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In his 1991 memoir, Breaking Barriers, journalist Carl Rowan writes that in 1964 congressman John Rooney told him that he and his congressional committee had heard J. Edgar Hoover play an audiotape of an apparent orgy held in King's Washington hotel suite. Over the sounds of a couple having intercourse in the background, according to Rooney, King could be heard saying to a man identified as Abernathy, "Come on over here, you big black motherfucker, and let me suck your dick."

What a great visual and a funny story.

The Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. memorial was dedicated yesterday. As a country, we can breath a collective exhalation as racism is finally dead, Dr. King's dream achieved, and a Black President, the goal of the long Black Freedom Struggle has been elected.

The memorial is the ultimate symbol of America's great triumph over white supremacy.

Of course, those are narratives best suited for a flattened version of history, one more fit for children and the willfully ignorant than for truth seekers and truth tellers. A country needs its lies, mythologies, and fictions. A country should also take account of how far it has come, while also realizing how much work remains. In all, history is the thing of cowards and free-riders (Herman Cain for example) who create fictions of their participation in righteous struggles (how every black person has relatives who marched with King and The Movement).

The reality is that most folks stand aside and watch history happen around them.

Moreover, in reflecting on the evils of the past, no one is ever responsible ("my family never owned slaves"; "we were immigrants who came here after slavery"), it was always "those people" and never us. Most folks were good, the bad were in the minority, shadows who hovered in the closets and alleyways of our collective memory. When there is goodness everyone wants to own a piece of it. Where there is bad, most run away from how it benefited them. Lies are comforting things--especially when we convince ourselves that they are true.

I like my heroes will all of their complications and not despite them. Like all Americans, and black and brown folks in particular, I owe Dr. King and the other freedom fighters in the movement a debt that I can never repay. This is a given that should always be acknowledged. I also celebrate Dr. King's legacy as a real man, a thinking man, a loving man, and a flawed man.

He yelled "I'm fucking for God!" and "I am not a Negro tonight!" while displaying his "compulsive sexual athleticism" with multiple women in one evening. Brother King was a shrewd strategist and provocateur who shamed white America by exposing its violent ugliness and hypocrisy. Dr. King plagiarized portions of his dissertation and speeches. He was also a calculating master of realpolitik. And of course Dr. King was prophetic as he faced down death: I cannot help but to honor a person who meets fate with their eyes open. In our shared black vernacular, Brother Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was "real folk."

As Americans engage in a little hero worship with the dedication of Dr. King's monument, let's not forget that he was one of the most unpopular people in America (with a significant percentage of whites, and no small number of blacks) at the time of his death. Let us also not forget that the United States government harassed, threatened, and undermined the Civil Rights Movement. The FBI was particularly obsessed with Dr. King as they famously urged him to commit suicide in order to save face for his various peccadilloes and "indiscretions."

When I look at the Dr. King memorial I think of those efforts to destroy him, and how unpopular he was while alive. I love him even more for his perseverance in the face of such opposition. We should honor his greatness and full humanity; on this day and all others Dr. King's memory deserves more than childish platitudes.

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Comment Preferences

  •  So how much did Hoover pay the voice actor? (25+ / 0-)

    Just, you know, curious.

    grieving citizen of the murdered Republic, unrepentant rebel against the Empire.

    by khereva on Mon Oct 17, 2011 at 01:50:48 PM PDT

  •  Well actually he was alleged (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    khereva, Cartoon Peril

    to have said, "I'm fucking for God," not Jesus, for what it's worth. Very little, to be sure.

  •  when he was alive most of America (2+ / 1-)
    Recommended by:
    pyegar, jimreyn
    Hidden by:
    erush1345

    in the south wore white sheets and belonged to the KKK
    so I guess he wouldn't be so popular then as he is now.
    Hell the last KKK lynching was Michael Donald in 1981.

    I do know that he was an outstanding man that brought
    about so much change for all of us in my life time.  Things
    have come a long way but there is a long way yet to go.
     

    "It is horrifying that we have to fight our own government to save the environment." Ansel Adams........................................................ "Even if you are on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there." Will Rogers

    by Statusquomustgo on Mon Oct 17, 2011 at 02:09:56 PM PDT

    •  Most of the South... (12+ / 0-)

      ...wore white sheets and belonged to the KKK?

      That's just so wrong it's beyond belief.

      I ordered enchiladas and I ate 'em. Ali had the fruit punch. - A Tribe Called Quest

      by turnover on Mon Oct 17, 2011 at 02:12:18 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  ok... that's an overstatement and I (5+ / 0-)

        apologize for that

        "It is horrifying that we have to fight our own government to save the environment." Ansel Adams........................................................ "Even if you are on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there." Will Rogers

        by Statusquomustgo on Mon Oct 17, 2011 at 02:13:15 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  you were not far off the mark (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Statusquomustgo

          Successful election campaigns required the endorsement of the Klan. Sundown rides by the KKK were tacitly, if not explicitly, approved by the citizens of small towns in Georgia, (where I was growing up at the time).

          "Fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism, because it is a merger of state and corporate power." -- Benito Mussolini

          by pyegar on Mon Oct 17, 2011 at 03:29:59 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  it sure seemed that way, but it really (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            hmi, erush1345

            was an emotional statement and looking at it from a
            factual standpoint it was incorrect...

            based on the ADL website...

            By the end of 1960, Klan strength had increased noticeably. Total Klan membership was estimated at anywhere from 35,000 to 50,000.

