Had to use Google News to find this story from yesterday, for crying out loud.
In the days before he was assassinated, "Dr. King looked troubled,'' Belafonte said. "He said, 'Harry, we fought long and hard to end the laws of segregation that were so cruel and oppressive ... we're now in the midst of our struggle for integration, and in this moment I have come to a deep and troubling suspicion, and it is that I think we are integrating into a burning house--and it troubles me that I am leading us there."
Belafonte said he asked King: "'What would you have us do?'
"He said: 'Become firemen.' ''
Saw on some conservative blog or other -- don't particularly feel like wading through the morass to find the reference, but if anyone recognizes this, let me know -- where some child said he didn't know what MLK would think of current events, and neither did anyone else.
Which struck me as incredibly arrogant, since, you know, the people who actually worked with King might, possibly, have some small inkling, or at least a damn sight more than whoever wrote that. Even I'm willing to go out on a limb and say the activist for nonviolent social change would probably be in favor of nonviolent social change. Which makes any reference to him by the people who don't bother disguising their enthusiasm for war sound a wee bit disingenuous.
To me, anyway.
Had to find the Sun-Times writeup of Belafonte's appearance at St. Sabina's to find that quote; other news sources seemed far more interested in his statements about Powell. Nothing sells papers like a good feud, I suppose, but this doesn't strike me as a feud period.
Didn't notice them quote this bit either:
Despite America's flaws, [Belafonte] said: "I still think we're the best game in town.''
Doesn't fit the narrative they're constructing, I suppose.
Atrios quoted bits of Letter from a Birmingham Jail yesterday, as did Oliver. Linking/quoting from The Black Commentator (which in turn links to Peace Race), Dru has a bit of the overlooked-by-the-right-wingers speech, "Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence."
And there's a bit of "Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community?" up at MediaChannel.org | News Dissector, in yesterday's entry.
Oh, and Darmon has a graphic, and the words:
Remember the Legacy.
Live the Dream.
I am debating whether it's worth the minimal effort involved in asking what the fuck he means by that.
Update: Well, thanks to s. melmoth for pointing to the source of the annoying sentiment, Will Wilkinson:
Am I the only one who finds it distastefully presumptuous to invoke Martin Luther King's memory for the anti-war cause? I have no idea what the man would have thought of our present situation, and I doubt others are in a much better position.
And then there's a bit about how he "think[s] MLK was a far more intelligent man than [Jesse] Jackson is, had a more independent mind, and a far more developed and discerning moral sensibility."
I'd ask the little shit how old he is, and how he felt about MLK while the man was alive if that's applicable, but again, there's that whole not giving a fuck issue to deal with first.
The FBI first investigated King and the [Southern Christian Leadership Council] in the late 1950s under its "racial matters” group. But it wasn't until 1963 that it wiretapped him, after it discovered that King's most influential white adviser was lawyer and businessman Stanley D. Levison.
FBI informants called Levison a key financier of the Communist Party USA and the FBI opened a probe of him, breaking into and bugging his home.
Because of Levison's close relationship to King, the 1977 Justice task force found the FBI was justified in initially placing wiretaps on King under rules then in place. But it said the FBI should have quickly pulled the plug because what he was doing was constitutionally protected activity.
Instead, the FBI retained the taps and illegally bugged King's hotel rooms to gather embarrassing personal information about his marital infidelities. Then the FBI used that information to smear King and even to suggest to him that he commit suicide.
Guess I could say something about the guilt-by-association stuff being tossed out regarding ANSWER in this context, but that would just be mean. . .