Skip to comments.Socialist "Saint" - Martin Luther King
Posted on 01/24/2003 2:12:52 PM PST by Tailgunner Joe
Revered as a virtuous American hero, the real Martin Luther King, Jr. colluded with Communists, plagiarized his doctoral thesis, and led an immoral lifestyle.
Fifty years ago, a black preachers speech captured the dream of a nation from which racial turmoil had been abolished. "We, Negro-Americans, sing with all loyal Americans: My country, tis of thee, sweet land of liberty; of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the Pilgrims pride. From every mountain side, let freedom ring!"
"Thats exactly what we mean," continued the preacher as he built to a dramatic climax. "From every mountain side, let freedom ring. Not only from the Green Mountains and the White Mountains of Vermont and New Hampshire; not only from the Catskills of New York; but from the Ozarks in Arkansas, from the Stone Mountain in Georgia, from the Great Smokies of Tennessee and from the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia let it ring."
Pastor Archibald Carey spoke these words during the 1952 Republican National Convention. Eleven years later, Martin Luther King, Jr. appropriated Careys summation as part of his "I Have A Dream" speech on the Washington Mall. King kept the theme and cadences of Careys speech, while altering some of the details. This was in keeping with Kings previous practice of plagiarism, particularly his plundering of a doctoral dissertation by a scholar named Jack Boozer.
As Theodore Pappas documents in his study Plagiarism and the Culture War, Kings dissertation abounds in passages taken without citation from Boozers work, including errors in grammar and punctuation. Kings theft of another scholars work, comments Pappas, "was an indefensible act that should warrant the revocation of his Ph.D." Liberal author Gary Wills made the same point albeit in an endnote in his 1994 book Certain Trumpets.
Boston Universitys posthumous revocation of Kings doctoral degree would address a long-standing academic outrage. But it would be much more worthwhile and far more difficult to revoke Kings status as a civic demigod. Every year Americans are required to pay homage to King as an exemplar of tolerance, courage, and virtue. He is the only American to be honored with his own holiday and his chief claim to such saintly status is the plagiarized "I Have a Dream" speech.
In April of 1993, Senator Harris Wofford of Pennsylvania cosponsored a measure entitled the "King Holiday and Service Act," the purpose of which was to "encourage" Americans to devote Martin Luther King Day to acts of "community service." In his speech introducing that legislation, Senator Wofford recalled the words spoken by Christ over the Last Supper: "This do in remembrance of me." In what can only be considered an act of conscious blasphemy, Wofford asked his Senate colleagues: "What should we do in remembrance of Martin?"
According to Wofford, Kings public utterances bear the mark of divinity. "Words Martins words will always be part of what we celebrate," Wofford reverently declared. Republican Senator Dave Durenberger piously seconded Woffords view: "Never before has it been more important for our young people to hear Dr. Kings words." Such pronouncements provide bitter humor to those who understand that Martin Luther King, Jr.s career was propelled by political opportunism and adorned with pilfered eloquence.
Credentials for Canonization?
Some of Kings defenders insist that he was working within a tradition called "voice merging," in which black preachers would freely share sermons without attribution. While this might explain why King felt free to help himself to the work of Pastor Carey with whom he maintained a correspondence it would not justify violating established scholarly guidelines for writing a doctoral dissertation. Besides, if plagiarism can be dismissed as "voice merging," adultery could be dismissed as "spouse merging" and as it happens, King indulged in that vice as well.
In his 1983 book The FBI and Martin Luther King, Jr. which was in many ways a favorable treatment of King investigative author David Garrow describes the findings compiled by the FBIs investigation of the civil rights leader. That investigation was ordered by Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, who was concerned about Kings habit of consorting with Communists. According to Garrow, the FBI learned that King was also involved in "embezzlement, employing prostitutes, alienating wives affections from their husbands, and violation of the Mann Act" (by taking women across state lines for immoral purposes). In 1989, the Reverend Ralph Abernathy, Kings successor as head of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, published a memoir disclosing that King spent the night before he was killed in a sexual liaison with a female friend.
