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Death of Martin Luther King: His dream lives on | Pajerro Sport Club
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martin luther king rede

martin luther king rede

CONTROVERSY ⋅ America remembers Martin Luther King, who was murdered 50 years ago. Often a distorted picture is drawn: King was indeed a preacher, who called for non-violent protests. He was also an angry activist who stepped on his feet if necessary.

It was just a side note. But the letter by award-winning historian David Garrow, published a few days ago in the British weekly The Economist, says more about the legacy of Martin Luther King than the many clever essays that are currently being used to commemorate his murder 50 years ago. Garrow complained in his petition that the author of an obituary on the almost universally revered popular preacher Billy Graham had made a false claim: King was once ransomed by Graham by this in a prison in Albany (Georgia) or Birmingham (Alabama) or wherever a deposit for King deposited.

The anecdote, says the renowned King biographer, is fictionalized – though it is also propagated by the King Center, a non-profit institution that cultivates the memory of the dead civil rights activist. But he is particularly annoyed by this, Garrow says on demand, claiming that Graham, son of a white farmer from Charlotte, North Carolina, and King, son of a black priest from Atlanta, Georgia, are close friends been. That’s not true.

martin luther king speech

martin luther king speech

He soon drops the image of the Stoic Servant of God

One must know: For several years, the two Protestant pastors, however different their biography and their way of life, were in the same circles. Time and again, King and Graham discussed in the late 1950s how, with the help of the Word of God, state-sanctioned racial segregation could be overcome in much of the United States. At that time Graham was one of the few confidants of white skin color, the King was allowed to address with his nickname “Mike”, is repeatedly rumored. Garrow also doubts this tradition. But by the early 1960s, says Garrow, Graham and King had lost touch, and it was therefore wrong to speak of a deep friendship.

In fact, the two lived apart. While the white preacher in the tumultuous decade, marked by the civil rights movement, the sexual revolution and the Vietnam War, largely refrained from giving his salutation political promises, the black pastor fought doggedly on the foremost political front against continued discrimination against the African-American minority , In the process, the Nobel Peace Prize laureate changed from an almost Stoic servant of God, who calmly received humiliation and called for non-violence, to become a frustrated, sometimes furious activist.

Thus King extended his field of action and raged not later than 1963 not only in the reactionary south of the US, but also in the supposedly enlightened north of the country against visible and invisible barriers in the coexistence of light and dark skinned Americans. With this message, he snubbed in Los Angeles, Chicago or Detroit (white) allies, who bitterly complained about the protests in their spruce front gardens – and criticized the alleged militancy of the civil rights movement. Then King went one step further on April 4, 1967, the day exactly a year before his assassination. In a New York church, he warned against an escalation of the war in Vietnam and called for an end to the US troops. “The time is coming,” said the pastor, “since silence means betrayal.” After all, it was not only the Vietnamese who paid a high price for the war in their homeland; poor Americans, too, suffered from more and more money being made available to the armed forces, and this money was missing from the American social budget. With this sermon Martin Luther King snubbed the most influential ally he possessed – President Lyndon B. Johnson, who stubbornly held on to troop deployment in Asia, although he increasingly paid a high political price for it.

It almost seems as if America has reconciled with him

In short: Martin Luther King was a highly controversial personality, criticized by whites and blacks, progressives and racists when he was murdered on 4 April 1968 in Memphis (Tennessee). Fifty years later, however, this seems to have been forgotten, and even a conservative figure like Billy Graham is suddenly considered a close friend of Martin Luther King. It almost seems as if America has reconciled itself with the man who, as a young pastor, led the bus boycott in Montgomery, Alabama, and thanks to this journeyman, became the head of an initially loose movement of civil rights activists who shook the country to its foundations. When King speaks of Washington today, he is portrayed as a non-political, selfless icon – a man dedicated to a national holiday and a monumental monument in Washington. And a man who can sell cars if necessary. For example, at the beginning of the year, Fiat Chrysler backed a commercial for pick-up trucks with the voice of Kings. The fact that he preached in his sermon, held in February 1968, against materialism, seemed to have escaped the car maker.

