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Harry Belafonte has some hunches what Dr. King might have said (NO FOOL LIKE AN OLD FOOL)
Chicag ^ | January 27, 2013 10:28PM | Thomas Conner

Posted on 01/28/2013 10:41:14 AM PST by Chi-townChief

Harry Belafonte in recent years has been positively Kanye-esque in his outspokenness.

The 85-year-old singer — a revered icon in American pop music, the King of Calypso, the resonant voice behind the 1956 classic “Day-O (The Banana Boat Song)” — has tallied headlines for his frank opinions on matters ranging from U.S. foreign policy to race relations.

In 2002, Belafonte likened Secretary of State Colin Powell to a “house slave” for his acquiescence to the invasion of Iraq. He called President George W. Bush “the greatest tyrant in the world, the greatest terrorist in the world” during a 2006 meeting with Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez.

Last month during an MSNBC interview, he advocated the jailing of Obama’s obstructionist Republican opponents: “The only thing left for Barack Obama to do is to work like a Third World dictator and just put all these guys in jail.”

No surprise, perhaps, that Belafonte says he considers himself an activist first.

“I’m an activist who became an entertainer,” Belafonte told the Sun-Times. “It’s usually the other way around.”

Belafonte’s legacy as an entertainer, though, is not easy to overshadow. “Calypso,” the ’56 record that launched an American craze for its namesake music, was the first U.S. LP to sell a million copies. His career since has been intertwined with other pillars of music (his 1962 “Midnight Special” album contains the first-ever recording of a young harmonica player named Bob Dylan) and politics (he campaigned for and worked with President John F. Kennedy).

Belafonte also maintained a relationship with civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. — a friendship that began in 1950 and which Belafonte says transformed his life — and he’s spending January traveling the country to speak about it.

His free keynote address Monday at Northwestern University concludes two weeks of events at the Evanston campus celebrating King’s life and legacy. NU recently made Martin Luther King Day an official university holiday; Jan. 21 was its first.

Earlier this month, Belafonte spoke with the Sun-Times about his activism, his music and his fond memories of King.

Q. You’re speaking about Dr. King at a number of universities and events this month. How did this tour come about now?

A. For the last many years, each time Dr. King’s birthday comes up or the anniversary of his death, there’s always a call by institutions and individuals to speak on the subject. Depending on the state of the union, I go and I speak and make commentary on what he might have observed and said if he’d been around today.

Q. That’s a tall order, speculating on the observations of someone who’s not around. How do you go about it?

A. What I find satisfying about the process is the getting into a social discourse on the state of our being universally. When you speak on what Dr. King might have said, it gives you a lot of latitude of putting propositions out of your own voice and opinion. It may carry a response that would be challenging to your point of view, but if you say it in the name of what Dr. King might have said, people pause a little longer before giving you a rebuttal because they respect what he said and what he did. It has a little more nuance than if you say something yourself, and under that umbrella you can make a lot of observations about the social condition and bring up a lot of things for discussion.

Q. Where has King’s legacy succeeded?

A. The real beauty and power of what the [civil rights] movement achieved — when you look back at the cunning and brutality and smarts and resources poured into trying to roll back the clock and end affirmative action and women’s rights and so many things — is that the opposition has miserably failed. Including trying to stop Obama getting re-elected. There’s the real tribute to what King achieved. Not from what we’ve taken but in stopping the opposition from defeating it.

Q. King is such a mythic figure. Tell me something sensory, something human about him.

A. What endeared him to me was the way in which he wrenched over the decisions he had to make. To watch him unable to sleep, develop all kinds of psychological disorders. He had a tic that plagued him constantly. It wasn’t a stutter. It was a nervous disorder that gave him kind of a — he couldn’t complete a sentence without a gasp for air. One day he seemed to no longer have that affliction.

Q. What happened?

A. I hosted the Johnny Carson show in February 1968 for a week. … Dr. King was a guest, and he showed up late, turned up just as we’d gone on the air. He came on, and I asked him what happened. He said he’d gotten here and told the cabdriver to hurry to the studio. He said, ‘This guy took me on a Wild West ride.’ He’s saying this to the audience, ‘I had to hang on for dear life, and when he stopped for a light I said, “Young man, I’d rather be considered a Martin Luther King late than the late Martin Luther King. Slow down.” I said, ‘On that subject, what do you think about death.’ He gave an answer that’s since been used a thousand times in looking back on his legacy. But I said, ‘What happened to the tic?’ I didn’t say it on the air. He said, ‘I made my peace with death.’ It was a subliminal display of a tremendous anxiety, not so much about death as it affected him, but when he made a decision his first consideration was that there could be violence and someone could lose their life, and I’ve led people into this conflict and do I have this right? [King was assassinated weeks later, on April 4, 1968.]

