Monday, January 20, 2020

The radical Dr. King

“In a sense, you could say we’re involved in the class struggle.”
Quote to New York Times reporter, José Iglesias, 1968.
Today we, as a nation, celebrate the life of Dr. Martin Luther King who was born 91 years ago and assassinated in Memphis in 1968 while speaking in support of unionizing municipal workers. It's a good day to remember Dr. King, not as the harmless icon, portrayed in the mainstream media and in textbooks, but as the unapologetic radical anti-war, anti-capitalist, he was.

This is how King saw things:
“We must recognize that we can’t solve our problem now until there is a radical redistribution of economic and political power… this means a revolution of values and other things. We must see now that the evils of racism, economic exploitation and militarism are all tied together… you can’t really get rid of one without getting rid of the others… the whole structure of American life must be changed. America is a hypocritical nation and [we] must put [our] own house in order.” -- Report to SCLC Staff, May 1967.
Trump's "very fine people" want no part of King's legacy. Instead they are rallying today in Richmond, VA to defend their precious assault weapons from Gov. Wortham's proposed modest gun-control legislation. Small groups of armed white supremacists, vigilante groups,  and nazis are moving to infiltrate the march and cause a "white uprising" resulting in an all-out race war.

Trump gave them all the green light on Friday when he tweeted:

Yes, I was onto something in my previous post (Klobuchar was the worst of the six). NYT just co-endorsed Elizabeth Warren and Amy Klobuchar in an anybody-but-Bernie move. Yes, they're both women. And Democrats would vote for either in a face-off with Trump.

But Warren's blocking with Klobuchar to attack Sanders during the last debate was an effort to legitimize herself to party leadership and peel away Sanders voters. It's an unprincipled block since up til now, she's had much more in common with Sanders than with Klobuchar. Whether the tactic will work or not in Iowa remains to be seen.

Those wringing their hands over the growing and undeniable polarizing of national politics and the rise of right and left-wing populism should remember that the political polarization is an echo of economic polarization, meaning the widening wealth and income gap and the collapse of the middle class.

Bernie Sanders, and to a lesser degree, Elizabeth Warren, are the only candidates speaking directly to the wealth and income gap. Their split and the ensuing rupture of their progressive base and any liberal consensus should leave both Biden and Trump smiling.

Anton Seals Jr. was on Hitting Left, Friday...
Cooperative farming is a central aspect of Seal’s community organizing. When he talks about the development of cooperative farming on the hundreds of acres of open land in Englewood, Seals draws a clear historical connection to the African and African American experience as stewards of the land, even in slavery, and the forced migration – as a result of racist terror – from the former Confederacy to Chicago. -- Fred Klonsky's blog
You can download the entire Seals interview from

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