These are my excerpted comments made for today’s press release from the Institute for Public Accuracy.
“Those who say that Dr. King would not be invited by those convening this coming 50th anniversary March on Washington are correct. Similarly, it is also correct to note, as some have, that Barack Obama is disingenuous when, as is again happening, he tries to assume, symbolically, the position held by King.
But these points themselves are insufficient; neither King’s false heirs nor the presidency of false hopes would exist at all without first the assassination of King and then the perennial abuse of his history and image. These replacement events and leaders are fraudulent stand-ins for a movement so well represented by King’s focused stances against the intransigence of white supremacy, the violence of capitalism at home and the imperialism it fosters abroad.
“Instead, rather than a peaceful world governed by open redistributive policies, a world in which the United States is not, as King said, ‘the greatest purveyor of violence,’ Obama militarizes the African continent with AFRICOM, kills by drone strike with impunity and revels in murdering without trial those deemed ‘terrorists.’
“At home, instead of King’s call for bringing ‘about the unconditional surrender of forces dedicated to the creation and maintenance of slums,’ Obama appoints slumlord Penny Pritzker to Secretary of Commerce and lies to labor about supporting The Employee Free Choice Act.
“And instead of calling into question support of unjust laws, as was also the call of Dr. King, Obama’s response to the police/state killings of Sean Bell, Oscar Grant, Troy Davis and Trayvon Martin — and the laws that ultimately protected only the killers – has been to uncritically uphold the virtues of those decisions by saying we are a ‘nation of laws,’ and that we are governed by ‘the rule of law.’
“And rather than King’s poignant comments about silence being ‘betrayal’ in the face of injustice, Obama has gone back on his campaign promise of defending a free and open Internet and become the man presiding over that medium becoming mechanism number one for turning the world into a privately controlled and monitored domain where no one has privacy or is free from persecution. The coming March on Washington, its leadership and their slavish devotion to a soft, liberal Democratic party make King himself, alive or in honest memory, fully incompatible and incapable of coexistence with the the ignoble alliance of those involved in organizing the coming march or the continuing presidency. For more we invite readers to hear this year’s commemoration of the 45th anniversary of Dr. King’s assassination convened at Morgan State University in Baltimore, Maryland.”