             

            "It is horrifying that we have to fight our own government to save the environment." Ansel Adams........................................................ "Even if you are on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there." Will Rogers

            by Statusquomustgo on Mon Oct 17, 2011 at 03:40:57 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Not long after I moved to (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Statusquomustgo

              Lawrenceville, GA, 1987-1988, I was driving thru downtown on a Saturday morning, there were 5 -7 men in the road (not a lot of traffic) handing out Klan documents....  I think one of them had his sheet on (don't recall the pointy hat).

              It's the same town square where Larry Flynt was shot during his trial.

              •  My mom and I went on vacation to Florida (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                markdd, allergywoman

                and for some reason she wanted to go through Mississippi
                to see the "river" because she had never seen it before.
                We drove down through the state parallel to the river all
                the way to Natchez.  We stopped at a gas station and the
                lady asked me if I was sure I wanted to use the restroom
                there it being a black station and all.  Never been
                anywhere like that.  At a waffle house they refused to give
                a black man change for the phone and wouldn't let him eat there.  
                I looked around and noticed that even though we were in
                a predominantly black area all the people eating there were white.  
                The whole trip was a step back 75 years in time. I was so
                freaked out the whole time because people acted so weird.
                That's just a couple of thing that happened out of many.
                It was the creepiest place I've ever been to.

                "It is horrifying that we have to fight our own government to save the environment." Ansel Adams........................................................ "Even if you are on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there." Will Rogers

                by Statusquomustgo on Tue Oct 18, 2011 at 09:03:15 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Went East from Dallas to The FL Keys (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Statusquomustgo, allergywoman

                  in 1968.  Most if the Interstates weren't in yet.  I got to see some grinding rural poverty through northern Louisiana and central Mississippi.  I did note that the "detour" always led thru the poorer side of town and the nicer houses always seemed to be on the other side of the rivers and creeks.  Tons of diesel soot layered every building, yard and car along the route. 8^(

                  •  we went in 2000 and what an eye opener (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    allergywoman

                    southern Mississippi was just downright creepy...
                    Thought it would be historically interesting to go to
                    some of the old plantation houses... went to one off the
                    beaten path... waaaaaayyyy off the beaten path.  We
                    were touring the house and you could feel the history
                    surrounding you like a cold cocoon watching you with
                    prickly eyes.  It made the hair on the back of my neck
                    stand up.  When we toured the grounds and there were
                    some ratty old buildings half rotted away that looked like
                    dog houses.  The man, a direct descendent of the original
                    home owners (house built in 1840 something) said proudly
                    they were the original slave quarters... I couldn't get the
                    hell out of there fast enough.

                    "It is horrifying that we have to fight our own government to save the environment." Ansel Adams........................................................ "Even if you are on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there." Will Rogers

                    by Statusquomustgo on Tue Oct 18, 2011 at 01:08:29 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

    •  asdf (0+ / 0-)

      You got any proof of that 'most of America in the south wore white sheets and belonged to the KKK' shit?  Didn't think so.  You earned this HR.

      Yes, America was not a great place to be someone that wasn't white.  It wasn't just southern states that this the case.

      And FYI, according the ADL, total klan membership in the whole US in 1960 was 35,000-50,000 people.

      "It has been said that politics is the second oldest profession. I have learned that it bears a striking resemblance to the first." - Ronald Reagan

      by erush1345 on Mon Oct 17, 2011 at 07:53:17 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  try reading the comments below the first (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        allergywoman, erush1345

        one.. I corrected that statement and have the save information 4 hours before you posted your comment.

        "It is horrifying that we have to fight our own government to save the environment." Ansel Adams........................................................ "Even if you are on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there." Will Rogers

        by Statusquomustgo on Tue Oct 18, 2011 at 09:04:58 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  "same" info not save (0+ / 0-)

          "It is horrifying that we have to fight our own government to save the environment." Ansel Adams........................................................ "Even if you are on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there." Will Rogers

          by Statusquomustgo on Tue Oct 18, 2011 at 09:05:26 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  asdf (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Statusquomustgo

          Ya, I saw that after I posted.  I do respect that you appologized for it.

          The comment though is a running theme here at DKos.  The southern states of the US are not your enemy nor are any more or less racist than other parts of the US.  Some of their leadership might be more racist than northern states, but, the southern states as a whole are no worse than what you find in Wisconsin, California, or New York.  People need to get their heads checked if they think otherwise.

          "It has been said that politics is the second oldest profession. I have learned that it bears a striking resemblance to the first." - Ronald Reagan

          by erush1345 on Tue Oct 18, 2011 at 09:43:59 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  as I said in another comment in this thread (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            erush1345

            it was more of an emotional statement than anything.
            I was a kid in grade school during the 60's and watched
            the Civil Rights movement on the tv news (when they used
            to have the news on without editorial commentary).  It
            just looked that way with dogs attacking people, water
            cannons directed at people, the violence and terror of the
            times was just imprinted on my brain.  I have been through
            the south and realize that all the people there aren't bad
            but there are a whole lotta ugly mean people down there
            and I have heard and witnessed some disturbing things
            down there.  People say things around me  thinking that
            because I'm white I'll agree with them, which is not the
            case.  Living in Missouri and working in Kansas I have
            heard/seen things that blow my mind from supposed friends and
            family members.  My personal core group of close personal
            "friends" has been reduced in half as a result.  

