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Forum Post: Learning From the 'March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom' of 1963

Posted 1 year ago on Aug. 15, 2013, 4:02 a.m. EST by WSmith (1931) from Cornelius, OR
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Remembering & Learning From a Successful Progressive Movement ~ MOW '63

While RepubliCons in every nook and cranny of our country and government work tirelessly to erode, deny and repeal every progressive achievement from the New Deal to White House solar panels, protective regulations to the democracy fundamental of Voter Rights, it is educational, restorative and reawakening to observe the anniversary of the long fought (decades not months) and successful (political achievements not apolitical occupations) struggle for Civil Rights, March On Washington!

Remembering a Truly American Moment

March on Washington at 50: The Root looks back at the nation's "greatest demonstration."

By: Henry Louis Gates Jr. | Posted: August 14, 2013 at 12:56 AM

(The Root) -- In the opening line of his "I Have a Dream" speech, delivered at the Lincoln Memorial on Wednesday, Aug. 28, 1963, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. predicted that the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom would "go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation."

Fifty years on, we know he was prophetic.

But at the time, it was a bold statement, for there had been many examples in our country's history when Americans had screwed their courage and protested for a noble cause. One could point to the actions of the Sons of Liberty that led to the signing of the Declaration of Independence. One might also point to the anti-slavery movement that culminated in the American Civil War and the liberation of the slaves with the ratification of the 13th Amendment. Indeed, there had been many other protests, picket lines and parades up until that point in our history, to be sure -- some of them, like the suffragist movement, with far-reaching consequences that could redefine the roles of president and first spouse in 2016, with the potential election of our first female president.

But because of what radio and television were able to transmit in late August 1963, the March on Washington was witnessed by far more Americans than any previous demonstration, and from the deep vaults of American history, now flung open with a few taps on a touchscreen, images and sounds from that day are easily sampled as part of the stream of signal events that define our nation's memory.

That these images are black-and-white and crackle only enhances their mystique -- and thus their power to move and inspire our awe at "the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force," as King said during his speech. And so we are left to wonder: What was it like to be there? What could they see, smell and hear that we today cannot, beyond the camera's frame? What did they eat? Where did they go to the bathroom?

We know the temperature in Washington reached a high of 82, but how "sweltering" and packed-in were the throngs gathered around the reflection pool? And how did King's voice carry, both up-close and as far away as the Washington Monument? What was said in the Oval Office, as President Kennedy and his attorney general, brother Robert, watched along with the rest of the nation on TV?

And with such numbers -- some 250,000 to 300,000 people squeezed together, many of them with signs, buttons and folded white hats -- how did it remain so peaceful and calm, with the sounds of respectful clapping, a murmur here and there, the call and response of the invigorated and engaged crowd serving as backdrop and frame forKing's stirring words and enhancing their power, just like black church during a very special sermon?

For the next two weeks, The Root will seek to answer some of these questions by commemorating the 1963 March on Washington in a series of articles highlighting the facts, faces, figures and far-reaching effects of "that greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation." We will present our readers with slideshows and essays, galleries and stories that will take you through what marchers were listening to and feeling as they came from all over the nation. We will describe the legacy of the march, the women who made it possible and the unsung heroes whom time has forgotten.

In my next two Monday columns, I will join the conversation with a portrait of the march's organizing genius, Bayard Rustin, a man who straddles both black and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender history (and who, I'm glad to see, will "at last" be receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom); and an article on the "Dream" speech itself and its historical setting, the Lincoln Memorial.

Indeed, the March on Washington is not only part of our commonplace book of American history. A signal chapter, it changed the physical and spiritual landscape of our country, beginning with the signing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and then the Voting Rights Act of 1965 within the next 24 months. Because of them, the march and the other "searing" images of the civil rights movement -- Emmett Till's mutilated body; Bull Connor's snarling dogs; King's poignant "Letter From the Birmingham Jail"; the murder of our innocents, those beautiful "Four Little Girls" -- there is now a black man in the White House, who, on the eve of his first inaugural, returned to the scene of the march to take in the full weight of the history he was about to make; who, in October 2011, helped dedicate a memorial to King a short walk from Lincoln's at 1964 Independence Ave.; and who will again speak at the anniversary of the march at the Lincoln Memorial later this month.

