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Ron Radosh

Fifty years ago this week, the historic March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom took place. The highlight was Martin Luther King Jr.’s speech, now justly celebrated as one of the most famous orations in American history, standing alongside that of Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address.

I, along with many other Americans, have my own memories of that day. I had recently left Madison, Wisconsin, to come back to New York City with my first wife and our infant daughter, where I looked for an apartment and began the long process of writing my doctoral dissertation and finding a job. I had been involved in the civil rights movement in 1959-60 at the University of Iowa, where I got my M.A. in history. I organized the picketing of Woolworth’s department store in solidarity with the Greensboro, North Carolina, sit-in, at which brave black students demanded to be served lunch at the segregated chain’s lunch counter. While at Iowa, my wife and I went to hear King speak at a local black church, and hence I already knew what a powerful speaker he was.

On the day of the march, I boarded an old hard-back yellow school bus at 5:00 a.m. for the long trip to the nation’s capital. The bus was chartered by people working out of Bayard Rustin’s New York office, and was officially part of a delegation of what became Students for a Democratic Society, but at the time was the Student League for Industrial Democracy, a group affiliated with the Socialist Party led by Norman Thomas. Rustin and A. Phillip Randolph were both members.

I remember one highlight. The then-segregated Maryland rest stops were open to all marchers, black and white. I recall groups of volunteers handing out free sandwiches and drinks to all marchers. Standing next to me, a black kid who was perhaps 10 or 11 laughed and said loudly: “The white power structure certainly has things well organized for our benefit today.” The march itself proved to be glorious — all ages, white and black, demanding that the American promise of equality before the law for all be realized and that the scourge of racism and segregation be ended throughout the nation as a whole.

The promise and hopes of that day would soon be shattered by the Birmingham, Alabama church bombing which killed young children at Sunday school, and by the other obstructionist attempts of Southern racists to stifle the forces demanding change and equality. The march took place as the nation recalled the recent assassination of Medgar Evers and the murder of Emmett Till in 1955.

It would be a long and noble struggle, and fifty years later, anyone with a shred of honesty knows how different the America of that day was from the one we now live in.

I have little to add to the wonderful column appearing in these pages by Rick Moran, who rightfully notes how Martin Luther King, Jr. would be stunned by the speeches at last week’s first commemoration march, where the huckster Rev. Al Sharpton was a keynote featured speaker, and where the calls of “Justice for Trayvon” and claims that the vote was being taken away from African-Americans resounded. It was apparent that in the eyes of many who spoke, we were still living in the America of the early 1960s.

The remembrances of the original 1963 March on Washington has led to scores of articles about what Martin Luther King, Jr. would say today, what he would demand if he was still alive and speaking at this week’s commemorative event. It is an exercise in which it seems every liberal and leftist is participating, with the expected results.

In most regards, what they think are the important issues are what they think King would be saying. The exercise amounts to  a litany of today’s left-wing agenda.

Writing in The Nation, Gary Younge does not disappoint in giving us the perspective of unadulterated leftism. For him, King’s historic speech was a “searing indictment of American racism that still exists.” (My emphasis.) As Younge sees it, Martin Luther King Jr. was a radical of the far Left, who only with the passage of time “went from ignominy to icon.”

Evidently Mr. Younge is too young to recall — or perhaps because he grew up in Britain, does not know — that the radicals in SNCC often referred to him behind his back as “Uncle Martin Tom” and “Martin Luther Coon.” And that self-proclaimed black revolutionaries like Malcolm X condemned King regularly as an appeaser of white power for advocating non-violence and Gandhi-style resistance.

The march itself, Malcolm X proclaimed, was “The Farce on Washington.”

Now it certainly is true that King was of the social-democratic tradition, as was the march’s chief captain and organizer, Bayard Rustin. Rustin, however, was as anti-Communist as one could be, and hence, urged King not to later waste the potential of his moral leadership of the movement by joining the anti Vietnam-war movement.

Rustin, who was a dedicated pacifist, would later sign an open letter informing Americans why he would not take part in any anti-war rallies in which speakers advocated victory for the Viet Cong or flew the National Liberation Front flags alongside that of the United States.

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Top Rated Comments   
Yes, I regretfully also read that WaPo Outlook piece, and as with so much of WaPo's copy, it caused me to throw up in my mouth a little.

So the Left co-opts MLK for whatever bee happens to be in their bonnets this week...not a surprise for a philosophy that is morally bankrupt that it has to resort to "Dead Celebrity Endorsements" of it's agenda.

I was left wondering where this hogwash would end...will one day some tenured neo-Marxist neckbeard write that George Washington's Continentals suffered through the winter encampment at Valley Forge so that homosexuals could force a Catholic or Mormon church to "marry" them?
Did Teddy Rossevelt's Rough Riders charge San Juan Hill to prevent a Wal-Mart from being built there so that local minority and woman-owned businesses could continue to profit ?

With the Left, no absurdity is too far-fetched. Howard Zinn had already re-written our history,(or did he merely affix his name to the draft copy drawn up in the KGB Cultural Warfare bureau?), while Michael Belleisles went and won himself a major academic prize for ...making sh!t up...to support the notions of unilateral citizen disarmament advocates.
And then there's our favorite non-Native American academic,(get lost Elizabeth Warren!), Ward Churchill.