            "It is horrifying that we have to fight our own government to save the environment." Ansel Adams........................................................ "Even if you are on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there." Will Rogers

            by Statusquomustgo on Wed Oct 19, 2011 at 07:28:32 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  nah... (4+ / 0-)

    Kick a "job creator" in the balls today!

    by memofromturner on Mon Oct 17, 2011 at 02:10:05 PM PDT

  •  You know, there is some reason to believe... (32+ / 0-)

    ...that Dr. King wasn't always faithful to his wife.

    But in my opinion, citing anything produced by J. Edgar Hoover as evidence of such makes this diary abject bullshit.

    I ordered enchiladas and I ate 'em. Ali had the fruit punch. - A Tribe Called Quest

    by turnover on Mon Oct 17, 2011 at 02:10:56 PM PDT

  •  I'm guessing, only guessing (19+ / 0-)

    ... that Black Kos probably would just as soon not have your use their tag.  Just guessing, of course, but you  might want to pull that one.  (Unless, of course, you manage to get republished to that group - don't hold  your breath!!)

    Grab all the joy you can. (exmearden 8/10/09)

    by Land of Enchantment on Mon Oct 17, 2011 at 02:12:59 PM PDT

    •  Given that this diarist is a member of Black (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      poco

      Kos, I'm guessing neither of you have a right to determine whether this is an acceptable diary for that group. Removing tags just because you don't agree with them isn't cool.

      "TEABAGGER=Totally Enraged About Blacks And Gays Getting Equal Rights."

      by second gen on Mon Oct 17, 2011 at 03:16:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Given that it's not (5+ / 0-)

        ... published to Black Kos, no member of BK recced it, and at least one BK member HRed the tip jar, I'm not barking up the wrong tree on this one.

        I didn't even HR the tip jar, even though I did think it was a problem diary.  Confined myself to a comment.

        Grab all the joy you can. (exmearden 8/10/09)

        by Land of Enchantment on Mon Oct 17, 2011 at 03:42:41 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  This was not published to Black Kos (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        CaliSista, allergywoman

        Community.

        Joining the Black Kos Community in no way indicates that Black Kos (the series) editors agree or disagree with individual posters diaries.

        I will speak for myself - I really don't care about MLK's sex life - or the sex life of any political figures - as long as they are doing no harm.

        J.Edgar had it in for MLK - just like he did for the entire civil rights movement.

        Frankly this diary is tasteless - which is nothing new here - it happens.

        I actually have the most problem with the "unpopular" meme - which is far from the truth when referencing the black community.  Sure - he had critics - I was one of them since I was a BPP member - but the objections were based on politics and did not mean that he, and the larger civil rights movement  did not have my support.

        This has sufficient donuts - so I won't use mine.
        But frankly I wish the diarist would delete it.

        "If you're in a coalition and you're comfortable, you know it's not a broad enough coalition" Bernice Johnson Reagon

        by Denise Oliver Velez on Tue Oct 18, 2011 at 01:26:22 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I appreciate your comment (0+ / 0-)

          alas, I will not delete this.

          Please read my comments/responses to others.

          We talk about epistemic closure on the Right. There is a version of it on the left, especially it appears, where some would prefer a bundle of hugs and kisses and praise for their beliefs, and little challenge.

          Based on reading some of these responses--on a claim and argument that should be self-evident, i.e. what do we gain or lose through making heroes more than human, real, and flawed--it would seem that much of what counts as discourse (at least as demonstrated here) is more of a vanity project for most.

          I challenge, I provoke, I sometimes swerve people. Some get that; others don't.

          But if any of these hyper-emotional responses, and refusal to engage substantively, are at all a bellwether for the state of the Left and Progressives the Right is going to keep winning points and undermining the common good.

          Critical thinking, is well for a lack of a better phrase, critical thinking.

          I do appreciate your comment though.

  •  It's not Thursday, chauncey... (5+ / 0-)

    ...no Worst Diary consideration for you!

    Float like a manhole cover, sting like a sash weight! Clean Coal Is A Clinker!

    by JeffW on Mon Oct 17, 2011 at 02:14:59 PM PDT

    •  pretty please (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Cartoon Peril, poco

      would make my day.

      what the limits of discourse? what ideas are prohibited? why seek out the convenient and the 2 dimensional and the complicated?

      a corollary to this is how the historical narrative around king has been so flattened that anyone--include arch conservatives like Beck et al.--can appropriate his memory for policy purposes that he would have stood firmly against.

      on the left we see a process of deification, where complexity is instead warranted. both are problematic, but for different reasons.

  •  I'm lost. What the fuck is this, and why has the (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AnnetteK, Dancun74

    tip jar only got 5 HRs - and 1 rec?

  •  Wow! I only care that He was the greatest civil (9+ / 0-)

    rights activist! The rest of your diary is BS. How disrespectful of you....and someone actually tipped this diary. Wonders never cease....

    •  Well on second thought (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      khereva

      I removed my tip, because of the Hoover stuff, but I see nothing offensive about the effort to demystify our heroes. The part especially about how controversial and unpopular he was at the time of his death is important.  

      •  I disagree with you, but thanks for removing (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Dancun74

        the tip.

        •  I think this diarist (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          poco, Cartoon Peril

          is interesting. He's written some good stuff critiquing white privilege. I know we're supposed to judge a piece on its own merits, but I've read enough of his stuff to know this isn't coming from a place of prejudice.

          •  i agree (0+ / 0-)

            it should be re-written.

