Jan. 16, 2019
JoeSmokeBlackThoughts Salutes The Radical Martin Luther King
The Radical Martin King
Dr. Martin Luther King's last great struggle was the battle for economic equality in this land of supposed prosperity. As a manner of fact, many intellectuals believe that this economic objective for parity was the primary reason why Martin King was targeted for assassination in Memphis, Tennessee on April 4, 1968. Martin King asked that the institutional powers that controlled the wealth distribution in this country be truly held accountable for ensuring that each American, no matter their race, creed, religion, or color have ample opportunities to enjoy fully the fruits of their labor. Martin King also wanted the doors of opportunity opened that had been closed to a vast majority of America's poverty-stricken citizens.
Martin King was never able to see to the final climax of his effort to illuminate poverty in April 1968 that would culminate as his Poor People's Campaign. It was Martin King's intention to press the visibility of America's forgotten poor during this campaign that would put a bright shining light on the darkness of inhumane justice, economic deprivation, and social inequality. This was Martin King's aim as the radical voice for a true reawakening of the preamble of the American Constitution that guaranteed life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness along with the promise of equality across the board for each and every American. Martin King's true purpose for this convergence in our nation's capital was to cash that promissory note that had been neglected for almost three and 1/2 centuries. Martin King wasn't just concerned about America's promissory note but Martin King was also calling for an international payment due to the multitudes of suffering peoples throughout the world.
As Martin King told Andrew Young and Harry Belafonte in New York in late 1967, "I have led my people through integration into America's burning house of injustice, and economic inequality", his project related to the Poor People's Campaign was to develop a nation of firefighters willing to put out those fires that had burned so long that hope was on a cliff waiting to collapse. So, Martin King proposed a series of direct mass action non-violent demonstrations in which poor peoples of all colors and creeds would speak directly to the forces of power in the world's most nation. This wouldn't be a day-long demonstration like the one that occurred on August 28, 1963, Jobs and Freedom March. The participants would set up a village, a mini-city on the Mall in Washington, DC and stay until the principle issues were addressed.
Dr. King also planned mass demonstrations in major urban cities across America, the movement would also include demonstrations in areas where poverty was concentrated. Martin King wanted these demonstrations to provide a voice to the voiceless, and power to the powerless. You see Martin King mind, the Radical King, the dream he spoke of on that August 28, 1963, was a distant memory. One that captivated an audience but had been ignored because the essential elements of the speech had been ignored.
The Radical Martin King understood that the economic inequality or economic gap that had existed between the many poor and those few with the real economic power in this nation and the world had to be addressed and eliminated. It was Martin King's drive to lessened that economic gap that threatened the institutions of white supremacy and thus put a direct target on the chest of Dr. King. Over the past 50 years (1968-2018) in America the wealth gap between the haves and the have-nots has continued to widen tremendously; with no signs or hope of any meaningful way to bring that gap to any positive solution. This week as we continue to salute the Radical, not the Homogenized Martin Luther King, we should understand that the drum major principle is still needed for our America to truly prosper. In a world where only "eight men" have more economic worth combined than 3.6 billion of the world's population. It should be disconcerting to every person that such an economic disparity can and still exists.
Had Martin King lived beyond April 4, 1968, you have to wonder if even he would have been able to carry off his proposed Poor People's Campaign? You see nearly 1/2 of Black America in 1968 had stopped listening to his message of direct nonviolent action to solve the racial problems that beset our America. One thing I know for certain is that the Radical Martin King would've continued to demand solutions to this troubling economic equation. Martin King wouldn't be bowing down attempting to meet with an individual whose sole purpose was to widen the income gap not level it off or lower it. He wouldn't be running to White House for photo ops. Nor would the Radical Dr. King be housed in a majestic building counting his parsonage tithes. Martin King would have stayed on our streets working for change. The Radical King is what is missing now in our communities, The RadicalMartin Luther King that scared the absolute shit out of J.Edgar Hoover.