Food for thought

The Rev. Jesse Jackson at the recent AFL-CIO Martin Luther King Center Conference on “Jobs, Justice and the American Dream” of interest:

In 1960 Martin Luther King supported Kennedy instead of Nixon to prevent America from going backwards. Then he marched in the streets of Birmingham to pass the Civil Rights Act
to move the nation ahead.

In 1964 Martin Luther King supported Johnson instead of Goldwater
to prevent America from going backwards. Then he marched in Selma to pass the Voting Rights Act to move the nation ahead.

For Dr. King, there was no conflict between voting strategically
to prevent the triumph of reaction and leading a nonviolent mass movement
to pressure a president to achieve profound social change.

When we in the movement struggled for social justice we helped weak presidents become stronger. When we in the movement struggled for social justice we helped good presidents become great.

5 thoughts on “Food for thought

  1. In 1960 the Republican party was the traditional party of civil rights. Most black people in the south were Republicans. Martin Luther King Sr. was a Republican. Toward the end of the 1960 campaign it still was not clear whether MLK Jr would take the civil rights movement for the democrats or the republicans. Then in October MLK was sent to prison in Georgia, and everybody was very worried about what might happen to him. Sergent Shriver slipped into JFK’s room quietly avoiding Bobby Kennedy and the others as quickly persuaded JFK to call Coretta King in Atlanta to give her a word of support. At that point the Democrats became the party of civil rights for the 1960’s. Bobby Kennedy was absolutely furious when he found out and accused Shriver of costing them the election. Neither JFK or RFK was at all enthusiastic about civil rights and they kept temporizing and putting off the civil rights bill for fear of its political cost.

    What Jesse Jackson said is bullshit. The civil rights movement (of the pre-Jackson MLK era) set their own goals and tactics and then let the politicians come to them for support. Only after Dr. King was dead did the democrats learn to co-opt the remaining leaders and begin to pay them off to get their votes.

  2. Dr. King didn’t spare criticism of either Republican or Democratic leaders who didn’t support civil rights, or didn’t support them strongly enough. That’s how he pressured them.

    And that’s what we need to do today.

    Carolyn Kay

  3. And then LBJ and many Dems wouldn’t speak to King after his 1967 speech criticizing the Vietnam War. He was ostracized from the party — not that he would have ever supported a ‘Southern Strategy’ Republican like Nixon, of course.

  4. Forget Obama. The game should be played in the Congress. Defeating Republicans will undermine Obama’s march toward the destruction of the middle class. Make Obama irrelevant by defeating the Republicans running for another term in Congress and the Progressives win.

Comments are closed.