Sunday, January 16, 2011

MLK: Democratic Socialist

Even most conservatives now praise Dr. Martin Luther King as a good man who stood for equality and civil rights, etc.  But MLK had a lot more to say than just judge people by the content of their character not by the color of their skin.  He spoke truth to power--he stood for economic and social justice for everyone, not just racial equality.  And he was an outspoken opponent of the Vietnam War.

By 1967, King had become the country's most prominent opponent of the Vietnam War, and a staunch critic of overall U.S. foreign policy, which he deemed militaristic. In his "Beyond Vietnam" speech delivered at New York's Riverside Church on April 4, 1967 -- a year to the day before he was murdered -- King called the United States "the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today."
Time magazine called the speech "demagogic slander that sounded like a script for Radio Hanoi," and the Washington Post declared that King had "diminished his usefulness to his cause, his country, his people."

While conservatives, even right-wing Tea Party leaders like Glenn Beck, claim to defend MLK's dream and legacy, the truth is MLK was what they would call a "Socialist."  King called for CUTTING military spending, increasing social spending to END poverty, redistribution of wealth, and an end to U.S. militarism.  King condemned the individualistic, selfish, greed that defines modern conservatism and the Tea Party movement.  He would support a single-payer national health care system, not private insurance companies.  He would support raising taxes on the rich to provide healthcare, education, etc. for the poor, not more tax cuts and austerity plans to roll back the New Deal and Great Society.  He worked with and supported socialists and communists.  

In fact, MLK challenged so much of the mainstream views of America, that you will not hear about any of that on the national MLK Holiday in the United States.

MLK: Democratic Socialist

When Public Workers Were Under Attack, MLK Stood with the Workers

Which Side Would MLK Be On?

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