[Marxism] MLK Jr. weeps from his grave

CallMe Ishmael llamadmeismael7 at gmail.com
Fri Aug 26 09:53:11 MDT 2011

> The age of Obama has fallen tragically short of fulfilling King’s prophetic
> legacy. Instead of articulating a radical democratic vision and fighting for
> homeowners, workers and poor people in the form of mortgage relief, jobs and
> investment in education, infrastructure and housing, the administration gave
> us bailouts for banks, record profits for Wall Street and giant budget cuts
> on the backs of the vulnerable.

>From Tariq Ali's review of the Manning Marable book on Malcolm X (NLR
69, May-June 2011):

Marable contrasts the posthumous fates
of Malcolm and Martin Luther King Jr: the latter sanctified by the political
establishment as a martyr to a ‘colour-blind America’, celebrated by an
official annual holiday, while Malcolm was pilloried and stereotyped by the
mass media, albeit as ‘an icon of black encouragement’ to African American
youth. Marable then tries to elide King with Obama, differentiating Malcolm
from both of them. This is both sad and grotesque. King was killed for his
opposition to the Vietnam War. He never turned his back on the plight of
African-Americans. The reason why he broke from the Democratic Party
was to unite blacks and whites against war and for social justice. Obama’s
record speaks for itself. Malcolm would have lambasted him for escalating
the war in Afghanistan and extending it to Pakistan, where thousands of
civilians have been killed by ‘targeted’ drone attacks. He would have pilloried
Obama’s role as Wall Street’s handmaiden, even as working-class
America, black and white, suffers from rising levels of unemployment and
social deprivation. His words at Michigan State University in 1963 are all too
applicable today, as many are coming to realize.

Marable suggests that Obama’s election means that Malcolm’s vision
would have to be ‘radically redefined’, for a political environment that
appears to be ‘post-racial’. In that case, Malcolm might have asked, why is
it that in 2011 the number of African-Americans incarcerated in US prisons
is the same as the slave population in 1860? And why, despite the ascent
of such figures as Clarence Thomas, Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice and
Obama, do blacks remain on the lowest rung of the social ladder? Malcolm
was not such a prisoner of the American dream as to think that getting
a dark-skinned man in the White House need necessarily do anything to
change the fundamental structures of wealth, race and power.

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