Q. The last time I heard “Day O” it was a sample in Lil Wayne’s “6 Foot, 7 Foot.” What’s your opinion of your catalog getting sampled?

A. I love it. I’m not a protectionist. I was talking to [blues legend] Brownie McGhee once about purism in folk music. He said all songs are folk songs. He said, ‘Harry, the first song ever sung by a human being was “Ugh.” ’ You know, the Neanderthals around the campfire trying to keep warm, and everything since ‘Ugh’ has been a distortion of that. Anybody can take my song. They can gladly have it, because it was never my song.

Q. Right, your version was based on several that came before.

A. “Day-O” has a long history. Who knows where it came from. By the time it came to me it was full-blown. I had a happy time singing it.

TOPICS: Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: bananas; belafonte; commies; dayo; liberals; mlk
Ol' Harry is Bananas alright; Belafonte is the Neanderthal he refers to towards the end of the interview.
1 posted on 01/28/2013 10:41:21 AM PST by Chi-townChief
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To: Chi-townChief

‘In 2002, Belafonte likened Secretary of State Colin Powell to a “house slave” for his acquiescence to the invasion of Iraq.’

Has Belafonte taken back that statement after Powell endorsed Obama, started hanging out with Farrakhan and has been spewing out statements in lock step with the liberal agenda?

2 posted on 01/28/2013 10:52:23 AM PST by ReformationFan
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To: Chi-townChief

How would Belafonte know what King said?

King was a Republican US patriot. Belafonte was a commie bastard.

3 posted on 01/28/2013 10:55:24 AM PST by Candor7 (Obama fascism article:(
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To: Chi-townChief
That’s a tall order, speculating on the observations of someone who’s not around.

In what freakin' way is that a "tall order" ? ? ?

I suspect Martin Luther King would disown your racist tripe, you vicious old has-been.

There, see? even I can do it..

4 posted on 01/28/2013 10:56:04 AM PST by Izzy Dunne (Hello, I'm a TAGLINE virus. Please help me spread by copying me into YOUR tag line.)
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To: Candor7

King may have started out as a Republican and a patriot, but by ‘68 he was a committed socialist in favor of affirmative action - read the Playboy interview.

5 posted on 01/28/2013 11:02:37 AM PST by I Shall Endure
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To: I Shall Endure

I have read extensively on the history of MLK. Yes the play boy interview is damning in one sense, but certainly he was also answering questions posed to him.

Overall MLK was an advocate of Civil Disobedience, just as
Mohandus Ghandi was, he had invented the Satyagraha Movement after reading and studying Thoreaus variorum on Civil Disobedience.”. (BTW Ghandi was pro 2nd amendment.)I say this as an historian, and realize that there were plenty of people who wished to paint King as unAmerican. I do not believe this to be true. Its just that MLK’s history has been defined by a bunch of leftists, which is why the ACLU is blind to black on white racism. I believe King was far more the conservative than most would think. So was Mohandus Ghandi.

6 posted on 01/28/2013 11:10:46 AM PST by Candor7 (Obama fascism article:(
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To: ReformationFan

Belafonte is an actual card-carrying member of the communist party who goes to Cuba several times a year and is an intimate friend of Castro.

7 posted on 01/28/2013 11:16:53 AM PST by kabumpo (Kabumpo)
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To: ReformationFan

Belafonte is an actual card-carrying member of the communist party who goes to Cuba several times a year and is an intimate friend of Castro.

8 posted on 01/28/2013 11:18:09 AM PST by kabumpo (Kabumpo)
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To: ReformationFan

Belafonte is an actual card-carrying member of the communist party who goes to Cuba several times a year and is an intimate friend of Castro.

9 posted on 01/28/2013 11:18:09 AM PST by kabumpo (Kabumpo)
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To: ReformationFan

Belafonte is an actual card-carrying member of the communist party who goes to Cuba several times a year and is an intimate friend of Castro.

10 posted on 01/28/2013 11:18:24 AM PST by kabumpo (Kabumpo)
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To: I Shall Endure

In the 1960s, people were looking for ways to deal with the inequalities of the times, so it would be understandable that Dr. King would have embraced affirmative action back then. But as we all know, affirmative action, like so many other government programs, did not fulfill its stated purpose.