Critical observers in the face of this development speak of a “whitewashing of history”. As the political scientist Jeanne Theoharis, who teaches at Brooklyn College in New York, says: America has forgotten how controversial the leading forces of the civil rights movement have been and how much the average American has disturbed the actions of King and his colleagues.Theoharis: “These were destructive protests.” By the 1980s at the latest, America had decided to sweep aside the controversial side of the historic civil rights movement and instead celebrate the progress made, the left-wing intellectual says – Barack Obama’s election first US president with dark skin, for example. It is forgotten that most African Americans still have a miserable existence. Statistics show that blacks live more unhealthily, die earlier, earn less, and more often come into conflict with the law than whites.

The consequences of this whitewashing would have to bear especially today’s most active, says Theoharis. They are repeatedly shouting, “Be like King, be like King!” To silence them, the historian recently said in an interview with the Internet publication The Intercept. This is illustrated by statements made by former Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, former preacher in his native Arkansas, about the Black Lives Matter movement. Addressing the demands of the most active, Huckabee said in front of current television cameras, “All human lives count, not just the lives of African Americans.” And he explicitly stated that it would preserve the memory of Martin Luther King, who is always committed to well-being all Americans have used, regardless of skin color.

martin luther lebenslauf

martin luther lebenslauf

Trump quotes Luther King again and again

Theoharis finds such statements simply foolish. King had been arrested more than 30 times in his lifetime because he wanted to shake up the population.Similar motives today characterized those activists who demonstrated against police brutality or for stricter gun laws. The intellectuals therefore have a message to politicians such as Mike Huckabee or Donald Trump, who repeatedly quote Martin Luther King and call young civil rights activists to orientate themselves on the Nobel laureate: “Be careful what exactly you want”, because sometimes such desires coming true.

Wild theories after the murder

Martin Luther King died on April 4, 1968, at a motel in Memphis, Tennessee.Even today, many people are racking their brains over the background of this deed because they doubt the official version of what happened. This has to do with the love of the Americans for conspiracy theories and the chaotic policing in the hours after the assassination in Memphis. According to the official version King was hit on 4 April 1968 shortly after 18 clock by a shot. The bullet pierced the jaw of the 39-year-old civil rights activist, who was standing on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel at that time. An hour later he was pronounced dead.

For two months, the police subsequently searched for the assassin, unsuccessfully and without a clear concept. Then, in June 1968, the British authorities arrested petty criminal James Earl Ray in London for trying to leave the country with a fake Canadian passport. Ray confessed in 1969 after his extradition to the US that he had murdered Martin Luther King. The motive: racism. But three days later, he revoked this confession again. Instead, he opened a new version of events to the investigators: a CIA agent named Raoul had set a trap for him, and he, Ray, had been “partially responsible” for King’s assassination, without realizing it. He did not shoot King.

The court did not believe Ray, partly because he was identified by the owner of a Memphis pension who had rented a room nearby. Ray was sentenced to 99 years in prison and escaped the death penalty only because he pleaded guilty again.

Did the US government hire a killer?

This back and forth gave the rumors that the death of Luther King was the result of a conspiracy. Although official investigations have exposed all these theories as fairy tales. But as late as 1997, a son of Kings claimed that James Earl Ray – who would die in jail the following year – was innocent. “In a strange way, we’re both victims,” ​​said Dexter King. His theory: The US government wanted to get King out of the way and therefore hired a killer. The Nobel Peace Prize winner’s son often referred to Loyd Jowers, a former Memphis restaurant owner who claimed in 1993 that he had hired King’s killer for $ 100,000 and that it was not Ray.

Five years later, a southerner at a local newspaper in Florida said his father was the real killer. Ray had just got the gun, but the act had been perpetrated by Henry Clay Wilson. The motive was not racism, rather his father believed that the civil rights activist “had a connection with communism, and he wanted to get him out of the way”. After the crime his father kept saying that he only did his patriotic duty. Conspiracy theorists point out that Wilson was in touch with Ray – so he could have been the mysterious Raoul.

The American investigative authorities, however, also described this story as a fairy tale. Unlike other memorial sites, the National Civil Rights Museum, located in the former Motel Lorraine in Memphis, does not disclose such “alternative scenarios” of the killing of King. For example, attorney William Pepper appeared at the museum last November, who once represented James Earl Ray but is now convinced of his client’s innocence. Pepper claimed that the shooter on 4 April was the policeman Frank Strausser, who acted on behalf of the Federal Police FBI and the local mafia. Martin Luther King died because the doctors at St. Joseph’s Hospital had suffocated him.

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