Hypocritically, while King felt free to steal from other scholars and preachers, he took great care to protect his own work from similar treatment. Pappas points out that "King took, copyrighted, and later defended his legal right to the words and thoughts" of Pastor Carey. In January 1997, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change, which is headed by Kings son Dexter, struck a marketing deal with Time-Warner. The media conglomerate agreed to produce and market books and other products using Kings writings, thereby netting the King estate an estimated $30-50 million over five years.
As Pappas reports: "At the heart of the deal is aggressive enforcement of the hundreds of copyrights that King placed on his writings and on his most famous speeches in particular. Most disturbing has been the King familys aggressive profiteering toward those wanting to praise King by quoting the I Have a Dream speech. For instance, the King estate sued USA Today demanding a $1,700 licensing fee plus legal costs after the paper quoted the speech in praise of King."
Apostle of Socialism
In 1997, Professor Larry Hofford of St. Marys University lamented: "Naming a national holiday after the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. has proven to be a mistake." Professor Hofford, a self-described "progressive," complained that Kings image "has been so watered down that the picture of him is that of a mainstream reformer who led a movement to end legal segregation. The result is that no person in a position of authority in the United States could possibly experience any discomfort with this image."
Hofford continued: "What is missing from most of the Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebrations is any discussion of the radical King [who] put forth a philosophy and theology stressing the need to balance individual will with community will." Hofford recalls that King was a strident opponent of capitalism, a Marxist liberation theologian who preached that "the problem of racism, the problem of economic exploitation and the problem of war are all tied together." King sought not only an end to legally enforced racial segregation, but also a radical restructuring of American society.
In a September 1967 speech in Atlanta, King condemned capitalism as an inherently unjust economic system and declared that his movement was devoted to "restructuring the whole of American society." In Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community?, a book published in that same year, King endorsed the time-honored socialist demand for a guaranteed minimum annual wage, which would be "pegged to the median income of society" and would "automatically increase as the total social income grows." In this particular example of literary "borrowing," King was merging his voice with that of Karl Marx, who coined the phrase "from each according to his ability, to each according to his need."
King also bared his socialist inclinations in a lengthy interview he granted to Playboy, a strange pulpit for a man of God to employ. In the porn magazines January 1965 issue, King moralized that "all of Americas wealth today could not adequately compensate its Negroes for his [sic] centuries of exploitation and humiliation." Anticipating the contemporary movement demanding "reparations" for slavery, he insisted that black Americans be given preferential economic treatment. Of course, this would provoke similar demands from "the disadvantaged of all races" a prospect King welcomed: "I do not intend that this program of economic aid should apply only to the Negro.... We must develop a federal program of public works, retraining and jobs for all...."
Asked about the role of Communists in his entourage, King quipped: "There are as many Communists in this freedom movement as there are Eskimos in Florida." The real issue, of course, was not the number of Communists involved in Kings movement, but their influence. Martin Luther Kings long-term advisor and occasional speechwriter was New York attorney Stanley Levison, whom federal investigators identified as a Communist agent. Levison arranged for King to hire Hunter Pitts ODell, a member of the National Committee of the Communist Party, as his executive assistant. In 1962, Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy warned King that Communist agents were manipulating King. In 1963, President John F. Kennedy reiterated this warning, offering a personal appeal to King to sever his ties to Levison and ODell: "Theyre Communists. Youve got to get rid of them."
In a 1979 hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee, black civil rights activist Julia Brown testified of extensive connections between King and the Communist Party. Like other Americans concerned about race relations, Brown had joined a "civil rights" group only to learn that it was a Communist front. After she took her concerns to the FBI, Brown was asked to work within the Party as an undercover operative. In her 1979 testimony, Brown recalled: "The [Communist] cells that I was associated with in Cleveland were continually being asked to raise money for Martin Luther Kings activities and to support his movement.... [W]hile I was in the Communist Party I knew Martin Luther King to be closely connected with the Communist Party."
Regarding the proposal for a King holiday, Brown declared: "If this measure is passed honoring Martin Luther King, we may as well take down the stars and stripes that flies over this building and replace it with a red flag." In light of the Establishments success in canonizing King, Browns words are sobering indeed.
Alger Hiss never joined it either, and he certainly publicly disavowed Marxism.
Why would anyone believe a word King had to say about his political allegiances and convictions when he was willing to lie to his doctoral committee and steal other peoples' work?
King openly espoused all the talking points which the CPUSA espoused - Soviet-style "full employment laws", unilateral disarmament, etc.
