Home > Holidays > Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Excerpts from MLK’s last speech given the day before he was assassinated in 1968.

  1. Lost_it
  2. Anonymous
    January 16, 2012 at 10:28 am

    In order to deepen one’s understanding of Martin Luther King’s message, I encourage young people to read “Letter from Birmingham Jail” and “Why We Can’t Wait.”

  3. Anonymous
    January 16, 2012 at 4:32 pm

    Every year MLK speeches are rebroadcast, and every year (it’s been close to 50 now) the speeches seem fresh and new and even more powerful. And, appallingly, right on today’s targets: end war, end poverty, replace hate and fear with compassion….

  4. Mitch
    January 16, 2012 at 5:42 pm

    Letter from Birmingham Jail full text is online: http://www.mlkonline.net/jail.html

    Why We Can’t Wait is available at bookstores or as an online ebook via Google or Amazon.

  5. Eric Kirk
    January 16, 2012 at 6:27 pm

    And here’s one of those quotes we leftists like to spread around during the sanitization rituals of the holiday.

    “You can’t talk about solving the economic problem of the Negro
    without talking about billions of dollars. You can’t talk about ending
    the slums without first saying profit must be taken out of slums.
    You’re really tampering and getting on dangerous ground because you are messing with folk then. You are messing with captains of
    industry…. Now this means that we are treading in difficult water,
    because it really means that we are saying that something is wrong…with capitalism…. There must be a better distribution of wealth and maybe America must move toward a democratic socialism”. ~ Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Frogmore, S.C. November 14, 1966. Speech in front of his staff.


  6. Anonymous
    January 16, 2012 at 10:13 pm

    A recent Rasmussen Poll of 18-25 year old adults found the vast majority willing to vote for socialism if it were on a ballot.

  7. Black-Flag
    January 17, 2012 at 8:32 am

    Many still think that something in the sweat of black people erodes concrete. Until this is no longer the case cities will continue to have run down areas filled with rubble.

  8. January 17, 2012 at 8:58 am

    Wow Black Flag, I’ve not read such race- base hatred
    in quite a while. I was hoping that type of thinking
    was essentially dead, nope there you are.

  9. Black-Flag
    January 17, 2012 at 9:47 am

    Not sure what you mean. Until people evolve there will be no investment in areas where people of color live. That is a fact, sorry if you don’t agree. Banks don’t loan money in these areas and they get run down from a brain drain and outflow of cash flow.

  10. January 17, 2012 at 12:34 pm

    BF, I have misunderstood you.
    I’ve never heard of black-sweat eroding concrete.
    I can think of many things black sweat represents-
    that was not one of them. Apologies.

  11. Anonymous
    January 17, 2012 at 1:51 pm

    Democratic socialism is the answer to America’s problems, but how can we get democratic socialism?

    The people must organize themselves so big money cannot corrupt our government and so big capital can be contained and restrained from victimizing the rest of us.

    But organizing is hard, hard work. So people do what they have always done, and nothing changes very much from generation to generation.

    When people have lost the will to even sweep the sidewalks in front of the places where they live, how can people who grow up there find hope for the future?

  12. Mitch
    January 17, 2012 at 2:09 pm


    I’m not a member, and I don’t know much about the group.

    Third party politics may well do more harm than good in our current system, but these folks may be smart enough to recognize reality.

  13. Mitch
    January 17, 2012 at 2:11 pm

    They are smart enough:


    No, we are not a separate party. Like our friends and allies in the feminist, labor, civil rights, religious,
    and community organizing movements, many of us have been active in the Democratic Party. We work with
    those movements to strengthen the party’s left wing, represented by the Congressional Progressive Caucus.
    The process and structure of American elections seriously hurts third party efforts. Winner-take-all
    elections instead of proportional representation, rigorous party qualification requirements that vary from state
    to state, a presidential instead of a parliamentary system, and the two-party monopoly on political power have
    doomed third party efforts. We hope that at some point in the future, in coalition with our allies, an alternative
    national party will be viable. For now, we will continue to support progressives who have a real chance at
    winning elections, which usually means left-wing Democrats

  14. Eric Kirk
    January 17, 2012 at 8:43 pm

    Mitch – A brief history. Back in the 1960s there was only the Socialist Party which split 3 ways. You had the third party left die-hards who remained in the SP, and they continue to run candidates that way today. You had the Irving Kristol faction which actually supported Nixon and broke off as the Social Democrats USA. And you had the Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee which decided to switch from third party politics to working within the Democratic Party, in the wake of the passage of the Civil Rights Act, Voting Rights Act, Great Society, etc. They were led by Michael Harrington (author of The Other America) and eventually they merged with the New American Movement, the more moderate wing of the Students for a Democratic Society, and they became DSA. They have lots of big name members, but maybe too many chiefs/intellectuals, and not enough braves/organizers. In any case, the big name members were Representatives Ron Dellums and Major Owens, Barbara Ehrenreich, Cornel West, Ed Asner, Richard Dreyfus, Francis Moore-Lappe, William Wimpisinger (head of the Machinist Union), Dorothy Healey, and a slew of published writers.

    They were instrumental in pushing for the creation of the Progressive Caucus, which generated a right wing conspiracy email saying that there are over 50 socialists in Congress. But now it’s the largest caucus in the House. They’ve elected a slew of city council people, mayors, state legislators (several in Portland), and other local offices, but I don’t think there are any members remaining in Congress, although Bernie Sanders, Barbara Lee, and a few others probably qualify as fellow travelers.

    They have tendencies which have broken from the left on a number of issues from nuclear power to Israel (a heavy progressive Zionist influence in NYC).

    I’m a member whenever I remember to pay my dues. But I don’t pay much attention since I left SF which had a fairly active contingent. I think I saw a couple of Humboldt County names on a mailing list once, years ago, when I was moving up here.

  15. Anonymous
    January 24, 2012 at 12:25 am

    There are a couple of Humboldt State professors who push DSA.

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