Sunday, January 20, 2008

Robert Greenwald/Brave New Films/Reverend Yearwood/Bill Moyers/David Cay Johnston: Martin Luther King, Jr's Dream; War on Greed; Free Lunch

What would he say if he were alive today?

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 1929-1968
Democracy Now

Today is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. He was born January 15, 1929. If he lived, he would have turned 79 years old. In the early 1960s, King focused his challenge on legalized racial discrimination in the South where police dogs and bullwhips and cattle prods were used against Southern blacks seeking the right to vote or to eat at a public lunch counter. After passage of Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, King began challenging the nation’s fundamental priorities. He maintained that civil rights laws were empty without “human rights”—including economic rights.

Noting that a majority of Americans below the poverty line were white, King developed a class perspective. He decried the huge income gaps between rich and poor, and called for “radical changes in the structure of our society” to redistribute wealth and power.

By 1967, King had also become the country’s most prominent opponent of the Vietnam War, and a staunch critic of overall U.S. foreign policy, which he deemed militaristic. In his “Beyond Vietnam” speech delivered at New York’s Riverside Church on April 4, 1967—a year to the day before he was murdered—King called the United States “the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today.”

Time magazine called the speech “demagogic slander that sounded like a script for Radio Hanoi,” and the Washington Post declared that King had “diminished his usefulness to his cause, his country, his people.”

To Listen to the Speech and Visit Democracy Now/Pacifica Archives of MLK Jr.s Other Speeches

Reverend Yearwood on Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Dream and the War on Greed:

To watch the film War on Greed (Robert Greenwald: USA, 2008)

Robert Greenwald on CNBC discussing the film (and the brave reporter who defends the subjects of the documentary ;)

Also the most recent episode of Bill Moyer's Journal includes an interview with David Cay Johnston:

With all the talk of change coming out of the campaigns, can we expect big money to lose its grip on Washington? Bill Moyers interviews NEW YORK TIMES investigative reporter and Pulitzer Prize-winner David Cay Johnston who says America's system has been rigged to benefit the super-rich.

To Watch the Episode

More from Democracy Now:

“Free Lunch: How the Wealthiest Americans Enrich Themselves at Government Expense (And Stick You with the Bill)”

And from AlterNet

By Adam Howard
People usually focus on the historic "I Have a Dream" speech,
but it's the work King was doing at the end of his life that
deserves more attention.

To Read the Article

By Eliseo Medina and Gerry Hudson
40 years later, Dr. King's dream of a more just society is a
long way from being realized.

To Read the Article

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