Martin Luther King Would Still Fuck Trump's Shit Up (2020 Edition)

Of course, the statement from Donald Trump's White House on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day would contain bullshit and bluster. The bluster is that Trump, who, with his terrible father, once excluded African Americans from their precious Queens condos, is making life better for black Americans when Barack Obama lit that economic fire that Trump has just not extinguished. The bullshit is this line: "The premise—and promise—of King’s dream is that we don’t need to replace or transform our Nation’s shared ideals to make our country a better place."

King talked about transformation of America's ideals for his entire life. Hell, in one of his last speeches, he talked about how "With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood." Indeed, his entire bullet-shortened life was devoted to saying that the status quo was not to be accepted, and that if certain "shared ideals" got us to this point, those ideals needed to be shitcanned (my word, not his). He had no use for the noise of conciliation. "A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus, but a molder of consensus," he really did say (as opposed to all those fake quotes that float around Facebook memes.).

The above quotes are from a 1968 sermon. But I want to go back a decade, to his 1958 "Address Delivered at a Meeting Launching the SCLC Crusade for Citizenship at Greater Bethel AME Church" in Miami. In that speech, he assailed anyone who tried to prevent black people from exercising their right to vote (and he was very clear that it's a right, not a "privilege"). In doing so, King proved again that he would fuck up the shit of President Trump and the entire Republican Party.  It was delivered on Lincoln's birthday as part of a big push by the Southern Christian Leadership Council to register voters.

Laying out how things should radically progress for black Americans, King said: "Let us make our intentions crystal clear. We must and we will be free. We want freedom now. We want the right to vote now. We do not want freedom fed to us in teaspoons over another 150 years. Under God we were born free. Misguided men robbed us of our freedom. We want it back; we would keep it forever. This is not idle chatter, for we know that sacrifice is involved, that brutality will be faced, that savage conduct will need to be endured, that slick trickery will need to be overcome, but we are resolutely prepared for all of this. We are prepared to meet whatever comes with love, with firmness and with unyielding nonviolence. We are prepared to press on unceasingly and persistently, to obtain our birthright and to hand it down to our children and to their children’s children."

And then, in one of those things that could have been written today, King lays the blame squarely at the feet of what we now call "red states" and on a political system invested in disenfranchisement: "Poor white men, women and children, bearing the scars of ignorance, deprivation, and poverty, are evidence of the fact that harm to one is injury to all. They, too, are victims of the one-party system that has developed in the South, a system that denies free political choice and real political expression to millions of white voters. With a limited electorate capable of being manipulated, reactionary men gained access to the highest legislative bodies of government. Today, because the Negro cannot vote, Congress is dominated by Southern Senators and representatives who are not elected in a fair nor in a legal manner. The strategic position of these men, as chairmen of the most important committees in House and Senate, enable them to filibuster and to bottle up legislation urgently needed for the economic and social welfare of all Americans, Negro and white. Hence, it may clearly be seen that it is not the Negro alone who suffers but the nation as a whole."

You got that, you cowardly motherfucking conservatives who desperately need to crush the radical Martin Luther King and remake him in your degraded image? King had your fucking number. He was beginning already in 1958 to push for a movement that would lift all people. And that scared the shit out of white politicians as much as allowing black people to vote and have power. Because if those poor whites figured out that the enemy wasn't their fellow poor people of another color but the rich pukes who kept them poor, the game was over. So the right retrenched on the racism and split the poor by exploiting the ignorance and prejudices of white people.

Martin Luther King would fuck our shit up today, still, because he saw our anti-democratic government for what it was. It's a goddamned shame that we still have done very little about it since the Civil Rights Act. Trump can take his "shared ideals" and shove them up his orange ass.