Monday, March 31, 2008

April 4th 1968 Martin Luther King is Assassinated

40 years after King's assassination, his struggle, his words, his dream still shape the minds of lovers of peace all over the world. I agree with Tavis Smiley, the mainstream would like to cast Dr. King as a dreamer but those who understand the history know that even though Dr. King followed an ideology of non-violent resistance he was still seen as a serious threat and hated by many in the government and society in general in his day. Growing up in Chicago, for most of my young life learning about Dr. King I thought segregation and racism was a Mississippi thing, that is until I learned about his march through Cicero where the local residents attempted to stone him. Listen to him in this clip as he speaks out against the Vietnam war.


Lauren said...

I just wanted to say thank you for posting the video clips of Rev. Wright on Youtube.

I'm an Obama supporter. However, even in the early moments after the news broke about Rev. Wright, when the media was trying to frame him as an extremist, anti-American agitator, I knew that I would find myself agreeing (at least in part) with what he had to say.

I'm relieved that there is someone who is not afraid to call a spade a spade. I can't believe that after so many years people still won't talk about why 9/11 happened when it's as plain as day.

I hope Wright continues to speak the truth and that he is not disappointed by Obama's latest move to distance himself. This is what people do when they're trying to win the presidency.

ed iglehart said...

The BBC did an excellent radio "Real-time Drama" on the radio last Saturday.

Description here:

It can be listened to here:

I found it rivetting, and suggest you might make a blog post recommending your readers listen to it. It will only be available on-line until Saturday.

Namaste -ed

ed iglehart said...

Saturday 29 March
1968: 4.4.68

By Jon Sen

The events of the last days of Martin Luther King's life before the civil rights leader was assassinated.

Martn Luther King ...... Danny Sapani
Ralph Abernathy ...... Shaun Parks
Louve ...... Michael Begley
Harry ...... Trevor Cooper
Radio reporter ...... Peter Marinker
Charles Cabbage ...... Danny Lee Wynter
Jesse Jackson ...... Richie Campbell

Original music composed by Philip Guyler.

Director Polly Thomas

God Bless you all

des52 said...

So many folks have romanticized King making him cuddly and non confrontational. King referred to his movement as non violent direct action.

Most have not read the "King Papers;" "America You Must be Born Again;" "Why We Can't Wait;" "A Knock at Midnight;" or other books.

MLK on Leadership chronicles how he continued to change as the Vietnam war ensued.

King would have loved Rev. Wright because he would have been able to see Rev. Wright loves people.

King allegedly struggled with Jesse Jackson commenting, "Jesse you have no love."

As King was not perfect neither is Jeremiah. But their committments to people and to God is irrefutable.

Anybody who uses a 30 second soundbite to get their info rather than studying or researching is just being conned. This is symptomatic of miseducation, arrogance and spiritual malnourishment.

I went to one of the finest journalism schools in the country. When this mess broke, I wanted to take my Masters degree off the wall I was so disgusted. There is that underbelly of so called journalists who will do any number of unscrupulous things. They do ambush interviews to butter you up until they get their quote, some sit outside their targets house with sophisticated listening devices that can pick up your conversations, they send good looking reporters, (male or female) to get you to drop your guard, they will come to your church and put bugs under your pew, they will wear cameras concealed as lapel pins . . .in FBI J. Edgar Hoover fashion . . .

All this is to get the big fish and see their name in lights.

So, for anyone to take this fodder as truth, they are mistaken. When I sued a real criminal and it was written about years later, the magazine had to give the perpetrator his comments, even though he was lying through his teeth. They had to do due diligence.

Tonight, April 4 at 9:00 PM, CNN is doing an hour show on MLK's assasination. They bugged him, called him a communist, a puppet. . . (it would be great to get a clip on this blog.)

In my opinion, all of hullabaloo about Rev. Wright was done for two reasons,

1. get ratings--these papers and cable shows have a bottom line, make as much money as possible, (they sit in their editorial meetings to think of how many angles they can get off this story)

2. derail Obamas campaign --what frosts my cookies is how they just wanted to throw Trinity under the bus. Well, they picked on the wrong church. God will be glorified despite their efforts. As the bible says, if Satan had known Jesus would be resurrected, he would not have allowed him to be crucified.

Trinity supporters and Obama supporters, do not fall for the medias traps. Far too many do not care about anything but their own byline.

We do not run from media, but we tell our story not theirs. This blog is good at getting our truth out, not the medias. There are good journalists out there. Finding them is like walking through landmines.

