Dr. Martin Luther King

MLK's struggle against white moderates

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Hypocrisy can be a tough nut to crack:

After the Watts uprising, Dr. King focused on the racial dishonesty of the North which “showered praise on the heroism of Southern Negroes.” But concerning local conditions, “only the language was polite; the rejection was firm and unequivocal.” The uneven attention was clear, he noted: “As the nation, Negro and white, trembled with outrage at police brutality in the South, police misconduct in the North was rationalized, tolerated and usually denied.”

Dr. King also highlighted white people’s illegal behavior that helped produced Northern ghettos: The white man “flagrantly violates building codes and regulations, his police make a mockery of law, and he violates laws on equal employment and education and the provisions for civic services,” he said in an address to the American Psychological Association in 1967.

I hesitated to write about this today, because it's eerily similar to what many Southern apologists have clung to in the past: That Northern racism was/is just as bad (if not worse) than here. But I see many parallels of 1960's New York/New Jersey in North Carolina's suburban and exurban communities today, so taking a closer look won't hurt anything but our feelings:

'It is love that will save our world'


Cross-posted from a Facing South article by Sue Sturgis.


With the American people still struggling to make sense of the recent shootings in Arizona and the role that violent political rhetoric may have played, we revisit the words of the minister from Georgia who we honor this weekend.
Following is the text of a sermon Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered on Nov. 17, 1957 at Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Ala. Eleven months earlier, King and other civil rights activists had founded the Southern Christian Leadership Conference to harness the power of African-American churches in the fight for racial justice -- a fight that was met with violence both rhetorical and very real.

In fact, the sermon was delivered a year before King was almost killed -- stabbed in the chest by a mentally ill woman who believed that King and the NAACP were communists conspiring to keep her from getting a job.

From his hospital room in Harlem, Dr. King issued a statement bearing no ill will toward his assailant, Izola Ware Curry, and hoping she would get help. King saw the incident not as an attack on one man, but as an attack of hatred.

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