Archive for category Martin Luther King

Its Confirmed. The Republican Party (GOP) is Racist or Infested With Racists or Something

I think at this point, its pretty clear that racism is rampant in the GOP.  And I think it always was.  It just took a Black man becoming president to bring it back to the surface.


According to Michael Steel, former RNC chair, the Southern Strategy is alive and well.

I’m building a YouTube playlist for your convenience.

Click here for more GOP racial slurs.

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Martin Luther King, Jr., and Peace

We well remember Dr. King and race. He made a revolution peacefully, at least on his part. But as valuable to us all, he opposed the Vietnam War when Democrats as well as Republicans favored that holocaust. I have not the technical know-how to reference his speech at Riverside Church. I hope Cliff, James, or another of you will link it to my little blurb about a man I worked with, long ago. This speech perplexed the White House, and Roy Wilkins of the NAACP and the man I worked with and admired more than any other, and Whitney Young, of the Urban League, with good reason. We had vital civil rights legislation in process regarding racial justice and economic justice, such that we didn’t understand his fracturing our so fragile cobbled-together alliances. Yet he saw more prophetically, more clearly, the relation between race and war (guess who bore the grunt work and the deaths of that disastrous holocaust?), and economic justice (guess who paid for that war?) than anyone in the White House in which I worked. So let’s hear if for peace. Pace e’bene. ed firmage xoxo

[NOTE from Richard W: As far as I can tell there is no video of the speech. Below are some links.]

TEXT: Martin Luther King, Jr. “Beyond Vietnam — A Time to Break Silence” Delivered 4 April 1967, Riverside Church, New York City

AUDIO: Part 1 Part 2

EXCERPT (emphasis added):

As I have walked among the desperate, rejected, and angry young men, I have told them that Molotov cocktails and rifles would not solve their problems. I have tried to offer them my deepest compassion while maintaining my conviction that social change comes most meaningfully through nonviolent action. But they ask — and rightly so — what about Vietnam? They ask if our own nation wasn’t using massive doses of violence to solve its problems, to bring about the changes it wanted. Their questions hit home, and I knew 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. For the sake of those boys, for the sake of this government, for the sake of the hundreds of thousands trembling under our violence, I cannot be silent.


Glenn Beck vs. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Glenn Beck is Not Martin Luther King, Jr.

On Saturday, Glenn Beck wants to “reclaim the civil rights movement” for right-wingers. Huh? The right was always against equality, and still is.

August 28th is an important day in American history. On that day, forty-seven years ago, Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his famous “I Have a Dream Speech” at the Lincoln Memorial. His message gave voice to the voiceless and his vision promoted a just, equal, diverse and compassionate country.

This year, a very different message is going to be spread from the very ground on which King once stood. Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin will hold a rally at the Lincoln Memorial.

The racist, raging and hate-filled tenor of Beck, Palin and the Tea Party movement is in direct contrast to the noble vision of Dr. King. We cannot sit idly by and let King’s vision and legacy be hijacked for political purposes.

Dr. King once declared that “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”

We will not be silent on this matter. Honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s struggle for a just and equal America.

It’s almost impossible to think of two well-known Americans who could be more opposite than Glenn Beck and Martin Luther King, Jr. Unlike the 1963 March on Washington, Beck’s event is a purely partisan affair (how did he get a National Park Service permit for a political event?) Unlike MLK, Beck says he won’t have a prepared speech. He says he’ll be channeling The Almighty. God speaks to Beck, Beck tells the people!

More info:
Martin Luther King, Jr. “I Have a Dream” from American Rhetoric.

UPDATE: Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) will also speak along with Beck and Sarah Palin at Saturday’s all-Republican “non-political” event. Which is technically being sponsored by a veterans’ charity to get around National Park Service rules.

JM Bell: Martin Luther King, Jr. and Glenn Beck – A Comparison

UPDATE: REPORT: Glenn Beck’s Philosophy Is Opposed To Everything Martin Luther King, Jr. Stood For

It’s difficult to find two people whose philosophies are so distinctly different than Glenn Beck and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. While King fought for all people to be able to live a decent life, championed a compassionate version of Christianity that sought to create a better world, and established dialogue with those who disagreed with him, Beck shows little compassion for those worse off, has derided the social gospel, and has viciously smeared and attacked his political opponents. As Media Matters writes, “Martin Luther King would have been on Glenn Beck’s chalkboard.”

UPDATE: John Nichols: No, Glenn Beck Is Not a Civil Rights Icon


America Was Explicitly NOT Founded on Judeo-Christian Principles

It was founded upon ideas which have been adopted into Christian dogma.