I was on a board that had to hire a PR firm in response to ambush interviews done by unscrupulous investigative reporters. I have also had to handle the press for folks in high profile cases. Some of them can be vultures.

Nonetheless, as MLK says, deep in myheart, I do believe, we will overcome this outrageousness . . someday.

des52 said...


I watched Anderson Cooper 360 Thursday April 3, at 11:00 and they had a clip on the United Church of Christ's pastors standing in Trinity's pulpit supporting Trinity and Pastor Wright. Please get the clip and show it. They are calling for a Sacred Conversation on Race on May 18th, I believe.

It brought tears to my eyes to see these white congregations standing with Trinity to dispel the ugly 30 second conversation the media tried to shove down America's throat.

As Paul said, these bonds, these wounds, are going to further the gospel.

I recall an injustice done to me years ago. I was traumatized. I would not go outside. I was depressed. But God took that horrible injustice and reached millions. If someone had said this would have happened, I would not have believed it. Trinity has been traumatized to be sure. But there will be healing, God is using this pain as a gift to others.

I ache with you, but I praise God that you will come through this as gold. You are doing God proud.

CNN even has a reference to Howard Thurman.

• Howard Thurman: The preacher who inspired King

Had the reporters done their homework they would have seen Thurmans books sold in Akiba, and known this wasn't some fringe group. Nonetheless, what Satan meant for evil is turning out for good.

Following the Sacred Conversation piece, Anderson Cooper had a clip on King and how the media portrayed King calling him divisive, and Time Magazine stopped short of calling him a traitor. Jesse Helms used Kings comments about the war to explain why he was against Kings holiday. This is important because the MSM arrogantly thought they knew about King.

This is an example of the media and how they can be used for some good. (Again the editorial meeting how many stories can we get out of this race issue?)

Nonetheless, Trinity and the UCC let the press know, enough is enough, calling for a Sacred Conversation, taking the lead in this story.

Bravo Trinity, Bravo!!!

truthToPower said...

Des it was a great day for the church. I'm going to post the entire press conference tomorrow

Algernon H. Penn said...

Thursday, April 3, 2008
A Letter To A Friend From Afar...

Dear Rev. Dr. Wright,

As an interested party to the plight of the Negro in America, I wanted to bring some relevance and brevity to the conversation that has been taking place regarding your position on issues race, poverty, justice and religion within American society today. I have been watching from afar for some time and I have been very pleased at your work for the poor and the oppressed. I have seen and heard testament to you work in social justice.

While much has been made about the lack of context in which some of your statements publicized, I write this letter as a soldier in the Army of Christ to encourage you and reinforce the importance to you of not "giving up the good fight." Jesus said," blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you." I'm writing to tell you what evil meant for bad, God meant for good.

Forty years ago this week, I spoke about "the mountain top" experience. I tried to paint a picture of "the promised land." I wanted to bring attention about how long this struggle would go forward. The Lord had shown me the "new heaven and new earth" in America. We have desegregated lunch counters, schools, neighborhoods and places of employment. We have gained the right to vote and have elected black elected officials at local, county, state and at the federal level. And now, there is a very real opportunity for the next President of the United States to be a black man. And all hopes that will happen. But, even though we celebrate in esoteric and aesthetic advances in America, we must not be deluded into thinking that the race for equality and justice is one that is defined by the color the skin of whom occupies the White House. .

But God is not pleased nor is he amused. When I left forty years ago, the "War on Poverty" was pushed aside to continue the funding of the War In Vietnam. The dignity of the poor was viewed as something unimportant to the government of our nation. Inner cities in America went up in flames due to abject insensitivity to the lack of jobs and opportunity for the Negro. And as things continued down a perilous path, I warned the nation of the three ills of our then society Racism, Poverty and Militarism.

Racism is the great divide and the scar of our nation that has never healed. It has now morphed with hatred against Latinos who have come to this country to look for the pursuit of life, liberty and the pursuit of the American dream. They do the jobs least wanted and receive the least pay for it. Mothers and fathers who are trying to build a better life and foundation for their families are deported while children are left behind because they are born here as citizens. Racism has now manifested against Arabs and other nationalities of Islam who are all branded with the title of terrorists just as African slaves were branded by their owners who were determined not to allow them to aspire for freedom physically as well as mentally. They have left to escape genocide and the bloodshed of their homeland to come to the "land of the free and the home of the brave." Only to hear and see images of cowardice, hated and government sanctioned torture towards Arabs who have been claimed captive in an unjust war. New displays of the "hangman's" noose, the unhistorical use of the "N" word and the characterization of a black collegiate women's basketball team as "nappy headed ho's," has shown a chronic digress into the cesspool of America's infected wound called hate. Please remind them of what I said. "Men often hate each other, because they fear each other. They fear each other because they do not know each other. They do not know each other because they cannot communicate. They cannot communicate because they are separated."