I wonder if Dr. King today would be pleased with how all he fought for has turned into dooey. Even more interesting would be what he would think of the pissant in the White House who tries to pass himself off as the reincarnation of Dr. King.

11 posted on 01/28/2013 11:22:28 AM PST by fatnotlazy
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To: Chi-townChief

Somebody needs to tally his bananas.

12 posted on 01/28/2013 11:32:30 AM PST by beethovenfan (If Islam is the solution, the "problem" must be freedom.)
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To: beethovenfan

who cares what this dried up liberal persimmon thinks or says. piss be upon him. lol.

13 posted on 01/28/2013 11:50:27 AM PST by Gasshog (Welcome to the United States of Stupidos!)
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To: Candor7

MLK claimed to be working for liberty. and notwithstanding the egregious racial bigotry of his time, he should have completely rejected the murderous tyranny of Marxism and communism as an unacceptable palliative in ANY context.
I wish to make it clear that I think that Martin Luther King was a man of enormous courage, charisma, and intellect that profoundly altered the course of American history and made it a better country in so far has its promise of justice for all is concerned.
This does not mean however that his legacy to the Civil Rights movement has been one of unalloyed good. I believe much of his bequeathment resulted in an over reliance on big government statist solutions to problems within the black community that require individual initiatives to correct. Martin Luther King’s frequent references to this nation’s founding documents are well known. His reflections on Communism are much less well known and undoubtedly contributed to his general philosophy. We owe it to ourselves to examine the effects of this legacy and contextualize it so has to solve the problems facing the black community today.
While King himself was not a communist, he did business with communists and was influenced by them. This delicate subject, made more so given the martyrdom and subsequent lionization of King, should nevertheless be broached as a means of providing insight into some of the darker forces that worked their way into what was essentially a pro American, conservative, Christian civil rights movement.
King surrounded himself with communists from the beginning of his career. His closest advisor Stanley Levison was a Communist. The Southern Christian Leadership Conference, formed in 1957 and led by King, had Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth as Vice President who was at the same time president of the Southern Conference Education Fund, an identified communist front according to the Legislative Committee on un-American Activities, Louisiana (Report April 13, 1964 pp. 31-38). The field director of SCEF was Carl Braden, a known communist agitator who was also involved in the Fair Play for Cuba Committee, which counted Lee Harvey Oswald, the communist assassin of President Kennedy as a member. King maintained regular correspondence with Carl Braden. Bayard Rustin, a known communist, was also on the board of SCLC.
Dr. King addressed the Highlander Folk School in Monteagle, Tenn., 1957, previously known as the Commonwealth College until the House Committee on un-American Activities sited it as a communist front (April 27, 1949). HCAA found that Commonwealth was using religion as a way to infiltrate the African-American community by, among other techniques, comparing New Testament texts to those of Karl Marx. King knew many communists associated with the Highlander school.
King hired communist official Hunter Pitts O’Dell, 1960, at the SCLC. The St. Louis Globe Democrat reported (Oct. 26, 1962) “A Communist has infiltrated the top administrative post in the Rev. Martin Luther King’s SCLC. He is Jack H. O’Dell, acting executive director of conference activities in the southeastern states including Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana.” Dr. King fired O’Dell when this became public but subsequently rehired him to head the SCLC New York office.
King himself expresses a Marxist outlook in his book “Stride Toward Freedom” when he stated, “in spite of the shortcomings of his analysis, Marx had raised some basic questions. I was deeply concerned from my early teen days about the gulf between superfluous wealth and abject poverty, and my reading of Marx made me even more conscious of this gulf. Although modern American capitalism has greatly reduced the gap through social reforms, there was still need for a better distribution of wealth. Moreover, Marx had revealed the danger of the profit motive as the sole basis of an economic system”
King, unfortunately, didn’t understand that it was Capitalism and freedom that was responsible for the successes the African-American community already had achieved in his day and the key to future success. By “better distribution of wealth” King meant state control over the economy. His contempt for “the profit motive” was unfortunate given that African-Americans should’ve been encouraged by their leaders to seek fair profit to the best of their ability. King’s leftist ideas contributed to an opening of the floodgates to such radicals as Stokley Carmichael, H. Rap Brown, the Black Panthers, as well as the burning and looting of African-American neighborhoods, the institutionalizing of poverty perpetrating welfare, the destruction of the family, drugs, violence, racism, and crime.
In “Stride Toward Freedom” Dr. King states “In short, I read Marx as I read all of the influential historical thinkers from a dialectical point of view, combining a partial yea and a partial no. My readings of Marx convinced me that truth is found neither in Marxism nor in traditional capitalism. Each represents a partial truth. Historically capitalism failed to see truth in collective enterprise and Marxism failed to see the truth in individual enterprise. The Kingdom of God is neither the thesis of individual enterprise nor the antithesis of collective enterprise, but a synthesis which reconciles the truths of both.”
