Tonight on the Terrordome: the US Gov't Role in Murdering MLK
Who has the power to kill a King?
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was a brilliant organiser and theoretician for what is usually called the American Civil Rights Movement, but what should really be called the American Human Rights Movement. While no mass movement can achieve victories without the work of every person involved, in this case, hundreds of thousands of people, no one can deny that Dr. King was instrumental in inspiring and teaching the many activists who would join the movement. Unfortunately, the legacy of Dr. King has been distorted.
Conservative forces, especially in corporate media, have frozen Dr. King at 1963’s March on Washington, repeating endlessly the empty phrase “I Have a Dream.”
The effect is to limit King to someone who merely had visions rather than plans, who was a prophet rather than a democratic organiser, who had heart rather than intellect.
This limitation also places the blame for American White Supremacy solely on the heads of Southern Euro-Americans, rather than the giant Northern establishment which would fiercely attack King as he brought his campaigns to the North. Or, for that matter, the Northerners as represented by the Kennedys who had King under constant FBI surveillance, and the FBI itself which targeted King for a counter-intelligence programme that threatened to expose King’s extramarital affairs and even tried to prompt him to commit suicide.
The freezing of King in 1963 denies King’s having learned from Malcolm X, especially as the two were working in 1964 to forge an alliance, as described in Karl Evanzz’s brilliant book The Judas Factor: The Plot to Kill Malcolm X. King learned from Malcolm X about the international dimension of racial struggle, especially against imperialism. King would go on to denounce American hegemony, saying in 1967 that “the greatest purveyor of violence in the world is my own government.”
(Muhammad Ali: "No Vietnamese ever called me nigger.")
King’s consciousness of struggle had broadened over the years, as his denunciation of American militarism clearly demonstrates. By 1968 he was demonstrating that the civil right to spend money wherever one wanted was not enough--prior to that was the need was to earn money. He was organising in Memphis, lending his help to the striking sanitation workers, a mostly Black work force. The next day, on Thursday, April 4, 1968, Dr. King was assassinated. James Earl Ray was convicted of the crime, but to this day numerous investigators and the King family itself deny that Ray was the assassin. Given the FBI record of counterintelligence which included disruption and outright murder, many people assert that the real assassins are likely to have been paid agents of American power.
One of the most important voices to probe such terrible depths is investigator and international attorney William F. Pepper, author of Orders to Kill and An Act of State: The Execution of Martin Luther King. Pepper has been a friend of King and his family since the 1960s, and at his family’s request fought and won a civil suit against a man named Loyde Jowers, and “government agencies including the City of Memphis, the State of Tennessee, and the federal government, [who] were party to the conspiracy to assassinate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.” Shockingly--or perhaps not surprisingly--thanks to corporate media, that trial and victory, now seven years old, are unknown to almost everyone in North America.
On April the 4th, the 38th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. King, William F. Pepper spoke at Roxbury Community College in Boston. The audio of his speech is courtesy of Active Ingredients Radio.
Listen to tonight's edition of The Terrordome: The Africa All-World News Service for the first of a four part series on this tragedy in American history.
Time: 6 PM Mountain in Edmonton on CJSR FM-88
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