Rally in Memphis for equality on anniversary of MLK's death

Historical marker dedicated to MLK at Memphis airport

Mills E. Godwin Jr. issued a statement saying, "Like decent people everywhere, Virginians are shocked by the incredibly regrettable death of the fatal shooting of Dr. Martin Luther King in Memphis". Dr. Spock is co-chairman of the National Committee for Sane Nuclear Policy. We must speak with all the humility that is appropriate to our limited vision, but we must speak. "If we do not act, we shall surely be dragged down the long, dark, and shameful corridors of time reserved for those who possess power without compassion, might without morality, and strength without sight". He's speaking to us from the National Press Club in Washington, before he goes to Memphis, where he and others will be holding a news conference today at 9:00 a.m. If it is, let us trace its movement, and pray that our inner being may be sensitive to its guidance.

That night, King delivered his now-famous "I've Been to the Mountaintop" speech at Mason Temple Church of God in Christ. After this speech, 168 newspapers denounced King.

The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated 49 years ago on April 4, 1968.

AMY GOODMAN: Reverend Dr. William Barber, thanks so much for being with us, president and senior lecturer of Repairers of the Breach and president of the North Carolina NAACP.

King urged his listeners at Riverside Church 50 years ago today to embrace a "neighborly concern beyond one's tribe, race, class, and nation".

The Federal Bureau of Insensitivity tweeted a tribute to the slain civil rights leader despite a generation of conspiracy theories that put the domestic spy agency in league with the convicted assassin, James Earl Ray.

Barber went on to discuss the increase of poverty and classism. As head of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, J. Edgar Hoover was notoriously against the civil rights movement as his organization stood silent as Black people were being attacked and brutalized while seeking the same justice the Federal Bureau of Investigation tweeted about. Today we are bombing seven. And what could we do with 54 billion dollars?

No serious person could say we have overcome racism, or dealt with the extreme materialism and economic injustice and unsustainability of our "thing-oriented society.' However, the pervasive equating of patriotism with support for war, charges of being soft on communism, terrorism or defense, and cynical, coercive 'support the troops" displays (when the best way to support them would be to stop our incessant wars) seemingly prevent any serious examination of United States militarism. But he understood, as a moral leader, that we had to challenge.

King likewise expressed the need for a more comprehensive spiritual ethos, but he was not afraid to speculate on the form it should take. He said, "I think this is just the beginning of a massive outpouring of dissent". Vincent Harding, who helped him draft that particular speech-and some say that something like 150 newspapers wrote articles against him the next week.

"New Orleans gave me one of the most exciting places on the planet to grow up", he recalled. We say you don't fight racism with racism.

The marker, unveiled one day before the 49th anniversary of King's death, commemorates King's final flight.

In Miami-Dade, thousands of workers fought for $15 an hour and the rights of unions, joining racial justice activists in the movement for black lives.

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