With “boulevards” in every major city (despite that fact it’s almost always a demarker for black urban blight) and a national holiday, many of us have been led to an understanding of a man whose moral courage, while not capable of being challenged, is certainly misunderstood. In a transcript from a 1968 talk, just weeks before his assassination, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. gives us a window into the evolving nature of his mind and where, if he had lived, he might have taken not only Blackfolks but America as a whole:
At the very same time that America refused to give the Negro any land, through an act of Congress our government was giving away millions of acres of land in the West and the Midwest, which meant that it was willing to undergird its white peasants from Europe with an economic floor.
But not only did they give the land, they built land grant colleges with government money to teach them how to farm. Not only that, they provided county agents to further their expertise in farming. Not only that, they provided low interest rates in order that they could mechanize their farms.
Not only that, today many of these people are receiving millions of dollars in federal subsidies not to farm, and they are the very people telling the black man that he ought to lift himself by his own bootstraps. And this is what we are faced with, and this is the reality. Now, when we come to Washington in this campaign, we are coming to get our check.
Thanks to Khalis for reminding me of this one.