Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. – Why He Died & Why It Matters!
TRANSCEND MEMBERS, 7 Apr 2014
Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., the apostle of non-violence, was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee on April 4, 1968. This year marks the 46 anniversary of his death. Many remember him for his civil rights work against segregation, his principled commitment to non-violence, and his famous “I Have a Dream” speech in the summer of 1963 delivered in Washington D.C. Fewer people remember him for his work for economic justice and an end to the U.S. war in Vietnam. Very few people realize that a jury in the wrongful death suit brought by the King family found that Dr. King’s death was “an act of State.” In short, King’s death was an inside job – a government operation, not the work of a lone assassin.
On April 4, 1968, Dr. King was in Memphis to support garbage workers on strike. He was on his way around the country mobilizing for a poor peoples march on Washington, D.C. in the summer of 68. But this time Dr. King wasn’t going to deliver a speech and go home. He planned to stay and shut down the nation’s capitol, if necessary, through massive non-violent civil disobedience. King was calling for fundamental structural change in the U.S. He was calling for economic justice and peace. King believed that racism, militarism, and extreme materialism were the giant triplets of interrelated evil at the root of violence and human suffering that had to be overcome if society was to be transformed. The national security state that profits from feeding off the evil giant triplets of racism, militarism and extreme materialism said King had to go. His capacity for mobilizing millions was too much of a threat to changing the economic and political system that benefits the few at the expense of the many, and the earth itself.
Today, the disparities in wealth are far greater than when Dr. King lived. Now the top 1% has 65 times the wealth of the bottom 50%. Racism still runs rampant. African Americans and Native Hawaiians are disproportionately represented in the U.S. and Hawaii prison systems. And violence remains as American as apple pie. What Dr. King said 46 years ago still holds true: The U.S. is “the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today.” Amen and mahalo Dr. King!
Peace Demands Economic Justice!
Never Give Up! We Shall Overcome! Resist with Aloha!
Ground the Drones! Say No to War!
- Mourn all victims of violence.
- Reject war as a solution.
- Defend civil liberties.
- Oppose all discrimination, anti-Islamic, anti-Semitic, anti-Hawaiian, etc.
- Seek peace by peaceful means through justice in Hawai`i and around the world.
Hilo Peace Vigil leaflet (April 11, 2014 –655th week) – Friday 3:30-5PM downtown Post Office
James Albertini is a member of the TRANSCEND Network for Peace, Development and Environment and director of Malu `Aina Center for Non-violent Education & Action – P.O. Box AB Kurtistown, Hawai`i, 96760, USA. Phone 001 808 966 762 email firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.malu-aina.org.
This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 7 Apr 2014.
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