The Martin Luther King Legacy and The Global Economic Crisis: Can One Influence the Other?
By Danny Schechter Author, The Crime of our Time
Before he went over that mountain top in that week in an April like this one back in l968, Martin Luther King Jr., said he had already seen the other side, as he spent his last days on earth fighting for the garbage men of Memphis while speaking out about the twin evils of war and poverty.
A few days earlier, a great black American essayist and historian, Manning Marable, died suddenly just before his new and definitive book on Malcolm X came out showing how America's best-known Muslim martyr had moved from a focus on the domestic politics of racial confrontation to the international politics of global revolution.
(Among his findings; The US government spied on Malcolm as he globe-trotted linking up with like minded activists. This was offered up as a new revelation I had to smile since I did an investigative report for Ramparts Magazine in 1967 on how the CIA was trying to discredit him in Africa.)
We live in a world of constantly redrawn battle lines where new generations displace the old ones and some of yesterdays leaders move to higher levels of consciousness while many others like Libya's human rights abusing leader Gadaffi along with some civil rights leaders who, years ago, secretly joined Washington's crusade against Malcolm.
Washington is now crusading against Libya. You the war there was first declared a humanitarian intervention before it turned into a military intervention in a civil war and is on its way to becoming a stalemate. Already NATO has bombed the rebels in one of those mistakes all too common in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
The US has apparently decided it no longer wants to throw good money after bad--perhaps because it has finally dawned on the White House that we are running out of money. So, we are declaring victory and moving on.
Even imperial projects have to be tempered as our wars abroad turn into follies and our economic turnaround at home is also not what it has been advertised to be.
As the AFL CIO noted while the Administration was celebrating a downtick in unemployment:
"While the official unemployment rate is 8.8 percent, its 15.7 percent if unemployed, underemployed and those who have given up looking for work are included-- more than 24 million people"
Young people and people of color continue to experience the worst jobless rates which have remained high, with 24.5 percent of teenagers out of work and 15.5 percent of black workers and 11.3 percent of Hispanics jobless. Some 7.9 percent of white workers are jobless, as are 7.1 percent of Asian workers."
At the same time, better paid government jobs are being chopped leaving workers in lower wage private sector jobs that pay less money for more work. Many of those workers say their salaries don't cover their expenses. Foreclosures are up even as bank profits (and CEO salaries) soar.
We are just learning the full extent of the Federal Reserve Banks loans to banks the world over, while a promised crackdown on fraud has yet to come. A bailout costing trillions was kept secret until a reporter's a lawsuit just forced a disclosure. Among other disclosures: The Fed was llending big bucks to foreign banks, including Libyas.
Still hidden is the role government plays in manipulating markets or pumping them up with Treasury's Plunge Protection Team, a shadowy agency I discuss in more detail in my book, The Crime of Our Time (Disinfo Books.)
Wall Street's "swinging dicks," as they are called, are back in the saddle. They have neutered financial reform and seem to have silenced the President who seems to want o cheer up the people rather than inform them about what's really going on as food and gas prices rise while inflation begins to rear its ugly head.