Anti-Capitalist Quotes from Martin Luther King Jr.

Happy Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. To be fair, I guess I should wish “Sorry it’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Day” to the people who don’t believe it should be a holiday and the politicians who voted against making it one. I’m talking to you, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL), Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI) Rep. Hal Rogers (R-KY), Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-GA), Rep. John Culberson (R-TX) and Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA).

While both parties attempt to claim Dr. King, the Republicans have a much harder time doing so without distorting history and the truth. But the truth is, most politicians would distance themselves from Dr. King’s stunning (and spot on) indictments of capitalism. There are, of course, a few exceptions, here and there.

As we celebrate Martin Luther King Day, let’s look at some of the things he said challenged capitalism and are left out of most history books.

— source | Katie Halper | Jan 21, 2019

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Veterans Understand Martin Luther King Jr’s Powerful Demand for Peace

Veterans Day celebrations have come and gone. One thing about veterans: Everyone’s for them. But what does that really encompass? How did they get here? And what of the veterans to come?

The World Veterans Federation (WVF) is an international network comprised of 172 veterans organizations from 121 countries representing about 60 million veterans worldwide. It acts as a humanitarian, peace, and justice advocate not just for veterans but for victims of war. Out of those 121 countries with 60 million veterans, one country contains about 19 million — over 30% — of all the world’s veterans. That’s the United States.

Why so many? The U.S. represents only 4.25% of the world’s population. That outsize representation, where we dramatically outnumber other countries in producing veterans, is repeated in our jails where we imprison more than 20% of the entire world’s prison population and repeated in our routine gun shootings where we own 42% of the world’s privately held guns.

Veterans For Peace (a U.S. member of WVF), was formed in 1985. Odds are you’ve never heard of it. It suffers from a lack of recognition, particularly among members of Congress, precisely because it stands in opposition to US wars of aggression (Iraq in 2003 as characterized by Kofi Annan).

— source | James Rothenberg | Jan 06, 2023

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Martin Luther King Jr. was the Victim of J. Edgar Hoover’s Dirty Tricks

Ours is an age beset by conspiracy theories, with the fascist QAnon cult at the center of much public lunacy. These completely implausible ideas, apparently taken seriously by millions of people, have been enabled by the internet, by social media, and by the rise of a new, militant billionaire class that funds them. Indeed, with the turn to such conspiracies by new Twitter owner Elon Musk, that site has seen an explosion of hate speech, calumny, and wacky but dangerous ideas. Just to refresh our memories, QAnon accused Hillary Clinton and other high officials of running a pedophile ring out of a Washington, D.C., pizzeria. At one point these vicious lies even led to the pizzeria being shot up. This conspiracy theory was believed and broadcast by Gen. Michael Flynn, the former U.S. National Security Advisor! More recently, QAnon acolytes were involved in the January 6, 2021, attempted coup d’etat.

You may wonder if the world has abruptly gone mad.

Alas, it is the sad duty of historians to remind everyone shocked by the present that, as Ecclesiastes 1:9 has it,

What has been is what will be,
and what has been done is what will be done;
there is nothing new under the sun.

As we commemorate the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., it is worth remembering that the Q of his era was not anonymous. It was J. Edgar Hoover, the long-term head of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The FBI was formed in 1908 by Teddy Roosevelt, over the objections of Congress, which feared a secret police. Its initial charge was to hunt down anarchists, who in the hysteria

— source | Juan Cole | 01/16/2023

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“Election Police” to Intimidate Florida Voters

Republicans like Governor Ron DeSantis are attempting to scare formerly incarcerated people with felony convictions from voting. DeSantis launched an election police force to arrest people on trumped-up voter fraud charges. The arrests overwhelmingly targeted Black people and demonstrate “the state’s failure to have a system in place that can assure any American citizen that lives in the state of Florida whether or not they’re eligible to vote,” says Meade, who spearheaded an initiative to reenfranchise 1.4 million people with prior felony convictions, before it was overturned by Republicans. While several charges of alleged voter fraud in past elections have been dismissed, Meade says the arrests still intimidate qualified voters from casting a ballot.

Republicans are still trying to scare former felons away from voting, even as trumped-up charges of voter fraud in past elections have been dismissed in the lead-up to the

— source | Oct 28, 2022

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How Republicans Whitewash MLK

U.S. Rep. Chip Roy of Texas is just the latest conservative lawmaker to misuse the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to judge a person on character and not race.