          •  The author of this post is also (0+ / 0-)

            the editor of "We are Respectable Negroes" blog, which is fairly well known and liked. I think he was trying to bring a complex and nuanced look at how we venerate our heroes, and airbrush their flaws; not done too well, obviously.

            It's *Gandhi*, not Ghandi

            by poco on Mon Oct 17, 2011 at 03:05:59 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  no accounting for (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              poco, Cartoon Peril, Archie2227

              taste, but thanks for the acknowledgment.

              this was short and reflective and intentionally provocative to prove a point.

              the left has its deities as much as the right does. i marvel at how discussions of real facts, inconvenient truths, and challenging aspects of our "heroes" can become the focus of so much upset.

              in watching the dedications of the memorial and also how there is a whole Martin Luther King Jr. industry where he is robbed of his radicalization and made a feel good koombaya (sp?) centrist it struck me that most of those folks at the event and in the general public would have stood against King, or at the very least not had his back.

              Moreover, most have this view of him as a god and not a man--one with foibles, quirks, eccentricities and shortcomings. We forget King was a cunning provocateur who understood the power of visuals with kids, women, and men in their finest clothing being beaten, shot, and arrested, and how those visuals would aid his goals.

              Check out Hannah Arendt's essay on the use of children in the Civil Rights Movement for an interesting take on King's genius strategy.

              •  FDR locked up the Japanese -- we're supposed to (0+ / 0-)

                forget that?  I don't, so even though I have always admired him, I keep that in mind.  MLK Jr. never locked anybody up, and, I think, FDR and JFK fooled around -- okay for them and not MLK Jr.?

                You have exactly 10 seconds to change that look of disgusting pity into one of enormous respect!

                by Cartoon Peril on Mon Oct 17, 2011 at 04:48:50 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  But what's f-cked up about your diary (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Mas Gaviota

                is you left out the anti-imperialism.

                You want to bring up something about Dr King that isn't kumbaya? Why throw out FBI dirt? Not too interesting.

                Why not point out something he got right about this country, that damns us all even today.  The President thinks he can declare anyone an enemy and drop missiles on them at any time. This country is still the greatest purveyor of violence in the world. Far more important that whether Dr King didn't keep it zipped all the time.

              •  What's unusual about it? (0+ / 0-)
                the left has its deities as much as the right does. i marvel at how discussions of real facts, inconvenient truths, and challenging aspects of our "heroes" can become the focus of so much upset.

                We're not a bunch of Vulcans, and nor should we be.

            •  uh, (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              allergywoman
              I think he was trying to bring a complex and nuanced look at how we venerate our heroes, and airbrush their flaws;

              Sounds to me like he was trying to demean and de-value another human being.

              Sorry, I really loved and love Dr. King, full disclosure...

              •  no (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                david mizner

                liberal granny, I too love and and owe him much, I think we diminish him--and other heroes--by making them into 2 dimensional cartoon characters.

                as I said above he was a thinking man, a loving man, a brave man, and other those others things...

                he was not perfect and we set ourselves up for a fall by seeking perfection from any of our leaders or heroes.

      •  I'm with you there... (0+ / 0-)

        We put them up on such high platforms that it's hard to see who they really are. King was just like everyone else, a flawed man trying to do right.

      •  Sure. (0+ / 0-)

        Perhaps I'll do a diary about RFK, his alleged dalliances, and his obsession with killing Castro (by nearly any means necessary as long as there was plausible deniabilty for he and his big brother). We'll see how that goes over around here.  

        I ordered enchiladas and I ate 'em. Ali had the fruit punch. - A Tribe Called Quest

        by turnover on Mon Oct 17, 2011 at 02:31:48 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  You should do one (0+ / 0-)

          You'd have a lot more material. I can't speak for the rest of the rest of this place -- it is, after all, nothing if not politically correct -- but I for one would tip you.

          •  There's no real sense in it. (0+ / 0-)

            And like you mentioned above, I'm not averse to countering the occasional myth-making where our heroes are concerned.

            But what's the point? The only possible result, no matter how tastefully written (unlike the above screed), would be a flame barrage and perhaps some hurt feelings.

            And besides - people want, and perhaps need, heroes. I once read that Paul Simon specifically asked where Joe DiMaggio had gone in "Mrs. Robinson" because he looked around and saw an America seemingly devoid of heroes. But more recent biography (I'm looking at you, Richard Ben Cramer) has painted Joltin' Joe in a much-less-than-flattering light.

            Perhaps Americans are far more prone than others to project our wants and needs and ideals upon celebrities, be they political or otherwise. And I won't presume to say whether this is a good or bad thing. I look at Europe these days and they seem in many ways to be just as fucked-up as we are.

            Ah, well. Let's just let the left have Jack and Bobby and FDR, and left the right have Reagan. In the end, I suppose it's all the same to me.

            I ordered enchiladas and I ate 'em. Ali had the fruit punch. - A Tribe Called Quest

            by turnover on Mon Oct 17, 2011 at 03:10:53 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  i think it can be done (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          MsLibrarian, CaliSista

          i also think it can be useful to know the whole story.  

          but the attempt would need to serve a purpose. the purpose with this diary fell flat.

        •  Just don't do one on an OWS messing up a bathroom. (0+ / 0-)

          Some things are sacred.

