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Anybody see Tavis Smiley's MLK special on PBS?

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Andre's picture
Submitted by Andre on

against Obama's Nobel acceptance speech. Smiley's (and Belafonte's) take on pacifism was really direct and well defined, what MLK meant by pacifism and Obama doesn't quite understand. I've been mildly impressed by Smiley's sensitivity to nuance, and this was another example.

Andre's picture
Submitted by Andre on

came out against Vietnam, and it made me further admire the guy. But he was right is that it was taking away resources needed for social programs. He was a true anti-empirielist, though i didn't realize it then. But he was also a great spokesperson, who kept LBJ on the drive for racial equality. Something we don't have today. A spokesperson for the social programs we want . FDR had the same thing in the persons of Huey Long, Father Charles Coughlin, and Francis Everett Townsend. That's how we got Social Security. None of them would be covered by our news media today, and maybe not even MLK would be covered. They'd do what they did to single payer.

A great book on FDR here.

gqmartinez's picture
Submitted by gqmartinez on

A few years ago, when I was a Democratic campaigner type, I remember telling my Green Party friend that he needed to keep me honest, never let me sell out my principles, that Democrats need pressure from outside of the system. We do not have that at all anymore. My Green Party friend is now an Obamacrat, and that's pretty symptomatic of the problem. No larger organized group on the left is independent of the Democratic Party. And that's why the country is so fucked up right now.

Andre's picture
Submitted by Andre on

from the book FDR (page 348): "But as the New Deal took shape, he (Coughlin) became increasingly critical. The Radio Priest, as he was called, railed against the power of 'international money', lauded silver as the 'gentile' metal, and was soon accusing Roosevelt of having out-Hoovered Hoover. By the Fall of 1934 Coubhlin was calling for a political realignment. 'The old parties are all but dead' he told his Sunday audience." Does this sound familiar? Only he did it publicly to millions of listeners. That's what FDR was running against, and that's why he was so Liberal, Huey Long was even worse, and Townsend was purely a Socialist, all three of them aimed at the guy in the White House, and that guy was not gonna let them outdo him!

wrensis's picture
Submitted by wrensis on

It is hard to appreciate that MLK was a strong, forceful voice, He had the courage to stand for his beliefs when it was not an easy, comfortable thing to do. The program reminded me that "we shall overcome" was more than a call to action. It was action.

CORNEL WEST: Well, I think that they're in very different lanes, and they have very different callings. Barack Obama presently is the brilliant, charismatic, smiling, friendly face of the American Empire. Martin Luther King, Jr. was the courageous, sacrificial, smiling, friendly face that was crushed by the American Empire. The latter is a prophet. The former is politician.

gqmartinez's picture
Submitted by gqmartinez on

Its easy to point out the flaws of an unpopular president. Its much harder to point them out when they are popular. I trust so few of the people I did even three years ago based on the 2008 election. The silence when vocal opposition was needed is why we are where we are, with a Democratic President and congress passing a Heritage foundation health care plan.