In the protracted battle to elect Rep. Kevin McCarthy as speaker of the House, Roy, a Republican, nominated a Black man, Byron Donalds, a two-term representative from Florida who had little chance of winning the seat. Considered a rising star in the GOP, Donalds has opposed the very things King fought for and ultimately was assassinated for—nonviolent demonstrations and voting rights protections.

Calling Donalds a “dear friend,” Roy noted the selection by Democrats of another Black man, Hakeem Jeffries of New York, and invoked King’s words.

“For the first time in history, there have been two Black Americans placed into nomination for speaker of the House,” Roy said. “However, we do not seek to judge people by the

— source | Hajar Yazdiha | Jan 20, 2023

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Kansas City Police Ignored Warnings

Black residents in Kansas City, Missouri, say police ignored their warnings that a murderer was targeting Black women, until one of his captives escaped earlier this month. A 22-year-old Black woman in Excelsior Springs, just outside Kansas City, said she broke free from the basement where a white man held her captive for a month. She also claimed there were more victims, all of them Black women, who were similarly sexually abused. Timothy Haslett Jr. is now in police custody and faces rape, kidnapping and assault charges. Prior to his arrest, the Kansas City Police Department said concerns about a possible serial killer were “completely unfounded” rumors. “This speaks to the violent silencing of Black women specifically, of the Black community at large here in Kansas City,” says Ryan Sorrell, founder of the Black-led independent newspaper Kansas City Defender, which reported on the missing Black women

I mean, I think that this is one of the most horrific tragedies that I have ever come across in my lifetime. I know that when we first reported this story, we received it from numerous community members who were making these reports and testimonies, is what we refer to them as. The police department refers to them as “rumors,” largely because they come from the Black community. But we reported these reports and testimonies in mid-to-late September. And, you know, rather than reaching out to us to understand and gather more information about where we got this information from, rather than reaching out to the community to understand where these concerns were coming from, the police department, three days after we reported this initially, you know, came out and literally just said these are completely unfounded rumors, is what they called them. And as you mentioned, they said that there is no basis to support these claims.

— source | Oct 18, 2022

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Black & Indigenous Activists Call for 3 Latinx L.A. City Council members to Resign

On Monday, the president of the Los Angeles City Council, Nury Martinez, resigned from her leadership post after she was caught on tape using racist language against Indigenous people in the city and for describing the Black son of a city councilmember as a “little monkey.” Martinez made the comments last year during a conversation discussing redistricting with Los Angeles City Councilmembers Kevin de León and Gil Cedillo, as well as Ron Herrera, the head of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, who also resigned last night.

It’s unclear who recorded the call or who leaked it to the media, but it comes just weeks before voters head to the polls in Los Angeles to pick a new mayor. The scandal has put a spotlight on tension between Latinx and Black political leaders in Los Angeles. In one part of the phone call, Nury Martinez can be heard talking about the adopted son of fellow Democratic Councilmember Mike Bonin. Bonin is white; his son is Black. She accused Bonin handling his son as if he were a, quote, “accessory” like a purse, and she

— source | Oct 11, 2022

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103rd anniversary of Elaine Massacre

This past weekend marked the 103rd anniversary of one of the worst racial massacres in U.S. history. It took place in Elaine, Arkansas. Before the attack, Elaine was home to Richard Wright, who became one of the most famous Black writers in the United States, known for his acclaimed novel Native Son and his memoir Black Boy, in which he describes how his uncle Silas Hoskins was lynched in 1916 near Elaine by white people who wanted his business. Richard Wright was 9 years old when he and his family were forced to flee. He wrote, quote, “There was only silence, quiet weeping, whispers and fears. Uncle Hoskins had simply been plucked from our midst and we, figuratively, had fallen on our faces to avoid looking into that white-hot face of terror that we knew loomed somewhere above us. This was as close as white terror had ever come to me and my mind reeled. Why had we not fought back, I asked my mother, and the fear that was in her made her slap me into silence.” Those, the words of Richard Wright. He was describing a true story.

Three years later, on September 30th, 1919, a white man was shot and was killed when guards stopped a group of white men from breaking into a meeting of Black sharecroppers with the Progressive Farmers and Household Union of America to demand fair pay for their crops. Mobs of white people responded in Elaine, Arkansas, with three days of anti-Black violence, backed by hundreds of U.S. soldiers. Historians estimate hundreds of Black people were killed, much of their land stolen. The anti-lynching journalist Ida B. Wells investigated the 1919 Elaine massacre and wrote, quote, “Negroes were in a fair way to become independent and it was not to the interest of white landowners to let them do so,” unquote.

— source | Oct 04, 2022

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