blogs or would he find it acceptable for some people to sometimes not answer questions on blogs? It's a tough but important question first because blogs didn't exist before MLK died and second because deciding what MLK would think about things that didn't exist or happened after he died is always important and not at all a waste of time.

    I think he'd object to the term "blogger" - gotta look into that.

    MLK acknowledged the importance of terminology so I don't think any one could argue that he wouldn't weigh in. I'm embarrassed to admit I not a sufficient student of history to know what name he'd prefer. But I'm pretty sure Robin Williams would call them boogers.

    Violent protests in Hong Kong

    Extradition treaty put on hold

    Protests continues

    Those Hong Kong police are brutes

    Protests in Portland

    Secret government police sent in

    Hiw dare those protesters actually protest?

    Post-modern haiku?

    Flock of Karens or homeless substance abuse concerned?

    As I said, what Prof. Joseph is doing is basically reading tea leaves, but if I were forced to bet, I'd bet on Rev. MLK Jr., if alive today, would agree with Rev. Jesse Jackson:

    Interestingly-and again times and opinions change--but in 66 and 67 MLK & Jesse both thinking like capitalists

    In 1966 King and Bevel selected Jackson to head the Chicago branch of the SCLC's economic arm, Operation Breadbasket[14][15] and he was promoted to national director in 1967.[6] Operation Breadbasket had been started by the Atlanta leadership of the SCLC as a job placement agency for blacks.[16] Under Jackson's leadership, a key goal was to encourage massive boycotts by black consumers as a means to pressure white-owned businesses to hire blacks and to purchase goods and services from black-owned firms.[14][16]

    T. R. M. Howard, a 1950s proponent of the consumer boycott tactic, soon became a major supporter of Jackson's efforts – donating and raising funds, and introducing Jackson to prominent members of the black business community in Chicago.[14] Under Jackson's direction, Operation Breadbasket held popular weekly workshops on Chicago's South Side featuring white and black political and economic leaders,[15] and religious services complete with a jazz band and choir.[16]

    and if you are a capitalist, first thing you want to do is insure that people's property is protected or the whole thing falls apart.

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