Human Rights Day……But not in Utah

I’m going way out on a limb, folks, but I know my kindly friends will catch me if I fall. Today is Human Rights Day, everywhere but in Deseret. Some years ago, in the Baptist chapel on 13th East, dedicated to Sam and Aline Skaggs, we met on Martin Luther King, Jr., day, in January. Only two states in the entire nation had not agreed to Martin Luther King, Jr. day. Guess which states. You’re right. Utah and Arizona, two Mormon states.

A Mormon fittingly forgotten, governed the state of Arizona, just before going to jail for fraud. Another fraud, in this case. I was chair of the day, as best I can now recall, because I, along with Rev. France Davis and J.D. Williams, had worked with King in the 1960’s. We invited Coretta Scott King, Martin’s widow, to deliver our sermon/address.

Later, she and I tackled, literally, our governor, now remembered if at all by the pumps he put up on the Great Salt Lake, and never ever were used. He wouldn’t allow pictures with him, except when some insisted. We then pressured him, and the thoroughly Mormon legislature, to declare the day Martin Luther King, Jr., day. He would not. Neither would the legislature. They insisted that the day in January, be “Human Rights Day.”

Ezra Taft Benson, who attacked Martin King publicly and “privately, ” if by “private” you include all the Mormon priesthood, had insisted he was a Soviet spy, and an adulterer as well. President Benson’s vicious attack on Martin King, delivered to the Brethren on the day Martin died, was rebutted, from the pulpit, by my Grandfather, Hugh B. Brown, First Counselor to President David O. McKay, in General Conference before the entire Mormon church, along with an audience of thousands not of our faith, due to their wonderment as to why Mormons didn’t allow Blacks to hold the priesthood. Grandfather spoke with President McKay’s blessings, dispite his John Birch secretary’s efforts, on behalf of Benson, who later led the church as “prophet, seer, and revelator.” Their good friend, then and now in memory, J. Edgar Hoover, had hounded King almost to death. We will never know if I need the qualification, “almost.” King and Bobby Kennedy died almost hand in hand. Surely they are so joined now.

So, my dear- hearted sisters and brothers, we’ve a long penance to do. I suggest we all read Dante’s Inferno. And work in a few thousand years into the Purgatorio. And then into the Paradiso, the heavenly City of Paul and Augustine’s God.

Mitt, for better or worse, your self-selection to represent all Mormons and our admirers or detractors, means that you lead us all into Hell. In a few thousand years, perhaps, you and I may just serve as Virgil. Centuries from now, we just might see the Paradiso of God, far far away.

Ed Firmage
Salt Lake City, Utah

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Past and Present

Over the weekend, I rented CSA. The film is a faux documentary about what would have happened if the Confederacy had won the Civil War. CSA tells an alternative history – “What would have happened if the South had won the Civil War?” The alternative history depicts a dystopian, virulently racist world that frighteningly echoes the language of our own world – including a scene from an alternate world movie where a character says “Kill them all and let God sort them out!”

CSA includes commercials and newsbreaks from the alternative world, including several that include real products from American history – one of them a former Salt Lake City landmark – the Coon Chicken Inn. At the end of the film, the film makers showed the real products from American history they used for their “commercials.” The Coon Chicken Inn had as its trademark an oversize, African-American face with oversized lips and teeth – the door into the restaurant was the teeth. Images of African-Americans in popular American culture have long been grotesque parodies, starting with images of ante-bellum slaves in the South – happily serving their white masters, singing in the fields, loyally sacrificing their needs and desires for whites. Think of Mammy in Gone With the Wind.

Near the end of CSA, the “Canadian scholar” described the great sin of American slavery as denying the humanity of the slave. CSA drove the point home with a commercial for a drug – Contrari – give it to your servants and they’ll be happy; ask your veterinarian for more information. American racism began with the assumption that Africans couldn’t handle freedom and has found a wide variety of ways to never really give up that conceit. For decades, white Americans spoke of blacks “knowing their place.” In Auntie Mame, there’s a memorable scene in which the snobbish, wealth Mrs. Upton describes her African American maid Bertha as “one of the good ones. Most of them are so uppity these days.”

CSA is the arch-conservative world view writ large. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Hottest Place in Hell

The time has come for America to hear the truth about this tragic war…I agree with Dante, that the hottest place in hell is reserved for those who in the a period of moral crises, maintain their neutrality.

There comes a time when silence is betrayal. The truth of these word is beyond doubt.

The time has come for America to hear the truth about this tragic war.


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