          Inland: A privately held corporation spun off from the Womb Division of MomCo a half century or so ago.

          by Inland on Mon Oct 17, 2011 at 02:56:23 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Seriously, horribly disrespectful. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Deep Texan, Dancun74, AnnetteK

      In fact, it makes me so angry, that I'm going to offer this diary by HamdenRice in its place as a much better tribute to Dr. King's memory and actual contributions.

      "On their backs were vermiculate patterns that were maps of the world in its becoming. Maps...of a thing which could not be put back. Not be made right again."

      by middleagedhousewife on Mon Oct 17, 2011 at 02:35:30 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  help me understand (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      CoExistNow, poco

      this notion of respect? you like your heroes on a pedestal. i prefer mine to be real folks. he is no less great for his personal choices.

      hero worship is dangerous stuff, just like the lie and myth that rosa parks was an old lady who spontaneously decided to sit down on a bus when she was in fact a trained activist and secretary for the naacp.

      children and low information types prefer the simple version as opposed to one that makes her an agent and part of a real struggle that had been going on for centuries.

      likewise, folks want to pretend that dr. king came along, magically showed up, and then the "movement" happened. King was controversial, unpopular, and a genius ahead of his time.

      Why do we run away from those uncomfortable facts?

  •  The Mountaintop (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cartoon Peril

    http://blog.zap2it.com/...

    is a play that portrays him warts and all.  haven't seen it though, so i can't say if it's good.

    •  is that why you wrote this diary? (0+ / 0-)

      did you hear about the play?

      or was this some organic, i'll write a diary about how MLK Jr was a flawed man?  

      just wondering how you came to write this diary.  i suspect others are wondering as well, considering the hide rates.  you may want to edit or clarify your diary.

      •  see my comments above (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        poco, Cartoon Peril

        Sad that folks hide the uncomfortable. We cannot and should not become the authoritarians we condemn those on the Right for being.

        Unfortunate. But my point is prove about how folks run to simplicity and flat narratives. I wonder if the shock of knowing the truth diminishes their view of a seminal and important person in the creation of modern America and a model beyond the Black Freedom Struggle.

        If a few blue stories are so shocking and anathema, what does that say about a real understanding of his legacy.

        A parallel story would be that of the controversy surrounding the claims that Malcolm X was a a male prostitute in his youth. Given his life as a hustler that would not surprising. Moreover, why should that matter in the grand total of his life and politics--the latter which is so profoundly misunderstood and mythologized by the way.

        Some howled and screamed at the thought of Brother Malcolm being "gay"--in their eyes. Again, more revealing of their own priors than saying anything about his legacy or philosophy.

        •  if your point in writing this diary (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          CaliSista, allergywoman

          was to point out the uncomfortable truths re: MLK Jr

          then i ask you to delete it.  you're not helping nor educating anybody.  

          Sad that folks hide the uncomfortable. We cannot and should not become the authoritarians we condemn those on the Right for being.

          I disagree.  I think you failed here and now assign the blame unto others rather than consider your flawed premise.

  •  Oh grief, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    middleagedhousewife, Mas Gaviota

    HR'd for teh vile.

    Go away now please.

  •  Jackie O. didn't like King because of his sex... (0+ / 0-)

    parites.  HIs number of mistresses was well known. BUT, that does nothing to undermine what he did. If anything..in my mind...it showed just what he was trying to accomplish, that all men are created equal. Equally capable of good and bad behavior.

    Why should he be demonized for having a strong sex driveor being human?

    •  Going back to the bible even (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MsLibrarian

      Jacob had at least 13 kids with 4 different women.

      Moses was a foster child with abandonment issues and a temper that led to his killing a man.

      David never met a woman he wouldn't bang and when he knocked up Bathsheba and couldn't get her husband to have sex with her to cover up their indiscretion he had him killed.

      The bible included their flaws to prevent them from being made idols; while they accomplished great things, they were human and had the same frailties and failings as the rest of us.

      The difference between them and MLK lies in the fact that we live in  a society that loves to set men up as idols and icons... but also equally loves to destroy them...

      yeah, MLK had flaws; yeah, MLK had demons and yeah he gave in to both on more than one occasion. ..yeah, the same charisma that made him such an effective civil rights leader also drew women to him like moths to a flame... as it did for Adam Clayton Powell and many others.... both famous and not

      That charisma was a blessing and a curse.. but at the end of it all, the blessing far outweighed the curse and it is the blessing that fuels King's legacy.

      Fear doesn't just breed incomprehension. It also breeds a spiteful, resentful hate of anyone and everyone who is in any way different from you.

      by awesumtenor on Mon Oct 17, 2011 at 07:23:27 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Any statement or information about anybody (15+ / 0-)

    even arguably to the left of Mussolini that is sourced from JEdgar is straight up slander or libel depending upon the medium.

    That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

    by enhydra lutris on Mon Oct 17, 2011 at 02:27:45 PM PDT

  •  Way to bring a balanced portrayal of the man. (9+ / 0-)

    Because nothing provides a more comprehensive, historically accurate portrayal than what a guy shouts when he comes.  

    Scholars will forever be comparing Lincoln's "Gawd almighty" with Johnson's "Surrender Dorothy!" forever, and now your contribution is just as valuable.

    Jackass.

    Inland: A privately held corporation spun off from the Womb Division of MomCo a half century or so ago.

    by Inland on Mon Oct 17, 2011 at 02:34:30 PM PDT

  •  Head up, Diarist (4+ / 0-)

    I get what you're trying to say, despite the knee jerk reactions. Complexity only makes our heroes more admirable in some ways. King had to live every with the knowledge that the FBI could do destroy him at any time and still he pressed on.