King, like Marx, Lenin, and Stalin, had “a dialectical point of view.” The goal of the dialectic is authoritarianism. A nation, to paraphrase Abraham Lincoln, cannot be half free and half slave. By advocating socialism, King chose an imperious stand toward his own people in contrast to a stand for genuine freedom, self-rule, self-sufficiency, private ownership, and the accumulation of capital. King did not advocate the American system of free market capitalism. Instead, he stood for a system that has stunted the growth of African-Americans as well as the rest of us.
All Marxists believe in Hegelian Dialectics. This is a belief that “progress” is achieved through conflict between opposing viewpoints. Any ideological assertion (thesis) will create its own opposite (antithesis). Progress is achieved when a conclusion (synthesis) is reached which espouses aspects of both the thesis and antithesis.
For example, Hitler had a dialectical point of view. He rejected Marxist class warfare, but embraced the basic socialist idea of the insignificance of the individual compared to the collective state.
This belief in dialectical progress is why liberals pit the rich against the poor, old against young, black against white, men against women, gay against straight, ad nauseam.
This issue is somewhat clouded by what Dr. King wrote in his 1957 book “Stride toward Freedom: the Montgomery story”, in which he wrote the following devastating critique of the sort of communism practiced in the Communist super state of the Union of Soviet Socialist republics.
“During the Christmas holidays of 1949 I decided to spend my spare time reading Karl Marx to try to understand the appeal of communism for many people. For the first time I carefully scrutinized *Das Kapital and The Communist Manifesto. I also read some interpretive works on the thinking of Marx and Lenin. In reading such Communist writings I drew certain conclusions that have remained with me as convictions to this day.
First, I rejected their materialistic interpretation of history. Communism, avowedly secularist and materialistic, has no place for God. This I could never accept, for as a Christian, I believe that there is a creative personal power in the universe who is the ground and essence of all reality-a power that cannot be explained in materialistic terms. History is ultimately guided by spirit, not matter.
Second, I strongly disagreed with communism’s ethical relativism. Since for the Communist there is no divine government, no absolute moral order, there are no fixed, immutable principles; consequently almost anything-force, violence murder, lying-is a justifiable means to the ‘millennial’ end. This type of relativism was abhorrent to me. Constructive ends can never give absolute moral justification to destructive means, because in the final analysis the end is pre-existent in the means.
Third, I opposed communism’s political totalitarianism. In communism, the individual ends up in subjection to the state. True, the Marxists would argue that the state is an ‘interim’ reality which is to be eliminated when the classless society emerges; but the state is the end while it lasts, and man is only a means to that end. And if man’s so-called rights and liberties stand in the way of that end, they are simply swept aside. His liberties of expression, his freedom to vote, and his freedom to listen to what news he likes or to choose his books are all restricted. Man becomes hardly more, in communism, than a depersonalized cog in the turning wheel of the state.
This deprecation of individual freedom was objectionable to me. I am convinced now, as I was then, that man is an end because he is a child of God. Man is not made for the state; the state is made for man. To deprive man of freedom is to relegate him to the status of a thing, rather than elevate him to the status of a person. Man must never be treated as means to the end of the state; but always as an end within himself.”
Martin Luther King Jr., *Stride Toward Freedom: The Montgomery Story* (New York: Harper and Row, 1957), 92-93
Don’t forget that the above was written in 1957, a period in which the oppressions of the Soviet Union are painfully evident, evidenced by the brutal repression of the Hungarian uprising in 1956. At the time Stride toward Freedom was written, domestic attitudes toward communism could not have been more hostile. Toward the end of Dr. Martin Luther King’s life, the counterculture revolution of the sixties and the leftist tinted civil rights movement made favorable considerations of communism generally more palatable.
• King wrote in Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community? “I am now convinced…the solution to poverty is to abolish it directly by a now widely discussed measure: the guaranteed income.” But “to ensure that the guaranteed income operates as a consistently progressive measure” it “must be pegged to the median income of society, not the lowest levels of income” and “must automatically increase as the total social income grows.” So far, his proposal was not materially different from Huey Long’s Share Our Wealth program. This was from his later works, but he had voiced support for “a modified form of socialism” for some time. While accepting his Nobel Peace Prize in 1964, King told the press, “We feel we have much to learn from Scandinavia’s democratic socialist tradition and from the manner in which you have overcome many of the social and economic problems that still plague far more powerful and affluent nations. “Whenever the issue of compensatory treatment for the Negro is raised, some of our friends recoil in horror. The Negro should be granted equality, they agree; but he should ask nothing more. On the surface, this appears reasonable, but it is not realistic.”