Poverty, with its roots in bad economic habits and policies have led the Negro to be the largest consumer group in America, while owning less than 1% of all businesses in the nation. Unemployment is still double the rate of whites in this country and unions have been reduced to powerless non-entities that now watch their jobs sent overseas in a global economy. Corporate greed has now excelled at manipulating its own workers at the expense of nations of color with the sole purpose of increasing their companies’ bottom lines. They have cooked the books of their corporate finances to steal the pensions of loyal workers who have toiled in their vineyards for decades and now have nothing to fall back on in their golden years. The nation's wealthy has become more affluent, while at the same time, less people are able to participate it its wealth. People are now the target of highly marketed schemes to eventually take their piece of the American dream. Their homes, while investors on Wall Street are bailed out. Consumer credit card debt is at an all-time high and savings among consumers are at an all-time low. And when we calculate the net worth of the Negro, it is only one tenth, of whites. And if another attack on America happens, will President Bush tell the people again, don't worry, keep shopping? And all of this has happened while one of the greatest natural disaster this nation has ever seen in Hurricane Katrina fades slowly into the wilderness of our minds. Three years after Katrina, tens of thousands of people are still struggling to repair their lives, while our nations government continues to give excuses and entertain their proclivity to militarism,war and imperialism.

And then there's Militarism. As I watch from afar forty years later, I still see war raging across the world. I'm saddened and horrified as America has invaded Iraq, sovereign nation on a lie by this administration on one front and invaded a second nation Afghanistan, with the appetite of revenge to get even. Remind them of what I said about war then and how it’s still relevant today." We must take steps that may establish a new spirit of mutual confidence. Steps capable of breaking the cycle of mistrust, violence and war.’’ As a moral issue and "as a minister of the gospel, I consider war an evil. I must cry out when I see war escalated at any point.’’ I said back then that "as the bombs in Vietnam explode at home—they destroy the dream and possibility for a decent America.’’ Remind them "that lawlessness abroad breeds violence within the United States." When we move to engage in illegal war abroad, we throw away our ability to "raise our voices against the violence of the oppressed in the ghettos without having first spoken clearly against the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today. Our own government." The cost of war has a price much more than money. Yes the cost in dollars and cents are reaching nearly $1 trillion. But, our economy at home suffers again as we spend on bombs planes and weapons of human destruction. Why is it America leaves its own without the basic needs of living while playing with expensive toys that inflict pain and suffering? So questions has to asked? Are repeating the same mistake we made in Vietnam? Or have we become so immune to killing and bloodshed that winning is the adjective that describes it?

America has lost over 4,000 soldiers with another 30,000 wounded. While our government provides figures of our American casualties, they are less willing to tell the full story of the death and carnage of the Iraqi people. Many humanitarian organizations from around the world have given estimates of over 700,000 civilians killed as well as over 150,000 Iraqi militia at the hands of the United States. This illegal war has no winners. It destroys nations and families. It undermines trust and confidence among other civilized nations of the world. Instead of building bridges with our global family, we now have a strike first initiative based on fear and hate mongering. This type of violence has now expanded at home with our own people. Now instead of burning buildings, our children are now killing each other over profits of poisonous illegal drugs. They are killing themselves because in some cases, they have not learned to reason out their conflicts. So violence become the quickest and easiest option. All while the government pretends to be doing all they can, while in fact turning its back again on people whom they call "citizens." We ask them to stop the violence, we plead to stop the killing, but how can we expect a different result when the access and appetite for guns and an American reprobate mind is saturated with violence?

Our black daughters are victims of misogynistic music and entertainment and are having children before their time. Our black young men are dropping out of school at alarming rates and are targets and victims of industrialized incarceration. With our schools closing and under funded, more men are in prison than in colleges and universities, No Child Left Behind has turned into lock them up and throw away the key. Where does it leave the future to those who have been fortunate not to be "caught up in the game" of surviving the traps and snares of this society? Who speaks for their futures? It leaves them little room for hope. It leaves little room for better tomorrow. At this crossroad, we witness the beginning of the loosening of the grip of those whom look towards you and other like you, to hold on to their joy. Now standing at this crossroad, I would ask you continue what you've started, but with a new invigorated voice and a bolder conviction. But I know you have plans for retirement.

