Saturday, August 24, 2013

King: He Wasn't the Most Important Civil Rights Leader

Martin Luther King: Overrated as the leader of the movement.
Okay, okay, I understand Martin Luther King is an important figure in the history of civil rights in America, it's just that I believe--and always have--that he is overrated. His message of passive resistance, though sensible, was not what led to legislation and cultural change for African-Americans in our country. We're heading into the week of his "I have a dream" speech (the one his family owns and markets for stacks of loot) and we will be assaulted this week with his overblown importance.

Angela Davis
Civil rights was accomplished--to the degree it has been accomplished--much more readily by people like Rap Brown, Stokely Carmichael, Angela Davis, the Black Panthers and other militants, people who rioted, blew up buildings, threatened white people with violence--and scared the shit out of their oppressors.

King, by himself (and his small legion of pacifists), would not have accomplished nearly as much, nearly so quickly without the flames in the background. He was a man who spoke with some degree of talent and eloquence and he certainly believed that violence was not the answer.
Stokley Carmichael

I say all this, even though I am primarily a pacifist in most instances. Violence is awful, but violence is sometimes the only way we get heard. Certainly if you were black in the 1950s and early 1960s, white people's ears were not going to perk up just because you had a good argument and stated it well. It took dynamite in the front yard, in much the same way that white supremacists burned crosses in the yards of black people for many years.

Rap Brown
King was valuable in his way. He just wasn't an MVP. He was more a guard or a center on the football team with quarterback Stokley Carmichael throwing long bombs to Angela Davis and Rap Brown for touchdowns.


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