Monday, January 20, 2014

If Dr. King was in Fact a "Republican", I Too Can Entertain Some Fantasies: Was Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. a Space Alien? If Dr. King was a Porn Star, What Would He Have Chosen For a Stage Name?

Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday is a prime moment for the type of empty hagiographies that come to typify "great" men and women who have been accepted in America's pantheon of public heroes.

Consequently, Brother King is an empty vessel where his radical politics, and how he was one of the most unpopular people in the United States at the time of his murder, can be erased and filled with lies.

In the worst and most dishonest example, for Republicans, the radical Dr. King who was in reality a Democratic Socialist, can be remade as a type of conservative who would support their anti-poor, and anti-black and brown agenda.

For Democrats, Dr. King is viewed as one of the their team--because they are the de facto political organization which best (for what that is worth) represents the political interests of people of color, the working and middle classes, and those who are disgusted by an America that nakedly and publicly embraces corporate power and the agenda served by the plutocracy.

In reality, Dr. King would be disgusted with the Democratic Party, as it is just the more Left-wing of a two party political system that is stridently conservative, and neither serves the public interest nor the public good.

Moreover, Brother King was not beholden to either political party. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. held the Republicans in especially low regard. To that point, he wrote:
The Republican Party geared its appeal and program to racism, reaction, and extremism. All people of goodwill viewed with alarm and concern the frenzied wedding at the Cow Palace of the KKK with the radical right. The “best man” at this ceremony was a senator whose voting record, philosophy, and program were anathema to all the hard-won achievements of the past decade.
Senator Goldwater had neither the concern nor the comprehension necessary to grapple with this problem of poverty in the fashion that the historical moment dictated. On the urgent issue of civil rights, Senator Goldwater represented a philosophy that was morally indefensible and socially suicidal. While not himself a racist, Mr. Goldwater articulated a philosophy which gave aid and comfort to the racist. His candidacy and philosophy would serve as an umbrella under which extremists of all stripes would stand. In the light of these facts and because of my love for America, I had no alternative but to urge every Negro and white person of goodwill to vote against Mr. Goldwater and to withdraw support from any Republican candidate that did not publicly disassociate himself from Senator Goldwater and his philosophy.
For me, Dr. King was a living and breathing person. He was not perfect. He was a dreamer. Dr. King was flawed. And he was not a saint.

We ought not to worship Dr. King. To do so, is a betrayal of one of the primary lessons taught to us by his life: flawed people can do great things. The search for perfection in our heroes is a lazy out that does the selfish work of making the common citizen immune and separate from sharing responsibility for the public good.

In all, the search for great men and great women to do the work of making society better supports the status quo. Social change is looking at us in the mirror everyday. Most Americans, across the color line, because of the peculiarities of group dynamics and the collective action problem, assume that someone else will effect positive social change. Power wins, and always has, through such reasoning.

If Brother Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. can be remade by the White Right and other intellectually dishonest white racists--and their black and brown self-hating allies--as a "Republican", then we should be able to entertain other radical acts of imagination too. In keeping with the Tea Party GOP and its media's lies about Dr. King, there ought not to be any boundaries on our fanciful thinking about that American titan.

Why should empirical reality limit how we discuss, think about, and locate Brother Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in American (and world) history? If he means everything and nothing, and this determination can be made based solely on our own personal agenda and priors, then let's have some fun. Why should the facts limit any discussion of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s life and legacy?

Some questions then...

1. What would Dr. King have said to extraterrestrials had they publicly arrived on Earth while he was alive? Would he make for a good emissary for the American people--and humanity--to alien civilizations?
2. A question: Was Dr. King a space alien? Perhaps he was not of this world?
3. If Dr. King was a professional wrestler, what would his finishing move have been? Of course, I vote for the "I have a Dream" sleeper hold.
4. If Dr. King was a adult film star, what would he have chosen for a stage name?


Anon said...

There is a great article that addresses this issue as well. Just a reminder to all that this was a good man who did great things for the black community. Also reminds us of the horrors that occurred in this country only a generation ago.

MaryK said...

Oh, yeah. Get the message out with that sleeper hold.

kokanee said...

