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there are three ways that individuals who are oppressed can deal with their oppression. one of them is to rise up against their oppressors with physical violence and corroding hatred. but oh this isn’t the way. violence creates many more social problems than it solves. another way is to acquiesce and to give in, to resign yourself to the oppression. but that too isn’t the way, because non-cooperation with evil is as much a moral obligation as is cooperation with good.

but there is another way. and that is to organize mass non violent resistance based on the principle of love. where there is something about hate that tears down and is destructive, there is something about love that builds up and is creative. love is the only creative, redemptive, transforming power in the universe.

when you rise to the level of love, of its great beauty and power, you seek only to defeat evil systems. individuals who happen to be caught up in that system, you love. but you seek to defeat the system. you just keep loving people, even though they’re mistreating you. i’m foolish enough to believe that through the power of this love, somewhere men of the most recalcitrant bent will be transformed.

edited from a november 17, 1957 sermon by martin luther king, jrphotos by: 1. marc riboud 2. lefteris pitarakis 3. guillermo legaria 4. sergei chuzavkov 5. william fernando martinez  6. reuters 7. stefan stefanov 8. john vizcaino. (click pic for place and date) 

Martin Luther King Jr. also said “the Negro’s great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen’s Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to “order” than to justice” but white people sure as shit aren’t  quoting that on their Facebook statuses

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Whites Dehumanize Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Into A Trope To Silence Black People

MLK is regularly evoked by Whites in a dehumanizing fashion in order to police Black vernacular (subversion/reclamation), police Black people’s response to continued State violence and anti-Blackness, and to control Black culture and life via the myth that the politics of respectability can “earn” us humanity; humanity denied us as the very foundation and current reality of this country, in fact. 

It is triggering, erasure, abusive, ahistorical and violent to remind Black people practically on the hour of the coordinated State violence (abuse, arrests, physical violence, FBI intimidation, surveillance/COINTELPRO, psychological warfare and eventually assassination) on MLK and other Black activists/ordinary Black citizens, and then suggest that us behaving like a White-washed version of MLK (one erasing his work and humanly flaws and replacing it with appeasing Whiteness and empty deification) now will “protect” us from the same State violence that Black people have always faced. (MLK’s “non-violent” actions were still classified as “extremist.”) Whites, who benefit from racism, think it is acceptable to tell Black people to “behave” like MLK, when he was murdered for the same reasons that we have to fight today. 

Darren Wilson has half a million dollars via donations from racists, had paid leave, a new wife, is viewed as a White hero and was not indicted (such a decision is apparently statistically rare); will not even face a trial for murdering Michael Brown, despite dehumanizing and killing him. (Not suggesting that his theoretical singular indictment or trial would be “justice” in this anti-Black country; the system itself is violence on us.) He called Michael’s expression of pain after being shot looking like a “demon” and his own strength like that of a child versus Michael as “Hulk Hogan” despite being close to the same size as Michael and had a gun while Michael did not. He claimed that he thought Michael’s punch could “kill” him though his hospital photographs are bruise-less. Clearly he is illogical because of anti-Blackness; the entire testimony is negligence, willful distortion and a racist farce. Whites benefit from violence on Black bodies yet have the audacity and cruelty to suggest how Black people should feel and respond to that violence, in which Whites use other Black people like MLK as dehumanized vessels to funnel those suggestions through.

It is basically White people so utterly willfully ahistorical and intellectually dishonest that they engage in cognitive dissonance with why MLK had to exist as he did in the first place and why we fight now. They use his body as a vessel for their own racism, since their own bodies and lies are never enough. Always the use and consumption of a Black body. Even celebration of the lack of indictment isn’t enough for them; so many of them are trolling Black people online right now because even the State’s affirmation of our dehumanization cannot satiate their appetite for harming Black people. They always want us to accept their version of reality, at the price of our humanity.

It is not enough for me to stand before you tonight and condemn riots. It would be morally irresponsible for me to do that without, at the same time, condemning the contingent, intolerable conditions that exist in our society. These conditions are the things that cause individuals to feel that they have no other alternative than to engage in violent rebellions to get attention. And I must say tonight that a riot is the language of the unheard.
— 

Martin Luther King Jr.

Just in case anyonetries to deploy his words to condemn Ferguson.

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Link: https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2014/11/fbis-suicide-letter-dr-martin-luther-king-jr-and-dangers-unchecked-surveillance

One of the greatest civil rights leaders of all time “didn’t do anything wrong.” In fact, he did more for the greater good of mankind than most. Yet, he was relentlessly harassed by the government with the aid of surveillance techniques.

"The New York Times has published an unredacted version of the famous “suicide letter” from the FBI to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The letter, recently discovered by historian and professor Beverly Gage, is a disturbing document. But it’s also something that everyone in the United States should read, because it demonstrates exactly what lengths the intelligence community is willing to go to—and what happens when they take the fruits of the surveillance they’ve done and unleash it on a target.

The anonymous letter was the result of the FBI’s comprehensive surveillance and harassment strategy against Dr. King, which included bugging his hotel rooms, photographic surveillance, and physical observation of King’s movements by FBI agents. The agency also attempted to break up his marriage by sending selectively edited “personal moments he shared with friends and women” to his wife…

The implications of these types of strategies in the digital age are chilling. Imagine Facebook chats, porn viewing history, emails, and more made public to discredit a leader who threatens the status quo, or used to blackmail a reluctant target into becoming an FBI informant. These are not far-fetched ideas. They are the reality of what happens when the surveillance state is allowed to grow out of control, and the full King letter, as well as current intelligence community practices illustrate that reality richly.”

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I am grateful


Wherever you stand this Thanksgiving

I am thankful for all those who came before us

that we have the benefit of precedents

earlier generations set,

that we have the freedom to protest

and the power to be heard,

that if we have seen so far

it is because we stand on the shoulders of giants.

A demand: Please stop comparing MLK to Ghandi

MLK fought for and end to the Vietnam war, for worker’s rights, and for racial equality and an end to systemic racism.

Gandhi fought for increased conflict against Muslims, for a brutal and oppressive caste system, and for a program of systemic Hindu domination.

There ain’t nothing in common.

[I]t is not enough for me to stand before you tonight and condemn riots. It would be morally irresponsible for me to do that without, at the same time, condemning the contingent, intolerable conditions that exist in our society. These conditions are the things that cause individuals to feel that they have no other alternative than to engage in violent rebellions to get attention. And I must say tonight that a riot is the language of the unheard. And what is it America has failed to hear? It has failed to hear that the plight of the negro poor has worsened over the last twelve or fifteen years. It has failed to hear that the promises of freedom and justice have not been met. And it has failed to hear that large segments of white society are more concerned about tranquility and the status quo than about justice and humanity.

The often outraged reaction by liberals to the rioting in Ferguson reminded us of this letter from Martin Luther King, Jr. Now King is often deployed in situations of revolt by pacifiers who just want everyone to go home and wait for the next election. But while he rejected the use of violence he didn’t reject resistance or direct action.

"I must confess that over the past few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate.

I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen’s Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to ‘order’ than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says: ‘I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action’; who paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another man’s freedom; who lives by a mythical concept of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait for a ‘more convenient season.’

Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection.” — Martin Luther King, Jr, “Letter from a Birmingham Jail”