How MLK Made the Racist US President His Reluctant Ally.

photo by Ayanna Muata

This post popped up in my Facebook Memories today.  I really appreciate Bob’s perspective on this subject and the knowledge he has about political issues. I’m putting this back out there in the world, in honor of Martin Luther King Day this week,  and all that this amazing hero did for us. 

Published on Facebook on January 17, 2017                                                         12 shares

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. managed to work with President Lyndon Johnson, an unapologetic racist, to improve America for everybody. Of King, Johnson once said “We gave him the Civil Rights Act of 1964, we gave him the Voting Rights Act of 1965, we gave him the War on Poverty. What more does he want?”

Obviously Johnson never “got it.” The Civil Rights act, the Voting Rights act, the War on Poverty – these things were never “given.” They were demanded. They weren’t earned, because they were already owed. Instead Dr. King relentlessly demanded that to which he and all people were already entitled.

Dr. King managed to make the racist President of the United States his reluctant ally.

Photo by Jerónimo Bernot on Unsplash

He managed to make the ungenerous US Government acknowledge in legislation a small portion of what it owed and continues to owe to communities of color. And he was so skilled that he left a notable deal-maker like Johnson smarting at what King had forced Johnson to “give.”

Trump may be a liar and con man and grifter, but it’s all our jobs to get him – like Johnson our reluctant public servant – and all our other public servants, to acknowledge the things which we are all presently owed, and to get them to do it in legislation if possible. We are all owed opportunity. We are all owed health. We are all owed freedom. We are all owed happiness. We are all owed justice. We are all owed security from arbitrary violence by our peacekeepers. That our government fails to meet those obligations is our challenge, and Dr. King modeled the relentless, insistent, but peaceful methods by which what we are all owed can be pried from the negligent public servants who keep it from us.

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