MLKJ is a my kind of hero. It would we wrong to hero-worship him as he was a flawed man - as we all are. But as far as his activism, civil rights, social justice and anti-war movements went, he got it all right. By far and away the greatest American of the 20th century, he has paved the way forward for the next major social wave. Today, we are all Martin Luther King Jr.
In speaking once about how he wished to be remembered after his death, King stated:

I'd like somebody to mention that day that Martin Luther King Jr. tried to give his life serving others. I'd like for somebody to say that day that Martin Luther King Jr. tried to love somebody.

I want you to say that day that I tried to be right on the war question. I want you to be able to say that day that I did try to feed the hungry. I want you to be able to say that day that I did try in my life to clothe those who were naked. I want you to say on that day that I did try in my life to visit those who were in prison. And I want you to say that I tried to love and serve humanity.

Yes, if you want to say that I was a drum major. Say that I was a drum major for justice. Say that I was a drum major for peace. I was a drum major for righteousness. And all of the other shallow things will not matter. --,_Jr._Day

I always post something about Martin Luther King Jr. on this day on my meager little blog. May I repost your blog post today?

Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day!

DanF said...

If he were a pro wrestler, he'd have a whole package of moves called the "Selma to Montgomery" The Hammermill Boycott, The Bloody Sunday and The Jimmie Lee Jackson. Each move more ferocious than the last.

Myshkin the Idiot said...

1. He probably would have been cautious that the extraterrestrials would be here to enslave all of humanity (what a twist of irony that would have been for white folks). He would have made a good emissary on behalf of earth if the alien intentions were peaceful.

2. Was he a space alien? lol

3. Professional wrestler? He needs a name. Finishing move, The March on Washington. He throws his opponent into the ropes, spins and throws them into the opposite ropes, spins and throws again, dizzying the opponent, then delivers a drop kick and the pin.
Or the Birmingham Prisoner, a submission hold, tying up his opponent like a pretzel.

Can't answer number four ;)

other great posts, thanks for that Daily Kos article.

I suppose the right tries to make him theirs because if you aren't with them, then you're against them.

threeoutside said...

"The search for perfection in our heroes is a lazy out that does the selfish work of making the common citizen immune and separate from sharing responsibility for the public good."

That right there may be the single wisest thing I've read online in a year. It explains so much. Why so many worship false idols (sports hotshots, political figures, movie stars) - why we all buy into that in our own interest areas, and feel so betrayed when our idols turn out to be human after all. In Utopia, every person would realize this and turn away from the easy, lazy way and take responsibility for their own behavior and attitudes. I'm trying, sir. I fail every day but I also try every day. Thanks for this.

chauncey devega said...

That is likely found wisdom I picked up somewhere. Collective action problem and why everyone claims to have been involved in their generational struggle but few actually were. World War 2, Civil Rights, Women's Rights, etc.

chauncey devega said...

Got to love those wrestling holds. Brother King could have had a different career.

chauncey devega said...

Wow. Would Bloody Sunday be a hold, or would it be the ultimate complement--a match named after Brother King's wrestling hold?

chauncey devega said...

Space Traders meets Brother King? See my above comment on your kind complement. Folks are scared of Dr. King's porn name. Hmmm...

chauncey devega said...

By all means share. I always forget that wisdom from King. He said so much.

chauncey devega said...

What do you think he would have done w. aliens?

MaryK said...

Maybe not the same thing that Eisenhower did... oh, geez, you've caught me talking about that alien stuff!

DeistPaladin said...

You have to remember that these are the same people who can't clearly remember what happened a few years ago, never mind two generations ago.
Just reflect on how Ronald Reagan was completely remade to their liking, and his presidency was more recent history. Suddenly, he never "cut and ran" in Lebanon, he never raised taxes and he was never fiscally irresponsible enough to triple the debt.
These are the same people who, without any sense of irony, shift back-and-forth from "deficits don't matter" to "OMG! Oh, won't someone think of our grandchildren" depending on which party is in the White House.
These are the same people who think wearing sweaters through the winter is "normal", even as the coats and snowsuits that used to be winter attire sit undisturbed for years in their closets.
These are the same people who blame Obama for the Wall Street bailouts or Clinton for failing to protect us on 9/11.
These are the same people who used to have a creepy idolatrous reverence for W Bush as the godly champion of right wing ideals who now claim to have never supported him because he "was never a true conservative"
These are the same people who tell me with a straight face that the Democrats were to blame for the economic collapse of 2008 because W Bush compromised with them too much? Is this the same W Bush, the "decider", who never gave an inch and ran one of the most imperial presidencies since Nixon? I seem to remember that "bipartisan" during his reign meant that spineless Democrats, even after taking the Congress in 06, could pass some "non-binding resolutions" as the GOP gets everything it wanted.
These are the same people who whine and moan about Obama being "divisive", forgetting completely their "wedge issues" and "50+1" electoral strategies of Rove (never mind the very nature of the Southern Strategy, which they've followed for half a century).

