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John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY RUPERT CORNWELL IN THE INDEPENDENT AND PROMPTLY REMOVED

 

I actually doubt the author knows much about Martin Luther King, a man whose name has come to be used as a kind of cheap slogan by many.

Just to start with, comparing a non-politician to a politician is always a sign of shallowness in a writer.

“Why can’t you be more like Jesus?” you could say to Tony Blair, but what a waste of breath it would be.

“King’s dignity against Trump’s coarseness…”

I liked Dr. King very much and wept when he died, but studying his life in some detail certainly proved he was a human being and not a walking monument.

He did regularly have liaisons with various women as he travelled on the road, including women who in some cases were little more than the “I did it with a celebrity” type, society types, well-off white women, and others.

Hardly dignified.

There is a kind of deep connection between the two men nevertheless.

King was unquestionably a brave man, and he, in his last days, had switched from just being a civil rights leader to being an opponent of the establishment, especially where the murderous Vietnam War was concerned.

I do think that switch is what cost him his life. The establishment at that time was afraid with less tame leaders like Malcolm X (killed earlier) having taken over some of civil rights and the first thunder of the Black Power movement.

Suddenly, there was King speaking against an American War and lending his support to things like strikes by black workers, and that sent shivers through some. He was supposed to just be just a preacher leading rights marches, after all.

Not only were blacks about a quarter of the bodies they sent to Vietnam – out of all proportion to their share of population, which including just men is around 6% – but the double threat of Black Power and direct opposition to a major American policy and getting mixed up in labor strife was for them scary stuff.

I do believe that King’s assassination was no accident of one semi-retarded man with a rifle deciding to shoot him.

Now, Trump also very much disturbs the establishment, very much, or otherwise someone like Cornwell wouldn’t even be writing this thoughtless nonsense.

Trump has different aims than King, but they not entirely different. He wants to put an end to the insanity of the entire Middle East being in flames – having killed about 2 million in the Bush-Obama era – and to the US being in the business of overthrowing governments on a regular basis.

In its way, it is as radical as King’s stance on the holocaust of Vietnam, a place where the US eventually slaughtered about 3 million people.

And Trump has been threatened with assassination, a number of times by people who support the godawful Neocon Wars.

You know, heroism is about what a person tries doing despite opposition from powerful forces, and Trump may just prove something of a genuine hero.

He definitely has King’s courage, even if he lacks the eloquence, and that’s something the establishment fears too.

 

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