It almost seems impossible that it has been forty-four years since Dr. Martin Luther King was assassinated. Forty-four years ago I was twenty-two years old and eager to learn as much as I could about politics and civil rights issues.
I wasn’t a follower of Dr. King, but I could appreciate what he was trying to do to secure a better future for me and my family.
I remember Dr. King with deference and respect for his work…
Today marks 44 years since the assassination of civil-rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. King was killed April 4, 1968 while standing on the balcony of Memphis’ Lorraine Motel. James Earl Ray confessed to the shooting, although the King family has expressed doubts over whether he was the shooter.
The Grio decided to commemorate this painful anniversary by compiling a short list of rare speeches and interview clips of Dr. King in the 1960s.
DR. KING DISCUSSES THE POSSIBILITY OF A BLACK PRESIDENT (1964):
More videos here…
Welcome to the West Wing Week, your guide to everything that’s happening at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. This week, President Obama welcomed a civil rights icon, placed a call to the international space station, made animportant personnel announcement and hosted a roundtable focused on education with business leaders. But throughout he remained focused on finding a balanced solution to deficit reduction. That’s July 15th-21st, or “Two Minute Warning.”
After eight years of Bush policy in the Justice Department, this is welcomed news for all Americans.
Under the Obama administration, the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division has reversed a pattern of systematically hiring conservative lawyers with little experience in civil rights, the practice that caused a scandal over politicization during the Bush administration.
Instead, newly disclosed documents show, the lawyers hired over the past two years at the division have been far more likely to have civil rights backgrounds — and to have ties to traditional civil rights organizations with liberal reputations, like the American Civil Liberties Union or the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.
The release of the documents came as a House Judiciary subcommittee prepared to hold its first oversight hearing, on Wednesday, on the Civil Rights Division since Republicans regained the House. It also comes against the backdrop of efforts by conservative activists and media outlets to throw back at the Obama administration the charges of politicizing the Justice Department that were made against the Bush administration.
While it is routine for any administration to hire ideologically sympathetic people to fill the politically appointed positions that are vacated with each new president, civil service laws prohibit taking ideology into account when hiring for the permanent posts known as “career” positions.
Continue reading here…
Glenn Beck has taunted the organizers of this rally saying that the attendees are people who would be on the FBI Watch List under any other administration. Perhaps the crowd won’t be as big as Beck’s “Restoring Honor” rally, but the fact is, Liberals do not LACK enthusiasm…
The rally liberal groups are staging at the National Mall on Saturday hasn’t received nearly the media buzz of Glenn Beck’s Aug. 28 rally, but organizers insist that their numbers will rival Beck’s, which drew tens of thousands — or hundreds of thousands, depending on whose estimates you believe.
Union organizers, environmentalists, educators, anti-war protesters and civil-rights and gay-rights groups say they’ve got 2,000 registered buses heading to Washington to reinvigorate a liberal base that has been apathetic at best and in some cases downright critical of President Barack Obama’s agenda.
“This is certainly an opportunity to remind similarly aligned progressives what’s at stake in November,” said Fred Sainz, a spokesman for the Human Rights Campaign, which advocates for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. “Elections have consequences. There will be very few progressives who will prosper under a Republican Congress.”
Organizers of the event, called “One Nation Coming Together,” are hoping to recapture some of the enthusiasm among liberals that catapulted Barack Obama into the White House in 2008. And they want to drown out the conservative tea party movement whose primary upsets and angry calls to “take back the country” have dominated airwaves in the past year.
“This is the kick off for organizing the base that helped elect the president,” said Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins, chief executive of Green for All, which advocates for clean energy and green jobs.
“We don’t seek to be the alternative to the tea party or the answer to the tea party, but we’re very much the antidote to the tea party,” added Benjamin Jealous, president of the NAACP and a leading organizer of the rally. “This is a time of increasing tension and decreasing prosperity. We simply want to say we’ve come way too far to turn back now.”
Based on the number of buses making the journey to Washington, organizers are expecting a crowd of more than 100,000 to gather before the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, said One Nation spokeswoman Denise Gray-Felder. The rally runs from noon to 4 p.m.
“We’re confident any satellite photos of our rally will stack up nicely to Beck’s,” Jealous said.
By making such optimistic predictions on crowd size, however, the organizers run the risk of having their march fall short, opening them up to mockery from the right — and from skeptical media outlets.
Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1010/43021.html#ixzz11DSjmzzN
Image by The U.S. National Archives via Flickr
Melissa Harris-Lacewell – The Nation
Many Americans were enraged by Glenn Beck’s “Restoring Honor” rally in Washington, presumably because Beck trespassed on a sacred day and on holy ground by scheduling his event to coincide with the anniversary and location of Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech. Media framed the anti-Beck dissent as a racial and political turf war. Beck stood before a vastly white, sharply conservative crowd and waxed nostalgic about America’s past—a past he called honorable and righteous but that was, in reality, marked by the legal subjugation of black people. This seems an obvious denigration of civil rights history, but I suspect that the real source of liberal anxiety was different. Many Americans harbor an almost primitive fear of the power of rhetoric in American racial politics. In our collective imagination, public discourse on race is endowed with near magical powers.
King’s famous speech had fewer than 1,600 words. Even with the dramatic pauses and roaring Southern Baptist oratory, it took King just over fifteen minutes to deliver it. Less than a year later Congress passed the 1964 Civil Rights Act. King was long-winded compared with Abraham Lincoln, who took about two minutes and spoke fewer than 300 words at Gettysburg. The Union won the Civil War within eighteen months, ending slavery in the United States. In just over 1,000 words Barack Obama conceded the New Hampshire primary to Hillary Clinton, reminding followers that Americans have the unique capacity to face defeat with the simple motto “Yes, we can.” Ten months later he was elected president.
The proximity between these powerful speeches and these landmark events has led to the surprisingly simplistic view that oratory alone can transform the American racial landscape. If Lincoln can bring slavery to an end with 300 words and Obama can become the first black president with three, then what kind of world-altering racial havoc might Beck wreak with a speech that went on for more than an hour? Continue reading…
In case you’re not a fan of “fair and balanced”, MediaMatters brings you up to speed.
Since President Obama’s election, Fox personalities have expressed opposition to or called for the repeal of virtually every progressive achievement of the 20th century…
Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid
Americans with Disabilities Act
Civil Rights Act of 1964
Voting Rights Act of 1965
Nuclear arms control
Department of Education
Environmental Protection Agency
End of story.