Skip to comments.Using Left's Logic, Democrats Responsible for MLK's Death
Posted on 04/04/2012 4:37:22 AM PDT by Ben Barrack
In 1999, James Earl Ray was found innocent of killing Martin Luther King Jr. in the same way O.J. Simpson was found guilty of killing his wife Nicole and Ron Goldman in a civil trial. In fact, Kings family was as convinced of Rays innocence as the families of Nicole and Ron were convinced of Simpsons guilt. In King vs. Loyd Jowers and conspirators unknown, there were 70 witnesses called; twelve jurors found in favor of the King family, which held a press conference after the verdict.
One of Kings sons Dexter had expressed his adamant belief that Ray was not his fathers assassin. In 1997, King told Ray personally that both he and his family believed him. What would it have taken for the Goldmans and the Browns to have believed Orenthals story that he was innocent? Anyone who remembers the looks on their faces, their resolve and their anger would have to concede that it would have required nothing short of cold hard facts.
The verdict in King vs. Jowers found a government conspiracy involving city, state, and federal agents complicit in the murder. Dexter King went so far as to name Memphis Police Department Officer, Lt. Earl Clark as his fathers assassin.
One week prior to Kings assassination on April 4, 1968 he had gone to Memphis to show support for local sanitation workers. Riots erupted in Memphis; one person was killed and sixty were injured. The incident was incredibly damaging to the cause of King and his Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC). A consequence of Kings alleged involvement in those riots was that it caught the attention of some powerful politicians. A Democratic Senator from West Virginia delivered an extremely incendiary speech on the Senate Floor that was directed specifically at President Lyndon Johnson, also a Democrat.
In that speech, none other than Robert Byrd pointed to the Memphis riots and the violent consequences as a warning to Johnson not to allow the marches King was planning on Washington in the coming weeks. Said Byrd:
Yesterday, Mr. President, the Nation was given a preview of what may be in store for this city by the outrageous and despicable riot that Martin Luther King helped to bring about in Memphis, Tenn. If this self-seeking rabble-rouser is allowed to go through with his plans here, Washington may well be treated to the same kind of violence, destruction, looting, and bloodshed.1
In no uncertain terms, Byrd was calling on Johnson to stop Kings march on D.C. Barely 48 hours later, on March 31st, Johnson would publicly announce that he would not seek reelection. Four days after that, Martin Luther King, Jr. was dead.
On April 4, 1967 a year to the day prior to Kings assassination King delivered his Beyond Vietnam speech at Riverside Baptist Church in New York City. A man named Vincent Harding is credited with writing most of it. According to Harding, King had already severely angered Johnson by delivering that speech, which could have made Johnson quite receptive to Byrds sentiment. In June of 2008, Harding spoke at Stanford University and said the following:
Many people within the movement said, Martin, you cannot raise your voice against Johnsons war because Johnson is our man and if you raise your voice against Johnsons war, Johnson being Johnson, is not going to like it.
In the hours and days after the Tucson shootings, the left wing media in America attempted to blame the Tea Party and right wing rhetoric for the deaths of six and the injuries of thirteen. Using their logic, the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. should be attributed to a Democratic U.S. Senator in Robert Byrd.
Based on the results of a civil trial in 1999, Byrds speech would have almost necessarily have played an even more direct role if the verdict is to be accepted.
Those who express skepticism at the results of the 1999 trial in which James Earl Ray was found innocent of assassinating King have an incredible hurdle to overcome the belief of the King family, which sides with Ray. Some have indicated that King vs. Jowers was nothing more than a promotional stunt.
Such a conclusion must be drawn from a premise that the King family was willing to publicly, wrongfully, and unjustifiably vindicate Ray in order to accuse others simply to gain notoriety. There is an important flaw in that logic as well; the defendant was only sued for $100, which he was ordered to pay. To believe that the King family was motivated exclusively by publicity, one must believe that all of its members were involved in selling out the truth of their loved ones assassination for three figures.
The facts are these. There was one week in 1968 when much happened. On March 28th, riots took place in Memphis and King was present; on March 29th, Democrat Senator Byrd threw down the gauntlet with Democrat president Lyndon Baines Johnson by delivering a fiery speech on the Senate Floor intended to get the president to stop Kings march; Johnson announced on March 31st that he would not seek reelection; a bullet would take the life of King days later on April 4th, one year to the day after delivering what many viewed as an incendiary speech at the time.
In 2011, the only irony greater than the left blaming right wing rhetoric for the violence perpetrated by an individual having no affiliation with the right, might be that the rhetoric of some very powerful people on the left may have had a direct role in the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr.
That is, of course, if one applies the logic of the left.
1. Speech of Senator Robert C. Byrd, Senate Journal, Appendix Two, March 29, 1968