CONTINUED: http://www.theroot.com/views/remembering-truly-american-moment

The New York Times, The Day After The 'I Have A Dream' Speech http://graphics8.nytimes.com/packages/pdf/topics/MLK/washdream.pdf

JFK's 1963 Landmark Speech On Civil Rights http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7BEhKgoA86U

Transcript of Ronald Reagan's 1980 Neshoba County Fair speech http://neshobademocrat.com/main.asp?SectionID=2&SubSectionID=297&ArticleID=15599&TM=60417.67

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[-] 2 points by WSmith (1931) from Cornelius, OR 1 year ago
[-] 2 points by WSmith (1931) from Cornelius, OR 1 year ago

50 Year Evaluation and Grade

Fifty years ago, after a hundred unchained but unemancipative years after the Emancipation Proclamation, racial injustice and civil rights were as glaringly outdated and injurious as our current gun laws are today: Outrageous, Intolerable, Violent and Embarrassing!

Something had to give, something had to be done... to make it look better, cover some asses and quickly placate the increasingly angry masses.

They destroyed the evidence: Removing tangible and visible signs of discrimination, legally and physically, everywhere.

They white washed the problem: Integrating blacks in schools, public services, workplaces and institutions with lots of whites.

The 1% Powers That Be raised their draw bridges and had their ever-more GOP grounds keepers stir the big melting pot until the middle class, the lower class and the minority classes all became the 99% class. Fixing both the angry black and unionized middle class problems at the same time. Leaving the masses fighting for Jobs and Freedom amongst themselves ~ OURSELVES!

Now:

We are at the top of the list of industrialized countries with the largest gap between rich and poor. We let our rich institutionalize the redistribution of our 99% wealth to the 1%, and this worlds greatest legalized robbery continues to this day. Also at the top of the list is our Private Sector influence and control over our Public Sector and government.

We are at the bottom of the list of industrialized countries in societal conditions, with record numbers in poverty, homelessness, unemployment, non-voting, non-union, poor wages, no or bad health care, no vacations, poor education, pollution, drug abuse, malnutrition, Incarceration, gun violence and homicides. And our news, journalism and democracy are at the bottom of the list as well.

Fifty cover-up, slave wage and 1% wealth-hoarding years after the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, many of us think that the "Problem" is long solved, pointing to our Jackie Robinson POTUS as proof positive. And with unavoidable advances we have smart phones (we pay through the nose for) and better McDonald's commercials, but we are mushroomed (kept in the dark and fed shit), anesthetized, exploited and harvested like cattle, so to conclude: we're unwitting conquered subjects of a greed-addled 1% of the 1% Kingdom. AKA Fucked ~ "F-"

But with every election hope springs eternal!

2010 never again.

[-] 2 points by WSmith (1931) from Cornelius, OR 1 year ago

52 Clinics Closed

Going Backwards on Women’s Equality Day

By Josh Dorner on August 26, 2013 at 5:00 pm

Today is Women’s Equality Day, which marks the anniversary of the certification of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, which granted women the right to vote. It’s now been 93 years and while much progress has been made, everyone’s right to vote is under attack and women are still far from equal.

Unfortunately, we also got fresh evidence today that the GOP’s war on women is taking a discernible toll on women’s reproductive rights. An analysis by the Huffington Post found that 52 clinics have closed since the recent record-breaking assault on abortion rights accelerated in 2010.

Check out their graphic to get a sense of the coast-to-coast assault on access to abortion:

http://thinkprogress.org/progress-report/52-clinics-closed/

[-] 2 points by WSmith (1931) from Cornelius, OR 1 year ago

Meet the Press Special Edition: Remembering the Dream Sun Aug 25, 2013 9:58 AM EDT

http://presspass.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/08/25/20120855-meet-the-press-special-edition-remembering-the-dream

[-] 2 points by WSmith (1931) from Cornelius, OR 1 year ago

Civil Rights Leaders Face Bigger Economic Challenges

The challenges 50 years later are, in some ways, more daunting than what King and other civil rights leaders faced.

New America Media / By Earl Ofari Hutchinson | August 25, 2013

The 50th anniversary of the monumental 1963 March on Washington was accompanied by a wave of commemorative events that tried hard to recapture the energy and the spirit of the 1963 March. This was a tall order. The original march, punctuated by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s towering "I Have a Dream" speech, acted as a powerful wrecking ball that crumbled the walls of legal segregation and ushered in an era of unbridled opportunities for many blacks. The results are unmistakable today. Blacks are better educated, more prosperous, own more businesses, hold more positions in the professions, and have more elected officials than ever before.

