I did have enough clues being revealed to me that helped lead me to the truth. In 1984, I had just read the Federal Bureau of Investigation's counter intelligence files on Dr. King so I knew that they had worked very hard to characterize King as a womanizer. I knew they had compiled a packet of tape recordings of Dr. King's alleged flings with various women and that they had sent a copy of that packet to King and Mrs. Coretta Scott King. Since I knew this, I understood why Ronald Reagan was trying so hard in the 80s to get Congress to agree to open the FBI's file on King before the holiday was voted upon. Reagan's sick hope was that the contents of the file would be made public so as to discredit Dr. King and eliminate any possibility of the holiday gaining traction.
The fact that the very leadership of this capitalist empire would stoop so low was telling for me. I knew that the masses of people supported the holiday for Dr. King based on his work and vision for justice. That was his legacy. Whatever issues existed within him and his marriage, that was between him and Mrs. Coretta in my mind. Clearly, Mrs. King felt the same way because she never uttered a single public word about the packet she received and she maintained her dignity as it related to her husband until her death. What all of that motivated me to do was get a much clearer understanding of who Dr. King was and why he should be honored. From there, I continued to grow within the All African People's Revolutionary Party's (A-APRP) work study process and I became a voracious reader. For many years, before I started writing as I do today, I read three or four comprehensive books per month. I gained a pretty solid understanding of the work Dr. King engaged in and I began to understand that the capitalist system's acceptance of the holiday was not the humble and honest effort to honor him that they want you to believe it is today. The power structure, as evidenced by the actions by Reagan, fought the King holiday tooth and nail until it became clear the people would accept nothing less. So, the capitalists, always organized, always working to stay one step ahead of the disorganized masses, began plotting about how they could take the holiday, how they could take the image of Dr. King, and manipulate it into the image they want you to have. They began promoting the less militant version of Dr. King. They focused exclusively on one speech the man gave; the "I Have a Dream" speech. It was a good speech, but compared to the speeches Dr. King gave in his final year, that speech was juvenile politics.
From 1963, when King gave the "I Have a Dream" speech until his death in April of 1968, King began to understand much better the forces that fueled the capitalist system. He was pushed by the younger more radical elements within the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee, Congress of Racial Equality, and the Black Panther Party, to look more squarely at the system we are fighting against. King began to realize that his belief that the fight was one of appealing to the moral conscious of the capitalist system was flawed at best and impossible at worse. He began to see that this capitalist system is a system of imperialism which means it depends upon exploiting the resources and labor of other countries to maintain the profitability of the corporations that run this society. He knew that the Vietnam war had absolutely nothing to do with protecting the Vietnamese people, not to mention the people of the U.S., from a communist threat. King comprehended that there was no communist threat. Only a mass of people worldwide who would no longer permit themselves to be subjugated to capitalist domination. So, when King gave his "Why I Oppose the War in Vietnam" speech on April 4, 1967, one year to the day that he would be assassinated, he knew exactly what he was placing into motion. That's why he called the young Stokely Carmichael (later Kwame Ture of the A-APRP) and personally invited him to hear this speech. King knew that he was crossing over from the world of reform civil rights into the world of revolutionary radicalism. He was putting himself in direct opposition to the power structure, the Johnson Administration, and even most of the "respectable" civil rights organizations and leaders. King knew that he was calling the beast out and he knew that action would cause his days to be numbered.
It's critically important that people understand that about King because today, everything is being projected as if King was a person who challenged working class white racists on the streets, but he was celebrated by the elite power structure. In fact, if you didn't know better, you'd think King was a part of the power structure. So many people today trying to make King the adviser and supporter of Barack Obama. This is either a fantasy you have based on misinformation about what really happened, or you are actively attempting to sabotage the true image and legacy of King. Most of the people who celebrate King today wanted nothing to do with him when he was alive. Many of them actively worked to destroy King when he was active. He was not celebrated when he came out against the Vietnam war. He was demonized. That's why he reached out to Kwame Ture before he made the speech because he understood that the most radical elements of the Black Power movement were going to end up being the only trusted comrades he would have. And history has borne out that he was correct. You see, unlike the people pretending to uplift King today, King was a person of principle. He knew better than to denounce the militant African nationalists in the movement so he never did. While Roy Wilkins of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and Whitney Young of the Urban League, were regular public critics of the young African radicals, King never joined them in criticizing our youthful organizers. King refused to denounce the armed Deacons for Defense and he even welcomed the armed companionship of Charles Sims, a Deacon leader. So much for the pacifist King image they want you to believe. King actually had gun permits and owned guns. This is an easily verifiable fact. King was a man of principle. He always maintained contacts and perspectives that were rooted in the struggle for liberation. He was never a system man and although he held contact with the established leaders of the capitalist world he also held contact with people like Kwame Nkrumah, the first president of Ghana, co-president of revolutionary Guinea, and the founder of the A-APRP. Nkrumah was the one who encouraged King to continue on the civil rights path when King traveled to Ghana's independence in 1957, and King and Nkrumah maintained personal contact until King's assassination.
So, this system doesn't love Martin Luther King. They despise him, but they realize they cannot come out in public and admit that because you love Dr. King and they need to keep you pacified. Their tactic instead is to give you the image of King that they want you to have. And this propaganda didn't stop in the 60s and 70s. It still continues to this day. The film "Selma" is just one of the latest misrepresentations of Dr. King and his work. The film was a subtle effort to take the militancy out of Dr. King's work because they can't risk you connecting the dots. And, those dots are that you cannot be a supporter of Dr. King and a supporter of capitalism. Dr. King was not advocating "black business" under capitalism as any type of solution for African people. He knew that was a false promise. That's why you can bet he would have opposed the war in Iraq. He would have opposed the war in Afghanistan. He would have opposed the bombing of Libya into submission and he would have opposed the politics of many of the people who are claiming his legacy today. He would be 100% against the military and prison industrial complexes and he would have opposed the rampant police terrorism taking place. All of that means he would have most likely been Obama's chief critic. I'm actually convinced that had King lived longer, he would have had no choice except to embrace socialism and to eventually call for revolutionary change. I'm sure our enemies agree with me as that is the only logical explanation to explain why they assassinated him. They wanted to prevent his evolution because they knew he could not be compromised.
So, when our youth call for us to reclaim his legacy, what they are demanding is that we stop letting our enemies define his image for us. King was a revolutionary and an uncompromising man who put his body on the line for justice. He was not a politician for the capitalist system. He was a person who mobilized millions against the system. So, if you are going to claim to be a part of Dr. King's legacy, then you have to start by denouncing the same things he would have denounced which is all of the above already stated. You have to acknowledge that Malcolm X was correct when questioned after his one and only brief encounter with Dr. King. Malcolm said he and King were not opposed to each other. They actually believed the same thing. They just had "different ways of getting at it." Reclaim Dr. King by refusing to accept that he would be an accomplice to this mega anti-human system known as the U.S. today. Dr. King died mobilizing for the largest poor people's campaign in this country's history. This was an aspect of the worldwide class struggle against capitalist exploitation. You cannot be for the masses of people without speaking out, and organizing against, that system of exploitation. So, make a commitment to study more about Dr. King. Read his books like "Why We Can't Wait." Read his speeches like the classic speech against U.S. militarism and capitalism delivered on April 4, 1967. Play a role and make a contribution towards quashing the lies being told about Dr. King. You can't put King and Malcolm on a shirt with Barack Obama. That's like placing a fox in a chicken's den. Dr. King was for education, health care, and justice. Everything this system is against. Do like Dr. King. Pick a side. When you do that, then you can claim his legacy.