by Tre B
Equality in a society based on one group dominating all others is a revolutionary concept. MLK was a revolutionary.
Don't get it twisted, despite the watered-down, docile version of the man they show you on TV and in tributes around this time of year MLK was really a revolutionary. The reason he's not with us today is because those revolutionary tendencies were showing through with more force with regard to the war in Vietnam and the economic empowerment of poor people in this nation. He was truly a dangerous Negro, a Black man that defied that status quo and couldn't be controlled like some of his contemporaries that are still with us today.
The media likes to portray this religious-based, non-violent movement lead by the Civil Rights leaders of the day, but they don't tell you the true ramifications of MLK's movement and how dangerous it really was to the white businessmen that controlled (and still control) this country. Why was this non-violent movement so powerful? Why were sit-ins so effective? Non-violence may have been justified with scriptures from the Bible, but there were actually very practical reasons for this strategy:
1) We were in no position to go up against the government's military might. Don't fight a battle you can't win. Not resorting to violence gave us the moral advantage which is effective in getting PR and support from possible domestic and international allies. In a supposedly Christian nation "under God," it's hard not to see something wrong with armed men physically abusing unarmed women and children. It also showed how dishonorable and cowardly the police were, which is an embarrassment to national pride.
2) Sit-ins were more than just a mere annoyance for white business owners. It messed with their cash flow, and we know how these people get when you mess with their money. The reason these tactics don't work anymore is because they're old and played out and the leaders that use them either don't know the purpose behind them or don't really care. You have to find new and more disruptive ways to make a negative financial impact against these racist companies that are alive and well today in 2009. For example, go into a bank and fill up the lines with people opening up and closing bank account with the minimum deposit. Open an account with $25 at 9:00, make small deposits/withdrawals at the counter every 30 minutes or so, and repeat step 2 every day for as long as the protest lasts. Then at the end, close the account. Or send a ton of people to a store to buy the cheapest thing they have and return it. Anything to prevent real customers from patronizing the business for long periods of time is effective.
See Dr. King was only getting started with achieving political/civil rights. When they killed him he was starting to focus more on economic empowerment and building international alliances with other poor brown countries (because that's what Black America is in essence, having never really been accepted into the general population). The American intelligence agencies know how powerful a unified Black population is especially when they flex their economic muscles and they believe this could pose a national security risk (i.e. COINTELPRO). Any Black man that was capable leading this unified population was bought, coerced into submission, or killed. Like Nas said, "No revolutionary gets old, or so I'm told. You're left full of bullet holes when you tell the people go free."
On this day of remembrance for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., let us honor his name by remembering the man depicted by the mainstream media, but also the man they don't show you; the one you have to read about on your own. Honor him by reading and learning why he was so dangerous that they decided to prematurely end his life. Learn, and teach the children, about the life of a revolutionary; not some socially acceptable, passive shadow of the man he really was.