Yet the towering racial improvements since the 1963 March on Washington mask the harsh reality: The challenges 50 years later are, in some ways, more daunting than what King and other civil rights leaders faced.

When King marched in 1963, black leaders had already firmly staked out the moral high ground for a powerful and irresistible civil rights movement. It was classic good versus evil. Many white Americans were sickened by the gory news scenes of baton-battering racist Southern sheriffs, fire hoses, police dogs, and Klan violence unleashed against peaceful black protesters. Racial segregation was considered immoral and indefensible, and the civil rights leaders were hailed as martyrs and heroes in the fight for justice.

As America unraveled in the 1960s in the anarchy of urban riots, campus takeovers, and anti-war street battles, the civil rights movement and its leaders fell apart, too. Many of them fell victim to their own success and failure. When they broke down the racially restricted doors of corporations, government agencies, and universities, it was middle-class blacks, not the poor, who rushed headlong through them. As King embraced the rhetoric of the militant anti-war movement, he became a political pariah shunned by the White House, as well as mainstream white and black leaders.

King's murder in 1968 was a turning point for race relations in America. The self-destruction from within and political sabotage from outside of black organizations left the black poor organizationally fragmented and politically rudderless. The black poor, lacking competitive technical skills and professional training, and shunned by many middle-class black leaders, became expendable jail and street and cemetery fodder. Some turned to gangs, guns and drugs to survive.

A Pew study specifically released to coincide with the 50th anniversary celebrations graphically made the point that the economic and social gaps between whites and African-Americans have widened over the last few decades despite massive spending by federal and state governments, state and federal civil rights laws, and two decades of affirmative action programs. The racial polarization has been endemic between blacks and whites on everything from the George Zimmerman trial to just about every other controversial case that involves black and white perceptions of the workings of the criminal justice system.

A half century later, the task of redeeming King’s dream means confronting the crises of family breakdown, the rash of shamefully failing public schools, racial profiling, urban police violence, the obscene racial disparities in the prison and criminal justice system, and HIV/AIDS. These are beguiling problems that sledgehammer the black poor and these are the problems that King and the civil rights movement of his day only had begun to recognize and address. Civil rights leaders today also have to confront something else that King did not have to face. King had the sympathy and goodwill of millions of whites, politicians, and business leaders in the peak years of the civil rights movement. Much of that goodwill has vanished in the belief that blacks have attained full equality.

Then there’s the reality that race matters in America can no longer be framed exclusively in black and white. Latinos and Asians have become major players in the fight for political and economic empowerment and figure big in the political strategies of Democratic and Republican presidential contenders. Today’s civil rights leaders will have to figure out ways to balance the competing and sometimes contradictory needs of these and other ethnic groups and patch them into a workable coalition for change.

It's grossly unfair to expect today’s civil rights leaders to be the charismatic, aggressive champions of, and martyrs for, civil rights that King was. Or to think that 50 years later, another March on Washington can solve the seemingly intractable problems of the black poor. The times and circumstances have changed too much for that. Still, civil rights leaders can draw strength from King's courage, vision and dedication and fight the hardest they can against racial and economic injustices that have hardly disappeared. This is still a significant step toward redeeming King’s dream.

Earl Ofari Hutchinson, author of How Obama Governed: The Year of Crisis and Challenge, is a weekly co-host of the “Al Sharpton Show” on American Urban Radio Network. An associate editor of New America Media. He hosts the weekly “Hutchinson Report Newsmaker Hour” on the Hutchinson Newsmaker Network.

[Removed]

[-] 2 points by WSmith (1931) from Cornelius, OR 1 year ago

Still Marching on Washington, 50 Years Later | John Lewis http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/14/us/politics/50-years-later-fighting-the-same-civil-rights-battle.html

The August 24 March on Washington: Why We Need a New Civil Rights and Labor Movement

Mark Vorpahl | Occupy.com | August 10, 2013

It will inevitably be seen as a test of commitment towards regenerating a movement that can steer this country in a direction towards economic justice and equality. http://www.nationofchange.org/august-24-march-washington-why-we-need-new-civil-rights-and-labor-movement-1376144896

50th Anniversary March On Washington DC, August 24th, 2013 http://www.theprogressivesinfluence.com/2013/08/50th-anniversary-march-on-washington-dc.html

[-] 1 points by WSmith (1931) from Cornelius, OR 1 year ago

50th Anniversary of March on Washington

Aug 28, 2013 | C-SPAN

White House | District of Columbia NAACP | National Urban League | Southern Christian Leadership Conference | National Council of Negro Women | A. Philip Randolph Institute | National Action Network | Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change | National Coalition of Black Civic Participation

http://www.c-spanvideo.org/event/223639

1963 Was the Beginning not the End (like the 1%-GOP wants), 2008 Was the Beginning not the End (like the 1%-GOP wants), 2013 is the Beginning not another end (like the 1%-GOP wants). Vigilance!

