1/19/09

Martin Luther King, Jr & Howard Zinn

On this Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday here in the United States, there are many speeches of our country's secular saint being broadcast. Approaching King from a different perspective is Howard Zinn in this excerpt from Democracy Now 1/20/05, the day of President George W. Bush's 2nd inauguration.

"HOWARD ZINN: It’s interesting that the inauguration should come a few days after the celebration of Martin Luther King’s birthday, because here we have Bush being inaugurated as President after the—all of the hypocritical statements made on Martin Luther King’s birthday by our leading politicians, and who talk sort of very rhapsodically about Martin Luther King, but absolutely really taking what he stands for and pushing it aside, because Bush represents everything that Martin Luther King opposed. I mean, King spoke against the Vietnam War. He had a famous speech at Riverside church in 1967. Here we are inaugurated a President who has given us two wars in his first term, and is probably planning more wars. Here is King who stood for non-violence, and here is Bush, who represents the most violent nation in history, and—well, King himself called the United States at that time in Vietnam, you know, the greatest purveyor of violence in the world. What he said in 1967 certainly applies to the United States today. And I think that the spirit of King, the spirit of opposing war, standing for non-violence, is something that animates the people who are demonstrating against Bush today in Washington, and in San Francisco and in New Orleans, and in New York and Boston...

We have the evidence that all over the world, people—people are mourning the ascension of Bush to his second term as President. That it’s hopeful that we have sort of a worldwide movement that is determined not to—to put an end to war and create a different kind of world. I think that’s something to feel encouraged about, even as all of this pomp and circumstance of the inauguration goes on."

Switching to another part that's often glossed over in the mainstream coverage of MLK, click here for an article from Covert Action Quarterly, written by Howard Zinn, about the FBI's harassment & investigation of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Finally, here's a blog post that has an article that- Obama-worshipping aside- examines MLK's radical side through direct quotes.

P.S.- Check out the great AT Howard Zinn cds here!

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