If it walks like a duck and talks like a duck . . .
From 1955 to 1960, Martin Luther King's associate, advisor, and personal secretary was one Bayard Rustin. In 1936 Rustin joined the Young Communist League at New York City College. Convicted of draft-dodging, he went to prison for two years in 1944. On January 23, 1953 the "Los Angeles Times" reported his conviction and sentencing to jail for 60 days for lewd vagrancy and homosexual perversion. Rustin attended the 16th Convention of the Communist Party, USA in February, 1957. One month later, he and King founded the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, or SCLC for short. The president of the SCLC was Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The vice-president of the SCLC was the Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth, who was also the president of an identified Communist front known as the Southern Conference Educational Fund, an organization whose field director, a Mr. Carl Braden, was simultaneously a national sponsor of the Fair Play for Cuba Committee, of which you may have heard. The program director of the SCLC was the Reverend Andrew Young, in more recent years Jimmy Carter's ambassador to the UN and mayor of Atlanta. Young, by the way, was trained at the Highlander Folk School, previously mentioned.
Soon after returning from a trip to Moscow in 1958, Rustin organized the first of King's famous marches on Washington. The official organ of the Communist Party, "The Worker,- - openly declared the march to be a Communist project. Although he left King's employ as secretary in 1961, Rustin was called upon by King to be second in command of the much larger march on Washington which took place on August 28, 1963.
Bayard Rustin's replacement in 1961 as secretary and advisor to King was Jack O'Dell, also known as Hunter Pitts O'Dell. According to official records, in 1962 Jack O'Dell was a member of the National Committee of the Communist Party, USA. He had been listed as a Communist Party member as early as 1956. O'Dell was also given the job of acting executive director for SCLC activities for the entire Southeast, according to the St. Louis "Globe-Democrat - -of October 26, 1962. At that time, there were still some patriots in the press corps, and word of O'Dell's party membership became known.
The man himself is not important, only his words are.
I'm sure the Communists thought that King's death would bring a final race war, followed by the collapse of America, they were counting on. But what it did was freeze him in time when the movement was pretending all it wanted was "equality". King has become a huge weapon against affirmative action. Irony.
The good news for you, though, is that it doesn't look like MLK Jr's reputation can get any higher. I suspect the personality-oriented aspects of the holiday will decline, and King's birthday will be commemorated more as a tribute to justice and integration and not to one man.
So what? I do.
So go after them. Its stupid to pick on the dead guy.
I've joined this forum as a African American- and a liberal. With that being known I would like to say that I knew about King's adultery plagiarism and everything else. But before you all try to say how terrible he was you must understand why King is held in such high acclaim. He was seen by the whites in power- republican and democrat as a reasonable black leader- he wanted a change but he would only offend the most conservative ultra racist whites. Many blacks then and now believe King to be a Uncle Tom. Whites and blacks alike liked the man because his main goal was to get in the master's house- why do you think the same thing hasn't happened for Malcolm X- he was too radical- for all whites and most blacks. But before you condemn King you should realize all heroes in American lore are mytholized- there's not a single white, black, or otherwise hero who's misdeeds aren't overlooked. Jefferson the so-called greatest American was a slave holder- Lincoln did NOT care about the slaves- Jesse Jackson is an adulterer- The Bush family stands hand in hand with the house of Saud- Woodrow Wilson was a racist- Helen Keller a socialist. i have tried to list liberal and conservative "heroes" to make the point America, and Americans are always in the process of hero making. Just because a certain "hero" doesn't fit your fancy- that's fine but don't deny the facts- all these people are human and all humans are flawed. Show me a flawless individual- we might be dead because we'd be looking at Jesus. I have a problem with anyone liberal or conservative who won't state the truth. Yes MLK was a flawed man who is canonized in America- but so is everyone else who has a holiday or statue in their honor. And remember- Republicans and Democrats alike praise King.
In an era where virtually no public figure dare speak forthrightly on the subject, and even many self-styled conservatives praise Martin Luther King, the fact remains that the only American to be honored with a national holiday does not deserve the accolades he received posthumously. He was a leftist who opposed the Vietnam War and, as this article points out, supported socialist policies and associated with Communists. Furthermore, his personal life was far from exemplary, as this article suggests.
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