The Struggle for Justice against the PTB Never Ever ENDS!!

[-] 1 points by WSmith (1931) from Cornelius, OR 1 year ago

Black Republicans try to appropriate Martin Luther King

By Dana Milbank, Published: August 26

Now it can be told: All the prominent black Republicans in America really can fit into one room.

In fairness, it was a pretty big room.

Republicans, who got just 6 percent of the African American vote in 2012, saw this week’s 50th anniversary celebration of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr’s March on Washington passing them by. So they held their own commemoration. They sent an invitation “far and wide,” as one party official put it, asking black conservatives to lunch at party headquarters. About 150 accepted the invitation for chicken, cheesecake and cheeky suggestions that the late civil rights leader would have supported the causes of today’s conservatives. Continued:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/dana-milbank-black-republicans-try-to-appropriate-martin-luther-king/2013/08/26/2eb47d18-0e99-11e3-bdf6-e4fc677d94a1_story.html

[-] 1 points by WSmith (1931) from Cornelius, OR 1 year ago

Ronald Reagan: Martin Luther King had It Coming By John Amato | August 27, 2013 06:00 AM

Rick Perlstein gave Steve Kornacki a real insight into the way Conservatives thought about Martin Luther King back in his day. And after listening to Laura Ingraham's use of gun shot sound to denigrate Rep. John Lewis' speech, I think those sentiments still resonate today with most conservatives today.

For some real historical context, this discussion on Up with Steve Kornacki this week-end is a must see. In the first segment, Rick Perlstein draws attention to St Ronnie of wingnuts' comments after King's assassination:

He said he had it coming. He said, "it's the sort of great tragedy when we begin compromising with law and order and people started choosing which laws they would break."

He's referring to civil disobedience. This was pretty much a consensus view on the right among the same people who celebrate Martin Luther King now. Frankly, Martin Luther King had to be forgotten before he could be remembered. Martin Luther King called himself a socialist. Jesse Helms wasn't pulling that out of nowhere. His associate, Daniel Levinson, probably had been a communist. And the main demand of the march for jobs and freedom was a phrase that was resounding at the time but we don't remember it now, "a Marshal Plan for the cities", which meant a massive federal investment in developing the depressed areas of america. Which I don't think we heard in Washington [this past week-end]

Pretty sure we wouldn't hear that on Fox News of 1965 or 2013 either.

Nice one St. Ronnie, there isn't a black issue that he didn't race bait in his career.

"South Carolina Senator Strom Thurmond wrote his constituents, "[W]e are now witnessing the whirlwind sowed years ago when some preachers and teachers began telling people that each man could be his own judge in his own case." Another, even more prominent conservative said it was just the sort of "great tragedy that began when we began compromising with law and order, and people started choosing which laws they'd break."

That was Ronald Reagan, the governor of California, arguing that King had it coming. King was the man who taught people they could choose which laws they'd break--in his soaring exegesis on St. Thomas Aquinas from that Birmingham jail in 1963:

"Any law that uplifts human personality is just. Any law that degrades human personality is unjust. ... Thus it is that I can urge men to obey the 1954 decision of the Supreme Court, for it is morally right; and I can urge them to disobey segregation ordinances, for they are morally wrong."

That's not what you hear from conservatives today, of course. What you get now are convoluted and fantastical tributes arguing that, properly understood, Martin Luther King was actually one of them (Glenn Beck) -- or would have been, had he lived.

Read the rest of Danish Brethren's post over at DKos.

http://crooksandliars.com/john-amato/ronald-reagan-martin-luther-king-had-it

[-] -2 points by Mollyginger (-15) 1 year ago

Let's talk about the 60's Willy. All the racial bigots had a big fat D behind their names. The KKK and DNC shared the same membership lists.

The freedom fighters were Republicans, as was MLK. Somehow, the leftwing keeps forgetting and trying to rewrite our civil rights history, I'd be careful if I was a leftie about going too far back in time. Could be a bit uncomfy for ya

[-] 1 points by WSmith (1931) from Cornelius, OR 1 year ago

OK Glenn, I hear where your coming from, the 1% elite and their RepubliCon Cult, the Right Wingers, the John Birch Society, ALEC, the multitude of Chambers of Commerce and Wall Street are all about helping the blacks. MLK would be best friends with Reince Priebus and Rush Limbaugh. Got It.