• “A society that has done something special against the Negro for hundreds of years must now do something special for the Negro.”; and
• “Within common law we have ample precedents for special compensatory programs.”

While Martin Luther King Day should be one of reflection and appreciation for what has been accomplished, and a reckoning of what still needs to be done, it should also be a day of understanding, in terms clear of emotionally driven rhetoric, where the civil rights movement went wrong. A major key to this understanding, I would contend, is the destructive effects that communist ideas and outright infiltration has had on the African-American community. Communists tried to use African-Americans as cannon fodder by stoking hatred and racial division. A predominantly white left-wing establishment promoted Black communists in order to preserve an informal system of oppression.
The fact is that he WAS a socialist and that goes to the heart of what went wrong with the civil rights establishment after the legal battles against codified discrimination were won.

I am a black man who has been getting calluses on my dome from butting heads with those in my community who refuse to relinquish big government statist solutions for the problems plaguing the black community in favor of free market solutions that are far more appropriate today. These forces frequently cite Dr. King and use his exhortations to government to lead the way. They specifically cite his socialist outlook as justification for their continuance. The two parent black family was destroyed by LBJ’s welfare state. That was the worst cultural calamity to EVER befall the black community in the US, and the most destructive force in its cultural life notwithstanding the imposition of Jim Crow law via the Supreme Court’s Plessy v Fergueson decision. MLK was a leading proponent for expanding the welfare state, whose baleful effects were just beginning to be seen in the black community.

MLK was a man of enormous charisma and courage and certainly a pivotal figure in the civil rights movement. There is much about him that I admire. An assessment of his life could creditably yield the adjective of great. Despite that, he does not deserve to be the ONLY American with his own holiday named after him. That honor should be reserved for only one person in American history, the greatest of all Americans, George Washington. More so than any other SINGLE figure in our history, he was the “indispensable man.” Without his courage, acumen, honor, and integrity, the US would simply not exist, and if it did, it probably would have been as a monarchy and certainly not as a constitutional republic.

MLK’s birthday holiday was a sop to PC and a reflection of the DemocRAT Congress that voted it. The depth of MLK’s association with the most anti-freedom ideology (Communism) of our time will prove to very discomfiting when it is fully revealed. Additionally, MLK’s legacy to the modern day civil rights movement is a socialist bequeathment that of looking to big government solutions for many of the behavioral problems in today’s black community. MLK continues to cast a long shadow over most of the modern day civil rights establishment and black politicians who largely reject free market, educationally based solutions to the unique problems plaguing the black community.

14 posted on 01/28/2013 11:55:35 AM PST by DMZFrank
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To: ReformationFan

“‘In 2002, Belafonte likened Secretary of State Colin Powell to a “house slave” for his acquiescence to the invasion of Iraq.’”

“The Belafonte Banana Boat!” Powell, Farrakhan, and Harry himself. Here’s hoping The Lord “tallies their bananas” sooner rather than later. Traitors all!

15 posted on 01/28/2013 12:02:35 PM PST by vette6387
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To: Chi-townChief

16 posted on 01/28/2013 12:27:30 PM PST by kanawa (First they came for the 'pit bulls'...)
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To: kanawa

Looks like Harry painted on the Gorby mark.

17 posted on 01/28/2013 12:39:25 PM PST by Chi-townChief
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To: Chi-townChief

Oh the irony, seeng as Michael King was fond of plagiarising the words of others himself.

18 posted on 01/28/2013 1:03:49 PM PST by mrsmel (One Who Can See)
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To: I Shall Endure

He was also moving towards a more “activist” (violent) ideology, feeling that he was going to become irrelevant as the “young turks” who advocated violence, such as the Black Panthers, were the rising stars.

19 posted on 01/28/2013 1:06:50 PM PST by mrsmel (One Who Can See)
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