It's Martin Luther King Day, and an election year, so there will be plenty of false recollections and phony platitudes by vote-seeking politicians, and they, too, will have a dream. Once again, they will de-claw King, and ignore the radical implications of what he believed. I'm sure even President Bush, who stands diametrically opposed to everything King stood for, will have a staged photo-op and make a speech. The real King -- the rabble-rouser, the troublemaker who provoked acts of civil disobedience and was jailed and beaten, and finally killed -- is safely dead and buried. The revisionist re-write is complete.
They must see us as strange liberators...What do the peasants think as we ally ourselves with the landlords and as we refuse to put any action into our many words concerning land reform? What do they think as we test out our latest weapons on them, just as the Germans tested out new medicine and new tortures in the concentration camps of Europe? Where are the roots of the independent Vietnam we claim to be building? Is it among these voiceless ones? -- MLK, at the Riverside Church, 1967
Another excerpt from the Riverside Church speech, 1967:
This is the other speech, the speech they won't be quoting all day long. It was April 4th, 1967, when King spoke at the Riverside Church in New York City and delivered a fiery sermon about America and Vietnam. It is a powerful call to conscience during a time of war.
The full text can be found here.
"Fight the Power," by Public Enemy