The differences between Democrats and Republicans over race, in three charts

By Sean Sullivan, Published: August 27 at 9:27

The 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, where Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his famous “I Have a Dream” speech, is just a day away. So, where do Americans come down on the question of how far the country has moved toward King’s vision of racial equality in the five decades since the march?

Viewed through the lens of political party affiliation, they are divided: Most Republicans say the country has made “a lot” of progress toward racial equality, while a majority of Democrats say they see shorter strides. And when it comes to what’s left to be done in the future, most Democrats see “a lot” more work, while most Republicans do not. Continued: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/wp/2013/08/27/the-differences-between-democrats-and-republicans-over-race-in-three-charts/

[-] 1 points by WSmith (1931) from Cornelius, OR 1 year ago

A new high in low: Laura Ingraham Celebrates March On Washington 50th Anniversary With Gunshots And Race-Baiting

...On her August 26 radio broadcast, Ingraham criticized the event and its speakers, saying the goal "was to co-opt the legacy of Martin Luther King into a modern-day liberal agenda," and scoffing at the topics speakers supposedly discussed: "From gay marriage, to immigration -- amnesty, was thrown in for good measure. We talked about the Voting Rights Act."...

Boy, where have we heard that before?

Continued: Blog ››› August 26, 2013 12:55 PM EDT ››› BRIAN POWELL http://mediamatters.org/blog/2013/08/26/laura-ingraham-celebrates-march-on-washington-5/195590

[-] 2 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 1 year ago

Martin Luther King Jr is a devote pacifist

"Yet our best trained, best educated, best equipped, best prepared troops refuse to fight. Matter fact it's safe to say that they would rather switch than fight."

[-] 1 points by WSmith (1931) from Cornelius, OR 1 year ago

Let's all learn from this great work, and take a moment tomorrow for the hope of carrying on. The struggle against tyranny never ends! NEVER!

[-] 0 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 1 year ago

tyranny will end

put down the tomahawk

[-] 2 points by WSmith (1931) from Cornelius, OR 1 year ago

Tyranny Never ends, it's overthrown. The struggle against injustice is needed in direct relation to greed.

[-] 1 points by WSmith (1931) from Cornelius, OR 1 year ago

Tens of thousands march, remembering King’s 1963 dream but declaring: ‘The task is not done”

By Associated Press, Published: August 24

WASHINGTON — Tens of thousands of people marched to the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial and down the National Mall on Saturday, commemorating the 50th anniversary of King’s famous speech and pledging that his dream includes equality for gays, Latinos, the poor and the disabled.

The event was a homage to a generation of activists that endured fire hoses, police abuse and indignities to demand equality for African Americans. But there was a strong theme of unfinished business.

“This is not the time for nostalgic commemoration,” said Martin Luther King III, the oldest son of the slain civil rights leader. “Nor is this the time for self-congratulatory celebration. The task is not done. The journey is not complete. We can and we must do more.”

Eric Holder, the nation’s first black attorney general, said he would not be in office, nor would Barack Obama be president, without those who marched.

“They marched in spite of animosity, oppression and brutality because they believed in the greatness of what this nation could become and despaired of the founding promises not kept,” Holder said.

Holder mentioned gays and Latinos, women and the disabled as those who had yet to fully realize the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream. Others in the crowd advocated organized labor, voting rights, revamping immigration policies and access to local post offices.

Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., the only surviving speaker from the 1963 March on Washington, railed against a recent Supreme Court decision that effectively erased a key anti-discrimination provision of the Voting Rights Act. Lewis was a leader of a 1965 march, where police beat and gassed marchers who demanded access to voting booths.

“I gave a little blood on that bridge in Selma, Ala., for the right to vote,” he said. “I am not going to stand by and let the Supreme Court take the right to vote away from us. You cannot stand by. You cannot sit down. You’ve got to stand up. Speak up, speak out and get in the way.”

Organizers expected about 100,000 people to participate in the event, the precursor to the actual anniversary of the Aug. 28, 1963, march that drew some 250,000 to the National Mall and ushered in the idea of massive, nonviolent demonstrations.

Marchers began arriving early Saturday, many staking out their spots as the sun rose in a clear sky over the Capitol. By midday, tens of thousands had gathered on the National Mall.