True retirement can only be given by the God Himself. You and your church family have been blessed. Look at the circumstances that has preceded you. You accepted your call to pastor in 1972. God placed you in a struggling fledgling congregation of around 85 members. And for 36 years, through his grace, love and care you have helped bring nearly 10,000 souls to the Kingdom of God. Trinity United Church of Christ is a national model of black churches in America in developing community relevant ministry. You have educated people of African descent to see themselves as important figures in the Christian faith. Your Ministry In Training curriculum has spawned many pastors in your tradition. You have activated a thought process that many black churches fail to do. That is to prepare new young leadership to take the reins of pastor as you transition to less responsibility in your church.

But I would ask you to reconsider your future. This so-called dust-up may not be an accident, but maybe God's way bringing attention to His displeasure towards America's lack of responsibility to the entire human family.

In Luke 4:18-19 Jesus begins his ministry with this announcement: The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach the good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.

Cultural acceptance, social and economic parity and justice for the oppressed and those who share in this society should be aim of this society. Churches, mosques and synagogues whether it be white or black or otherwise cannot continue to evade this responsibility. They cannot say that the poor are in poverty because they won't work, or that they suffer because their own volition. Having come before God as nothing and being received by him into his Kingdom through grace, the Christian should know that he has been made righteous or justified so that he (or she) can join God in this fight for. Therefore, whoever fights for the poor, fights for God; whoever risks his life for the helpless and unwanted, risks his life for God.

So please remind them of what I believed about the unfinished business of America's healing. "It is quite easy for me to think of a God of love mainly because I grew up in a family where love was central and where lovely relationships were ever present. It is quite easy for me to think of the universe as basically friendly mainly because of my uplifting hereditary and environmental circumstances. It is quite easy for me to lean towards optimism than pessimism about human nature mainly because of my childhood experiences. It is impossible to get at the roots of one religious attitudes without taking in account the psychological and historical factors that play upon the individual." In order for America to heal, it must participate and facilitate in its own healing. It must deal with its sordid past and present. It must resolve that it inflicted unjust pain for whatever purpose. But most importantly, America must ask forgiveness for America's past deeds.

So I challenge you not to be discouraged about what politicians may say or writers may write or what misguided people who lust on the blood of their fellow man like malignant cancer feeding on itself. I would ask you to be like David and encourage yourself like you've encouraged others. A sick and self centered America needs your voice. When the comfort level of an unjust society has placed itself into a permanent sedentary position, its chronic and benign diseases slowly denigrates itself into painful destructive malignancy. They tried to silence the struggle by trying to silence me. But in order to silence the struggle they are now trying to silence others such as yourself whom come after me as well as the platform, the church from where we speak. Continue to use your voice against the unjust evils of this world. Continue to speak up for the voiceless and the down trodden. "What America must be told today is that she must be born again. The whole structure of American life still needs to be changed."

So in doing this, don’t worry about being called Anti-American or Anti-Patriotic or a demagogue. That’s what they called me. Just make sure that they know that being pro-Black is not a predisposition for being anti-anybody else or anti-human.The enemy already understands that you are "Unashamedly Black." That was determined when you were born. They can't change that. If they can't get past who God made you then that's their problem to get over. But tell them that all men, women and children are made in the image of God. Tell them that you are doing God’s will. But I want you to show them what true love is. Love of humanity. A Christ-Centered Love. That perfect love. The love of humanity that is patient, The agape love that is kind. Show the world who Rev. Dr. Jeremiah Wright really is. Show the entire world what the video editors, news editors, pundits and others failed or refused to show about Trinity United Church of Christ. In other words, show the world that you are "Unapologetically Christian."

Finally remind them of the Beatitudes, Remember the beatitudes are eight statements taught by Christ himself. They are concerned with virtue and how a believer in Jesus Christ can achieve that virtue. The Beatitudes are a map of life, a series of directives helping us on our journey to be with God. They also designate the actual condition of people who follow God's guidelines. They are simply stated, but are profound in meaning. They guide. They point. They teach. They show us the values that Christ cares about. These values if followed can not only bring a believer into a state of peace and happiness, but also right into the Kingdom of God after our journey on this earth is over.

In Matthew 5: 3-12 Jesus teaches us:

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are they who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
Blessed are the meek, for they shall possess the earth.
Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for justice,for they shall be satisfied.
Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.
Blessed are the pure of heart, for they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.

And remember, Blessed are they who suffer persecution for justice sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Sincerely with God’s peace and blessings,

Your friend.... M.L.

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