  •  Did you really think this was going to end well? (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    fcvaguy, rfall, khereva, Liberal Granny, Little

    I like that historical figures are complex.  But based on this diary, you're being a jackass.  HR'd.

    Homosexuality is found in over 450 species. Homophobia is found in only one. Which one seems unnatural now?

    by Chrislove on Mon Oct 17, 2011 at 02:42:34 PM PDT

    •  After reading other comments (6+ / 0-)

      that go into depth about your history (and looking at your history myself), I don't think you're a jackass, and I'll rescind that and apologize for saying it.  I do think this is poorly done, though, and the outcry it elicited is proof of that.  I'm all for deconstructing historical myths.  But I think there are significant problems with this diary.

      Homosexuality is found in over 450 species. Homophobia is found in only one. Which one seems unnatural now?

      by Chrislove on Mon Oct 17, 2011 at 03:24:35 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  please share (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        poco

        style? format? taste?

        the thought's appreciated. as I said elsewhere, sometimes I go for the swerve and the upset. I don't write for validation here or elsewhere.

        that wins as many friends as enemies in the long run I guess because folks know that you are being honest and not trying to gimmick for some recs, points, or what have you, little internet trinkets that have no currency or sway in the real world.

        but we all have our fetish objects i guess.

  •  Do I even need to explain this HR? n/t (0+ / 0-)

    "Someone just turned the lights on in the bar and the sexiest state doesn't look so pretty anymore" CA Treasurer Bill Lockyer on Texas budget mess

    by CaliSista on Mon Oct 17, 2011 at 03:12:06 PM PDT

    •  On second thought, I think I do. (3+ / 0-)

      What purpose does this diary serve? It purports to honor MLK for his "realness" or maybe suggest that flawed humans can be heroic or we shouldn't deify MLK or who knows....

      Whatever the point was "supposed" to be was obscured by "Come over here you big (well, you know the rest)". Putting that kind of thing right up front and including this report of a second hand conversation based on a supposed tape made by the oh so trustworthy and totally unbiased Hoover makes it appear that getting that out there was the true purpose.

      "Someone just turned the lights on in the bar and the sexiest state doesn't look so pretty anymore" CA Treasurer Bill Lockyer on Texas budget mess

      by CaliSista on Mon Oct 17, 2011 at 03:36:16 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  what if it was true? (0+ / 0-)

        and so what?

        that and other accounts have been included in some pretty authoritative accounts of King. Are they shocking? Maybe to some. Why? Our prudery? Deifying of people? Childish fear of human sexuality?

        Of course J Edgar and Cointel were smear merchants. That is a given...

        •  Right backatcha... If it's "so what", then why (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          allergywoman

          other than prurient interest was its presence needed in this diary?

          Perhaps in your next diary on

          Sexual practices of Civil Rights Leaders; or

          MLK...Bi?; or

          Most Famous Plagiarizers; or

          Hoover - The 60's;

          Maybe then...

          "Someone just turned the lights on in the bar and the sexiest state doesn't look so pretty anymore" CA Treasurer Bill Lockyer on Texas budget mess

          by CaliSista on Mon Oct 17, 2011 at 06:03:45 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  you can (0+ / 0-)

            read my other responses. the lack of civility is not surprising, the clutching the pearls immaturity is. sadly, there is an echo chamber and approved discourses on the left as well. we need to work on that for a false sense of pc is limiting and ties our hands, minds, and creativity.

            •  Again, what purpose is served? (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              allergywoman

              There was no discourse - approved or otherwise. That's my main issue.

              Say I wanted to write a diary on what type of legislation is introduced by each California Congressperson that could have had a positive or negative effect on smog levels in Los Angeles.

              I might say Nancy Pelosi introduced a bill to strengthen the smog check requirement.

              Maxine Waters sponsored a measure for industries to conduct a neighborhood assessment if a facility is enlarged.

              Dana Rohrabacher proposed an oil refinery be placed on every elementary school campus.

              David Drier who is reportedly gay and lives with a man and oh by the way probably has sex with that man on a regular basis is said to be considering a measure on defunding the AQMD. When asked about the AQMD, Drier who refuses to confirm whether he's gay says Air Quality has already been Managed and is no longer in need of a District. Gay employees at the AQMD had no comment.

              It wouldn't be a surprise if readers thought my supposed concern about smog was just a smoke screen to gossip about David Drier.

              "Someone just turned the lights on in the bar and the sexiest state doesn't look so pretty anymore" CA Treasurer Bill Lockyer on Texas budget mess

              by CaliSista on Tue Oct 18, 2011 at 12:14:55 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  than (0+ / 0-)

                you should write it. why limit yourself to the approval of virtual people who give virtual points and virtual hugs and virtual praise on the internet?

                don't limit yourself to the approval of others, that is backwards reasoning. sometimes you need to upset the apple cart.

                is this just a vanity project, i.e. writing for most her on Kos? seeking approval?

                •  It's no use. You refuse to address (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  allergywoman

                  the most basic of questions. This is supposed to be a site geared towards substantive discussion. Writing with no purpose other than "upsetting the apple cart" seems pointless to me which I will try and keep in mind before commenting any further in this diary or others of a similar vein.

                  "Someone just turned the lights on in the bar and the sexiest state doesn't look so pretty anymore" CA Treasurer Bill Lockyer on Texas budget mess

                  by CaliSista on Tue Oct 18, 2011 at 12:25:59 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

  •  Re plagiarism (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    khereva

    http://www.snopes.com/...