These people live on a different planet from the rest of us. They exist in an alternate reality with a history that can be remade on the fly. Sadly, there is no reasoning with them or teaching them anything about real history.

kokanee said...

Thank you kindly. It is up!

Myshkin the Idiot said...

Sarah Palin. that should be enough of a joke there.

She warned Obama to not incur the wrath of Martin Luther King Jr by continuing to play the race card.

“Mr. President, in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. and all who commit to ending any racial divide, no more playing the race card,”

Unfortunately twitter only allows limited characters, the rest of her tweet would have said,"'cuz it makes us look bad"

Miles_Ellison said...

1. "Turn around and go back for your own good." He would be a good emissary for some American people. Not so much for some others.

2. He was not a space alien. His outlook and presence in a country that sanctioned human bondage and racist violence made him seem like one, though.

3. His finishing move? I'd go with the "Montgomery Bus Boycott," a spin on the figure 4 leg lock.

4. His porn star nickname would have been W.S. Overcome.

chauncey devega said...

You killed me with the W.S. Overcome! Wow. I think you are right on number 1, esp. as he became more disillusioned about the reality of white racism in America.

chauncey devega said...

Stupid and crazy as a lifestyle. They are delusional--such cognitive habits do not exist in isolation.

Frank said...

My local rag (the only paper in Virginia to oppose Massive Resistance in the 50s, by the way), made an editorial out of Dr. King's words.

Many of them I had read or heard before, but I found the excerpt from "Stride Toward Freedom" particularly affecting.

I was on the other side of that picture. My first playmate was a little black kid, the same age as me, who lived in the house on the corner of Pine View Farm. We would play in the fields as my father worked them.

We got to be six years old, went to different schools together, and never saw each other again.

I put my flag out in honor of the holiday today.

I did not see many other flags.

Learning Is Eternal said...

1. There's one group of people you should stay away from. They
specialize in oppression, practice racism as a religion & are un-
pleasant xenophobes.

2. He was a space alien. Humans know violence. He left because
he was becoming more like us each day.

3. Finishing move: The Super Selma Slam. Mind you he's the
worst news to an opponent since The Great Muta. Let's test
CDV's knowledge w/dat one.

4. "I Have A Ding" starring Mandingo Montgomery. Isis Taylor is a
co-star whose civil rights get violated.

chauncey devega said...

Great Muta? Come now son. Spitting mist :) Remember I interview for a job at the then WWF back in '98. The good old days of being in the hq at Stamford for a few hours and shaking hands with a young Shane and doing a long sit down w. one of the former managers who then did talent and recruiting. Another life...Nice complement though at the time. Loved it.

DeistPaladin said...

No. It's the combination of the old Southern Strategy meets phony journalism (Fox Noise and hate talk radio) mixed in with the modern internet that allows some to self-validate their delusions by exclusively using selective sources of "information".

Courtney H. said...

Excellent article, Anon! Thank you for the link! I watched part of the doc King: Montgomery to Memphis on Bounce last night. It was really very good. Did you watch it?

nevilleross said...

Why would MLK want to say anything at all to alien visitors at all? And more importantly, would he be appointed to do so?

Myself, I want what said visitors might have in the way of tech that can solve all of our ills (hunger and power generation/energy sources being the most important things to solve.)

chauncey devega said...

I think you are a new visitor/comment maker here. If so welcome. Do review the comment policy. WARN is not a place to try to "cut heads". Accept the premise and have fun. If not demure and choose another post that is more to your liking that you can contribute to 100 percent.