Black Agenda Radio Commentaries
News, analysis and commentary on the human condition from a black left perspective.

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

If ever there were a Black leader whose political motivations and inclinations could be predicted, it was MLK, one of the most documented leaders in American history. His steadfast, coherent, courageous positions on issues of peace and social justice remained consistent even as they evolved. If he were alive, Dr. King “would not be erecting a protective barrier around Barack Obama, the First Black President of the United States, but would instead confront him.”

 

What Would MLK DO, in 2011?

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

He would not shrink from denouncing and opposing Obama’s wars.”

What would Dr. King do? It’s that time of year, and always a good time to ask that question. We can begin to answer it by saying what the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. who was assassinated on April 4, 1968 would NOT be doing: he would not be erecting a protective barrier around Barack Obama, the First Black President of the United States, but would instead confront him. He would not shrink from denouncing and opposing Obama’s wars. Dr. King would never passively tolerate the wholesale consumption of the American state by Wall Street. He would not have stood by for four decades while the United States created a system of mass Black incarceration that has now been dubbed the New Jim Crow. And we know he would have found it impossible to sit still while George Bush and then Barack Obama turned public education into a stifling exercise in learning-for-the-test.

Why are we see confident about how Dr. King would respond to contemporary crises if he were alive, today? Because King left a great bounty of documentation, enough writings, speeches, papers, and interviews to make Confucius envious.

Therefore, we have every reason to believe that Dr. King would vigorously oppose President Obama’s war budgets, the biggest in American history. “A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift,” said Dr. King, “is approaching spiritual doom.” But King was concerned about bread and butter issues as well. “One of the greatest casualties of the war in Vietnam is the Great Society,” which the Southern Christian Leadership Conference Leader said was “shot down on the battlefield of Vietnam.

King left a great bounty of documentation, enough writings, speeches, papers, and interviews to make Confucius envious.”

Dr. King would have been unceasing in his opposition to mass Black incarceration. In early 1968, King declared: “It is incontestable and deplorable that Negroes have committed crimes; but they are derivative crimes. They are born of the greater crimes of the white society.”

He would have been moved to action by the U.S. Supreme Court's decision allowing corporations to be treated as having the same rights of persons. “Property,” said Dr. King, “is intended to serve life, and no matter how much we surround it with rights and respect, it has no personal being. It is part of the earth man walks on. It is not man.”

Plus, we know MLK was a Democratic socialist, because he said so.

Dr. King, the intellectual, the philosopher, made himself clear on the value and uses of education back in 1947, when he was a student at Morehouse College, in Atlanta. “The function of education,” said the very young man, “is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character - that is the goal of true education.” It is inconceivable that King would have permitted No Child Left Behind and its destructive derivatives to wreck the learning experiences of the nation's children without a fight.

Dr. King would actively oppose Barack Obama's policies because, as he said: “He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it.”

For Black Agenda Radio, I'm Glen Ford. On the web, go to www.BlackAgendaReport.com.

BAR executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted at Glen.Ford@BlackAgendaReport.com.

Direct download: 20110112_gf_MLK.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:23am EDT