"We owe the celebration of Black History Month, and more importantly, the study of black history, to one Dr. Carter G. Woodson. Woodson's parents were both former slaves. Carter spent his childhood working in the Kentucky coal mines and enrolled in high school at age twenty. He graduated within two years and went on to earn a Ph.D. from Harvard. The scholar was disturbed to find in his studies that history books largely ignored the black American population-and when blacks did figure into the picture, it was generally in ways that reflected the inferior social position they were assigned at the time." (from The History of Black History, by Elissa Haney.)
There is a nicely formatted http://www.infoplease.com/spot/bhmtimeline.html">Black History Time Line one can click on to view a synopsis of salient personalities and events that every American who aspires to a good education should be familiar with.
What is strikingly absent from standard and corporate media Black History time lines, are quotes from, or references to, the more poignantly educating and sorely needed critical statements of black historical celebrities on United States foreign policy - notably missing are the biting condemnations of America's imperialist wars and predatory international capitalism by Dr. Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.
One did not hear Andrew Young, Jessie Jackson, Rev. King Jr.' widow, Rev. Sharpton or Barack Obama refer to Rev. King Jr.' 1967 denunciations of U.S. foreign policy in their statements to the public.
Representatives Barbara Lee, John Conyers, Charles Rangel, Jessie Jackson Jr., and all the other congressional black caucus and progressive caucus members have NOT been quoting Rev. King Jr. on the floor of Congress to try to stop the Democrats from continuing to fund the wars of occupation and to unblock the Bush and Cheney impeachment bills pending. If they had, we would have witnessed such bold moves on C-span telecasts of sessions of the House of Representatives, and most likely the conglomerate owned entertainment/news channel would have felt forced to give coverage as well.
Quote A Martyred Progressive's Condemnation of U.S. Wars
"Asks why Congressional Black Caucus and Progressive Caucus do not repeat MLK Jr.’ condemnation of U.S. war policies on the floor of Congress. The fourth article in the series appearing on the 15th of each month exhorting peace and justice activists to follow the example of Howard Zinn, who, in radio interviews quotes King Jr.' strong condemnations of U.S. murderous war policies and the use of its military throughout the 3rd world."
As our national hero Rev. King Jr. was a man of the cloth, your servant wrote on May 16, 2007.
The Silence of Clergy Today versus Rev. King's "Silence is Betrayal!"
"At the polls, citizens have finally expressed themselves against the war in Iraq. Candidates and incumbents feel the need to call for an end to the war. But we rarely hear even a peep from Clergy. Is this for its observing the doctrine of 'Separation of Church and State' or because the Church has become BOUND to the State and SEPARATED from its faith?"
Heaven knows, the country and the world could make good use of the easy going fellowship, the vibrant and embracing kindness of Afro-American clergy, following in King’s tradition, to lead the U.S. out of the up tight worried Anglo-Saxon culture of fear and ignorant pretense of world superiority that is finally catching up with America for its excesses and often called 'mistaken' wars of domination.
Maybe prominent black clergy politicians, editors and journalists don't want to make waves. Don't want to rile up the powerful white American jingoist's war promoting corporate governance personalities who control what is seen and heard and what is not seen and heard on corporate Big Brother TV, radio, newspapers and magazines. But this can be seen as a backing off from the full participation in political life and planetary responsibilities which King embarked us upon in his bold headline making address on April 4, 1967 at Riverside Church in New York City, titled Beyond Vietnam. This detailed white paper was heard and read as 'beyond national politics' and to an inclusion of citizen responsibility for America's monstrously lethal foreign policies.
All brave and concerned Americas and can enjoy the shielding protection and galvanizing encouragement of the words of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., our unassailable public icon. But few are taking advantage of what King so eloquently and powerfully laid down for us. Few are taking up the words of King and using them to promote the peace movement. Activists cannot help but notice that during Black History Month, with the wars of occupation going on, even going on badly for the U.S., King's blistering condemnations of U.S. foreign policy were neither heard nor read.
“The greatest purveyor of violence in the world today [is] my own government. ... For the sake of the hundreds of thousands trembling under our violence, I cannot be silent.” spoke out Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. from the pulpit of Riverside Church, New York City, April 4th, 1967. And King explained his agonizing over his years of silence.
MLK Jr. cried, "Silence is Treason!" (This writer figures that puts the number of American traitors both during the Vietnam War and the Iraq, Afghanistan and Somalia wars of today in the millions - one could call it free speech in reverse: the freedom of irresponsible silence.)
Many are those who have long realized the reason we hear the "I Have a Dream" speech so often - even used as advertising commercial! It is meant to preclude our ever ever hearing his above Beyond Vietnam speech quoted words, herewith continued below, and which could be subtitled in counter-reference, Rev. King's 'nightmare speech.' Midway through King said,
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