    I think that should clear up the issue considerably.

    If that's the worst you can come up with, sorry.

    I must be dreaming...

    by murphy on Mon Oct 17, 2011 at 03:19:45 PM PDT

  •  No, you moron. (3+ / 0-)
    The memorial is the ultimate symbol of America's great triumph over white supremacy.

    The memorial is a symbol of our tribute to a great civil rights activist and the ideas he espoused.

    It's no more about the end of "white supremacy" than the Vietnam War Memorial is about the end of all war.

    "Ridicule is the only weapon which can be used against unintelligible propositions." - Thomas Jefferson

    by rfall on Mon Oct 17, 2011 at 03:24:25 PM PDT

    •  Although I still think this is a diary looking for (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      poco

      a purpose, I don't think the part you quoted was intended as an expression of the diarist's opinion. In the next sentence, the preceding three sentences were dismissed as a childish narrative for the willfully ignorant.

      "Someone just turned the lights on in the bar and the sexiest state doesn't look so pretty anymore" CA Treasurer Bill Lockyer on Texas budget mess

      by CaliSista on Mon Oct 17, 2011 at 03:48:44 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  please (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      CoExistNow, Cartoon Peril

      check the emotion, reread, and put that in the context of the myth making, post-racial, post-civil rights moment we are (problematically) in where we cannot have a real conversation about race, structural inequality, or power because the discourse has been high jacked by less than honest players.

      check out some of the public opinion data on race and progress. we live in a moment of absurdity where a significant portion of the white public believe they are "oppressed."

      trust me, there are some of a certain generation (and others) who would take King's monument, just as the election of Obama was some type of magical elixir, to declare the struggle over.

  •  oh you are going to catch the shit on this one (0+ / 0-)

    but I'm recommending it just the same.

    You have exactly 10 seconds to change that look of disgusting pity into one of enormous respect!

    by Cartoon Peril on Mon Oct 17, 2011 at 04:37:23 PM PDT

    •  thanks sometimes (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Cartoon Peril

      you  need to shake people of their complacency.

      it is healthy to shake up their status quo and settled priors.

      •  well, you've certainly irritated me in some posts (0+ / 0-)

        but what do I care?  I have no right to have all opinions please me, and besides, why would I even want that?

        You have exactly 10 seconds to change that look of disgusting pity into one of enormous respect!

        by Cartoon Peril on Mon Oct 17, 2011 at 04:43:43 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  it is fascinating (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Cartoon Peril, Recall

          how each website, community blog, or the like has its own culture.

          i swerve folks on my own site, i will also continue to do so here. some get it; others don't. but if it sparks a thought or idea or intervention that would otherwise not have been then the mission is accomplished.

          there are truths which folks need to sustain them. if the tea party gop right is a religion, one that is enabled by the right-wing echo chamber, is there a parallel on the left?

          what ideas are so upsetting that they are treated as sacrilege? how does that limit our fight and struggle. lefties and progressives tout their intellectual superiority over conservatives, but they are just as prone to knee jerk reactions--just on other matters.

          •  I don't get it either. MLK Jr. was a human being (0+ / 0-)

            not some kind of angel from Heaven.  It took human beings to begin the march away from slavery, not divine intervention.

            You have exactly 10 seconds to change that look of disgusting pity into one of enormous respect!

            by Cartoon Peril on Mon Oct 17, 2011 at 05:02:06 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  I think making people rethink the echo chambers (0+ / 0-)

            they inhabit is an excellent notion.

            The problem is that not only websites have their own culture, but they also have their own history. DKos recently lost a huge number of high profile AA voices--some were banned, others left due to the racism on this site. The back-and-forth on the bannings and the leaving have alerted a lot of people to the issue of racism on this site. And that may have made people reacting the way they do. Just my opinion on what happened here, fwiw.  

            It's *Gandhi*, not Ghandi

            by poco on Mon Oct 17, 2011 at 05:18:20 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  i am just (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              poco

              getting told about that history. I post here and on my own site, so I am not as schooled on that background.

              what happened? i know the broad strokes, but do you think it is just hyper vigilance and policing or a general anxiety about talking about anything to do with race?

              •  Well, I could be completely wrong, but some of (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                CaliSista, Recall

                the people reacting with hostility may be genuinely angry that you are trying to throw mud at a civil rights hero and icon.

                Some of the others may be aware of the facts you bring, but are worried that on a site where there is racism, these facts could be used to discredit the civil rights movement and undercut the anti-racism efforts of today.

                And there may be some commenters and hide-raters who latched on to this diary to prove their bona fides re racism, i.e. if I hide rate this, it proves I am not a racist.    

                It's *Gandhi*, not Ghandi

                by poco on Mon Oct 17, 2011 at 05:38:22 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

  •  a "great visual" and a "funny story"? WTF? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CaliSista, Mas Gaviota, allergywoman

    as in WTF is great about that visual?

    and WTF makes you think that story is funny?

    on second thought, i won't even bother adding my HR to the pile.

    glad someone else took the Black Kos tag off so I didn't have to.