Lynda Chambers, 58, gave up a day’s pay to attend because her retail job does not provide paid vacation. Even as a 7-year-old at the time of the original march, she felt alienated and deprived of her rights. Remembering those feelings, she said, she was compelled to make the trip Saturday.

“I wanted to have some sort of connection to what I have always known, as far as being a black person,” she said.

Longtime activist Al Sharpton, now a MSNBC host, implored young black men to respect women and reminded them that two of the leading figures in the civil rights movement of the 1960s were women.

“Rosa Parks wasn’t no ho,” he said. “And Fannie Lou Hamer wasn’t no bitch.”

CONTINUED: http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/tens-of-thousands-march-remembering-kings-1963-dream-but-declaring-the-task-is-not-done/2013/08/24/199a6a12-0d1f-11e3-89fe-abb4a5067014_story.html

[-] 1 points by WSmith (1931) from Cornelius, OR 1 year ago

Congressman John Lewis Speaks at the National Action to Realize the Dream March and Rally

CongressionalBlackCaucus Clip Created Aug 24, 2013

Clipped from:Realize the Dream Rally and March Aug 24, 2013

Congressman John Lewis speaks at the National Action to Realize the Dream March and Rally in celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington. Rep. Lewis is the only living speaker from the march in 1963.

http://www.c-spanvideo.org/clip/4462705

[-] 1 points by WSmith (1931) from Cornelius, OR 1 year ago

Brother Martin and the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington

http://occupywallst.org/forum/brother-martin-and-50th-anniversary-march-washingt/

[-] 1 points by WSmith (1931) from Cornelius, OR 1 year ago

IN DEPTH: MLK & America, Fifty Years Later

Looking Back, While Looking Forward

Fifty years after Dr. King's infamous "March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom" celebrations and memorials have been filling DC, even as a recent Reuters poll shows that many Americans say we still haven't achieved his dream. In fact, the two biggest problems America faces today are the very same problems King was fighting back then: A lack of jobs that pay a fair and living wage, along with continued racial, economic, and systemic injustices within our government.

The numbers don't tell the only story, though. Part of keeping an even perspective is knowing what Dr. King and other civil rights leaders faced in the 1960's. Thankfully, NBC recently released the full video of Martin Luther King Jr. on NBC's Meet the Press in 1965 - a somewhat hostile experience for him: (Video)

http://www.randirhodes.com/articles/headlines-393046/in-depth-mlk-america-fifty-years-11598903/

Sadly, Americans of all backgrounds have let slide the work that Dr. King and many others fought for - especially since 2000. Wages for working Americans have remained flat for more than a decade, and the median income for Americans remains below where it was when the Great Recession began in 2007. For African Americans, the numbers are even worse, as the economic gap between blacks and whites hasn't budged for 50 years.

However, as Dr King himself said that day on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, "Let us not wallow in the valley of despair." We simply need to keep things in perspective - and keep pushing forward, as he asked us all to do 50 years ago. (Video)

http://www.randirhodes.com/articles/headlines-393046/in-depth-mlk-america-fifty-years-11598903/

Read more: http://www.randirhodes.com/articles/headlines-393046/in-depth-mlk-america-fifty-years-11598903/#ixzz2cv5MXbPF

[-] 1 points by WSmith (1931) from Cornelius, OR 1 year ago

The story bigots hate: Antoinette Tuff’s courage

A black woman treats a young white shooter with compassion to save children's lives -- and his life, too

By Joan Walsh | Aug 22, 2013 09:35 AM PST

We rarely hear the tales of school-shooting heroism directly from the heroes, tragically, because the heroes rarely live to tell them. Dave Cullen’s haunting “Columbine” tells the poignant story of computer teacher Dave Sanders, who was shot while shepherding his students to safety and died after the students worked hard to save him. After the Sandy Hook shootings, the courage of principal Dawn Hochsprung and teachers like Victoria Soto broke our hearts – but we heard them from survivors and friends and family, because the women were among Adam Lanza’s victims.

That’s part of what makes the story of Antoinette Tuff so compelling – but only part of it. Tuff is, of course, the bookkeeper at Ronald McNair Discovery Learning Center in Decatur, Ga., whose work talking shooter Michael Brandon Hill into surrendering to police Tuesday was captured live on a stunning 911 tape that’s gone viral. The fascination at the heart of Tuff’s tale, the reason it’s riveting, is the way she used compassion and empathy to disarm a mentally ill man intent on killing. “Was the potential there to have another Sandy Hook? Absolutely,” the local police chief told reporters as he praised Tuff.