    "Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D."

    by TrueBlueMajority on Mon Oct 17, 2011 at 05:58:12 PM PDT

  •  Lemme get this straight (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rockhound, Little, CaliSista, allergywoman

    Your entire diary is based on what Carl Rowan wrote in 1991 about something that was told to him by Rep Rooney in 1964 based on a tape provided by J Edger Hoover.  Use your common sense this is clearly agit prop of the worst kind.  What next genuis?  Are you going to quote from the Protocals of the Elders of Zion?

    oh and by the way REMOVE THIS PIECE OF SHIT DIARY

    "Es mejor morir de pie que vivir de rodilla." E. Zapata

    by Mas Gaviota on Mon Oct 17, 2011 at 06:05:10 PM PDT

    •  please don't be so dramatic (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Recall

      that story has been cited time and time again in some quite authoritative volumes.

      again, as I have been asking--and have yet to get a fair answer from most--why the fear of engaging with the bigger claim. why the obsession with a man's shortcomings and an ability to see them as part of a whole person?

      •  The story is complete bullshit (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        allergywoman

        and you know it.  It is however an excellent example of effective  propaganda clearly planted by the FBI.  

        If you repeat a lie often enough, it becomes the truth- J. Goebbels

        Nothing in the supposed "orgy" makes any logical sense except in the minds of the viscous bigots that created it and the fools loke you that feel the need to keep repeating the slander.  Please let me know what "authoratative volumes" you are citing.

        "Es mejor morir de pie que vivir de rodilla." E. Zapata

        by Mas Gaviota on Tue Oct 18, 2011 at 10:45:52 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  you are playing with confederate money here... (0+ / 0-)

          The story was cited in Bearing the Cross which is one of the best volumes on king's life. If I recall it also won the Pulitzer. That is good enough for me and most sensible folks on the topic.

          Please get beyond the inconvenient facts and engage the bigger claim about a need for perfect heroes.

          •  How about an actual (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            allergywoman

            quote from a source that is not sourced from the same FBI misinformation program.  I am not talking about King being a "womanizer" but the same fantastic "orgy scene" that you felt was so important to plastered right at the start of your "diary".

            "Es mejor morir de pie que vivir de rodilla." E. Zapata

            by Mas Gaviota on Tue Oct 18, 2011 at 01:56:47 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  you win (0+ / 0-)

              no pleasing or satisfying you.

              I will take a peer reviewed book by a leading scholar over your efforts to be in denial. You can wrap yourself up in your warm blanket of myths and heroic tropes that overlook human complexity and help children and low-information types to sleep well at night.

              That blanket feels good, no? Are you all snug and tucked in?

              •  So no facts to back up (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                allergywoman

                your purient first paragraph and the fantasy "orgy".  I am not surprised.  You lead off with a classic racist agit prop piece coined by the FBI to discredit MLK and the civil rights movement and when you are called to back up that sensational story you have nothing.   You could be honest and admit that the orgy story is clearly a lie or you could actually provide a citation from "the peer reviewed book by a leading scholar".  No you took ad hom route, right on brother!

                "Es mejor morir de pie que vivir de rodilla." E. Zapata

                by Mas Gaviota on Tue Oct 18, 2011 at 04:30:58 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  meh, more inconvenient facts... (0+ / 0-)

                  I gave you the book. I can provide others. This is tedious.

                  Again, why the defensiveness? If folks who have actually heard the tapes, been vetted in peer review (a blind process), and have won international book awards for their work is not enough for you I don't know what to say.

                  You are beyond convincing because you simply can't believe this to be true, cognitively it upsets you for some reason. Do you want your heroes to be 3 dimensional or 2 dimensional? You are likely also to have a stroke because Malcolm X worked as a street hustler when he was young and semi-homeless. Would that cause a similar fit? Would you cry over Martin distancing himself from Baynard Rustin (sp?) for political and pr reasons? Are you upset that Frederick Douglas married a white woman? Is that another inconvenience for your ideology?

                  What level of truth are you willing to accept?

                  We have to be sure to break out of the same echo chamber we accuse conservatives of being trapped in.

                  •  Provide a quote (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    allergywoman

                    The only thing that upsets me are people like yourself that make fantastic claims without proof.  It is certainly not news that MLK had affairs.  But the orgy story is pure bullshit.  In this diary your source is a third hand account.  If you have a quote from someone that actually heard the tape, why did you not use it?
                      I know that my heroes are three dimensional like every other homo sapien sapien that has ever lived.  You wanted to upset people by leading off your diary with a clearly false, sensational anecdote that has been taken as a fact by so many in the digital age.  Is your next proof going to be to say that Jackie Kennedy was upset by the orgy story?  Well she was upset by the same agit-prop bullshit Hoover planted story.   In a way, by believing every bullcrap story floating aroung about MLK you are living in a dangerous "echo chamber."

                    "Es mejor morir de pie que vivir de rodilla." E. Zapata

                    by Mas Gaviota on Tue Oct 18, 2011 at 05:16:30 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  lord (0+ / 0-)

                      give me peace and rest from your persistence.

                      do you want me to write the fbi and/or go to King's archives? you can go to google books, look at the relevant passages (page 370 plus), check the creds of the author who interviewed hundreds of king's confidantes, informants, and others, his wife did not deny the claims, and it was common knowledge that king partied and partied hard.

                      there is also the anecdote substantiated by workers at the hotel and king's staff that the suite which was bugged was known as the king-abernathy sex suite.

                      go to the library if you like and check the footnotes and cites of said award winning book and do some hard work.

                      there is nothing to convince you--a bad showing on your part--as we need to be more rigorous in our thinking and argumentation if we are going to counter the Right.

                      Jackie O's sexual adventures are pretty legendary too. Is she also off limits?

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