In this story, the only thing that stopped a bad guy with a gun was a good woman with a heart. Or to entirely rewrite Wayne LaPierre’s dumb Manichaean NRA propaganda: The only thing that stopped an emotionally damaged, despairing and unloved young man with 500 rounds of ammunition was a compassionate woman sharing her own story of damage and despair, and telling him she loved him.

Oh, and then there’s this: As we try to recover from the unnecessarily polarized aftermath of the Trayvon Martin killing and George Zimmerman’s acquittal, it’s worth noting that Tuff is a black woman who helped save a young white man from harm at the hands of police. Of course the race-baiters at Fox News, who were so agitated about the crimes of young black men a few weeks ago, have hardly rushed to emphasize that a young white man opened fire at a predominantly black school – let alone that he was helped to save his own life by an African-American woman (for example, check out how they approach these facts here).

http://www.salon.com/2013/08/22/the_story_the_right_hates_antoinette_tuffs_courage/

[-] 1 points by WSmith (1931) from Cornelius, OR 1 year ago

Excerpted from “Wrapped in the Flag: A Personal History of America’s Radical Right“ by Claire Conner (2013, Beacon Press). Excerpted with permission by Beacon Press.

Salon | Sunday, Jul 14, 2013

My parents were right-wing extremists

Mom and dad were John Birchers who idolized George Wallace. And then I found a hero in Martin Luther King Jr.

By Claire Conner

My parents had gotten their views about African Americans and the civil rights movement from Robert Welch, an old Southern boy [and co-founder of the John Birch Society]. He’d always thought the Negroes had it good in the United States, a view he explained in a pamphlet published in the early 1960s, Two Revolutions at Once.

In it, Welch claimed that “educational opportunities [for Negroes] have tremendously improved” with “some states [in the South] spending as much as fifty percent of their total school budget on Negro schools, while deriving only fifteen percent … from taxes paid by the Negro population.” He claimed that job opportunities for the Negro had “markedly increased despite a determined undercover effort by the Communists to prevent this trend.” This assertion was unproven, but that didn’t stop Welch from repeating it. Welch even believed that “separate but equal” had been “gaining substance in the matter of equality and losing rigidity in the matter of separateness.”

In 1963, Welch was still insisting that “separate but equal” was “surely but slowly breaking down, with regard to public facilities, wherever Negroes earned the right by sanitation, education, and a sense of responsibility, to share such facilities.”

As jarring as these words are today, they worked well for the John Birch Society in the 1960s — so well that, by 1965, JBS could boast more than one hundred chapters in Birmingham, Alabama, and its surrounding suburbs. The New York Times reported that “the society is capitalizing on white supremacy sentiment, as well as on a general social, religious and political conservatism in the south.”

As a Birch kid, I wasn’t a bit surprised. The JBS had been fighting the civil rights movement since its founding, and the events of 1962 and 1963 added even more grist to their racist mill.


In the fall of 1962, chaos erupted in Mississippi when the federal courts ordered the admission of James Meredith, a twenty-nine-year-old Air Force veteran, to the University of Mississippi. The Ole Miss Rebels and segregationists across the former Confederacy were not about to sit quietly by while a “colored” man soiled the 144-year whites-only history of the university. Ross Barnett, Mississippi’s governor, didn’t help matters when he vowed that “no school in our state will be integrated while I am your Governor.”

CONTINUED: http://www.salon.com/2013/07/15/my_parents_were_right_wing_extremists/

[-] 1 points by WSmith (1931) from Cornelius, OR 1 year ago

Commemorating the March on Washington: Where to watch on TV

By Emily Yahr, Published: August 23

The 50th anniversary of the March on Washington isn’t until next Wednesday — and while a slew of channels will broadcast the occasion and President Obama’s speech at the Lincoln Memorial, there’s a slate of pre-programming already lined up for the weekend.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/style-blog/wp/2013/08/23/commemorating-the-march-on-washington-where-to-watch-on-tv/

[-] 1 points by WSmith (1931) from Cornelius, OR 1 year ago

BERNIE BUZZ: http://sanders.enews.senate.gov/mail/util.cfm?gpiv=2100107154.211249.273&gen=1

People from all across America came to Washington 50 years ago for the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. A 22-year old college student was among the more than 200,000 people who traveled hundreds of miles to hear the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and other civil right leaders. It was Bernie Sanders’ first trip to Washington. MORE: On BERNIE BUZZ...

Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream still echoes

Source: The Washington Post | By E.J. Dionne Jr. | August 22, 2013

The things we forget about the March on Washington are the things we most need to remember 50 years on.

We forget that the majestically peaceful assemblage that moved a nation came in the wake of brutal resistance to civil rights and equality. And that there would be more to come.

A young organizer named John Lewis spoke at the march of living “in constant fear of a police state.” He would suffer more. On March 7, 1965, Lewis and his colleague Hosea Williams led marchers across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Ala. They were met by mounted state troopers who would fracture Lewis’s skull. As we celebrate Lewis’s ultimate triumph and his distinguished career in the House of Representatives, we should never lose sight of all it took for him to get there.

We forget that the formal name of the great gathering before the Lincoln Memorial was the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. Jobs came first, an acknowledgement that the ability to enjoy liberty depends upon having the economic wherewithal to exercise our rights. The organizing manual for the march, as Michele Norris pointed out in Time magazine, spoke of demands that included “dignified jobs at decent wages.” It is a demand as relevant as ever.

Martin Luther King Jr. answered them in the oration that would introduce tens of millions of white Americans to the moral rhythms and scriptural poetry that define the African American pulpit.

CONTINUED: http://www.sanders.senate.gov/newsroom/news/?id=72b1bfa7-438b-44df-a36a-15c9ad070ec4&utm_source=berniebuzz&utm_medium=email&utm_content=Read+the+column+link&utm_campaign=National+Bernie+Buzz+08-23

BERNIE BUZZ: http://sanders.enews.senate.gov/mail/util.cfm?gpiv=2100107154.211249.273&gen=1

[-] 1 points by WSmith (1931) from Cornelius, OR 1 year ago

How Dr. King’s Words 50 Years Ago Explain How Chelsea Manning Expressed “The Very Highest Respect For The Law”

AlterNet / By Zaid Jilani | August 22, 2013

In breaking the law to expose wrongdoing, Chelsea Manning stepped into the shoes of many who had committed civil disobedience before her.

One day after the Obama Department of Justice asked a court to grant immunity to George W. Bush and senior officials in his administration for war crimes related to the Iraq war, Chelsea Manning was sentenced to 35 years in prison for her role in leaking classified information.

As The Nation’s Greg Mitchell noted, Manning’s revelations exposed everything from corruption in Tunisia to sex abuse in the Vatican to possible war crimes by the United States military. Yet Manning will be sitting in jail for years, as many of these crimes he revealed will go unpunished.

Some pundits were unsympathetic to Manning’s sentencing. “BREAKING: Betrayal of classified documents entrusted to you has serious legal consequences. #Shocker,” tweeted former Bush speech writer David Frum.

Yet the truth about Chelsea Manning is that she understood the consequences of what she was doing, and she did it anyway. It wasn’t a shock. In breaking the law to expose wrongdoing, Chelsea Manning stepped into the shoes of many who had committed civil disobedience before her.

CONTINUED: http://www.alternet.org/how-dr-kings-words-50-years-ago-explain-how-chelsea-manning-expressed-very-highest-respect-law?paging=off

[-] 1 points by WSmith (1931) from Cornelius, OR 1 year ago

Time to March on Washington—Again

Fifty years after King’s historic march, the struggle for racial justice faces unprecedented challenges.

Ari Berman | August 14, 2013 | This article appeared in the September 2-9, 2013 edition of The Nation.

They carried signs that demanded “Voting Rights,” “Jobs for All” and “Decent Housing.” They protested the vigilante killing of an unarmed black teenager in the South and his killer’s acquittal. They denounced racial profiling in the country’s largest city.

This isn’t 1963 but 2013, when so many of the issues that gave rise to the March on Washington fifty years ago remain unfulfilled or under siege today. That’s why, on August 24, a broad coalition of civil rights organizations, unions, progressive groups and Democratic Party leaders will rally at the Lincoln Memorial and proceed to the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial to honor the fiftieth anniversary of the march and dramatize the contemporary fight. (President Obama will participate in a separate event commemorating the official anniversary on August 28.) The Supreme Court’s decision gutting the Voting Rights Act in late June and the acquittal of George Zimmerman less than three weeks later make this year’s march “exponentially more urgent” with respect to pressuring Congress and arousing the conscience of the nation, says Ben Jealous, president of the NAACP, a co-sponsor of the march.

CONTINUED: http://www.thenation.com/article/175757/time-march-washington-again#