The Washington Post, like so much of the MSM print media, is best read only by caged parakeets and other avians. Only a bird-brain would accept the malarkey that they print.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I was going to delete your comment, since it has literally nothing to do with the post. But since you cite Evans' answer to my review of his book, which Diana West has put up on her website, here is the link to my actual review:http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/Articles/The%20Enemy%20Within.html

Anyone who bothers to read it will see immediately that not only was I fair to Evans, but will see the many points he refuses to even try to address. It is the game of West's defenders to always cite Evans retort, without giving readers a link to my actual review.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Defeating black radicalism is the number one issue of our era. It ultimately threatens the country's existence. Whites and "inauthentic" minorities must stop feeling guilty. The majority of black people have to grow up and start acting like adults. We don't owe them anything.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (25)
All Comments   (25)
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Funny how Radosh and the many others that fit his mold used Blacks against Whites in this country yet want to keep "their" country (Israel) ethnically pure.

In the name of MLK and Civil Rights isn't it time for the Palestinians to return to their land and for Israel to stop being racist? Hmmmm?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
First Mr. Radosh I want to thank you for this and most all of your work. My father had a friend named Karl Prussian. He was a communist operative then he turned to the FBI and reported to them from the inside, further chiding my father for allowing my sister to attend Humboldt State University as that was his most fertile recruiting ground. While the Dr. King holiday was being discussed in DC Karl was whisked off to DC testify before a closed committee. He testified that he had seen MLK as well as Cesar Chavez at communist meetings. It has been my view that MLK after achieving Civil Rights he detoured to Social Justice which is where he was courted by them. MLK never fully embraced them but he did allow himself to get into the anti-war movement which was inspired by them, we have the KGB reports of disinformation campaigns against our effort. Thank You Mr. Radosh for breaching this wall, that is brave.
Now to gwilym and feralCat of course you are entitled to your opinion but not facts. Whittaker Chambers was a Communist and he changed sides as well as Ms. Bentley and many many more and they denounced it. Mr. Radosh has championed America and those that defend it with true history as a historian. If you wish to defend Ms. West go ahead but be honest about it. Mr. Radosh is a Historian, Ms West describes herself as a reporter, they sometimes go to press too soon. I saw her promote her book before this erupted and I had sleight issues with her talk but still we ARE on the same side.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Why is the left so blind to Margaret Sanger's real intention for starting planned parenthood. I find it hard to believe that our president and his wife have never ? who started Planned Parenthood. It is the biggest lie to the African American population today. Margaret's plan is being implemented by the very people she wished to annihilate. Planned Parenthood is the best example of racism and even MLK fell for this evil disguised as good.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I'm growing weary of the deification of Martin Luther King. I frankly don't care if that is considered heresy, or not There is much to admire about the man, but there is also much to disagree. Does the good outweigh the bad - absolutely. Was King somebody worthy to bow the knee? Not hardly.

King doesn't rank anywhere near the greatest men of American history, much less be mentioned in the same breath as Abraham Lincoln. And those the two the greatest orators in American history? Not even close.

A casual read of Daniel Webster and Patrick Henry show a talent well beyond anything Martin Luther King could produce - and it original from Webster and Henry. King had a style and delivery, but hardly the deep thinker. King's best material was parroting from the Bible. I can show you many a preacher than can deliver a sermon equally as mesmerizing.

I don't minimize King and I am glad he's recognized for his work. But this almost god like quality we have bestowed on MLK is pretentious to say the least and stinks of sanctimony from many whites wanting to appear enlightened.

Not only was King a hypocrite, serial philandering preacher, but most of his material was plagiarized. I see a little too much Barack Obama
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I'm really tired of this Radosh character's pretending to have been on the front-line during the Cold War. He was on the enemy's side, for most of it.

When did he ever risk his scrawny neck? No, I didn't risk mine, either, but I'm lucky enough to be twenty-five years younger. I do know, from personal experience, what a communist country looks like (it's as grim as you would imagine), but I'm not aware that Radosh has ever set foot inside of one.

Now we get the aptly named "Dave Swindle", who couldn't write a decent article, if his life depended on it, proclaiming Radosh, "The Most Valuable Historian Exposing Marxism's Long War Against America."

1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
He is now pretending to be a conservative so he can sell Zionism to conservatives. Like most neocons with his background.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"I was going to delete your comment..."

Once a stalinist, always a stalinist, Ronald - isn't that the way it works?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
He did delete one of my two comments. Of course, since it's deleted know one is suppose to know.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
During the late 1960s the "civil rights movement" was hijacked by the extreme left-wing of the Democrat Party.
Our modern race-hustlers are far less interested in getting EQUALITY that in getting EVEN. Racial double standards, even a fashionable new black racism, are practiced blatantly. Barack Obama (ever with charming Cheshire grin and teleprompter eloquence) wants to appear blameless but is clearly complicit in this spewing of racial poison. MLK said "I have a dream" but we have a nightmare.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
It wasn't hijacked - it was Leftist from the beginning.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The pain & suffering of the 1960's was destroyed by the gangsters of the 90's, 2000 & current black criminals- crime in black community has gone thru the roof since the 1970's - the spit on their freedom and what MLK did for them
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
they SPIT on
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
A fascinating piece by Ron Radosh. Important too to remember that black nationalists and supremacists attempted to annex MLK Jr. in the mid-1960s, as I wrote here: http://clarespark.com/2009/10/31/the-offing-of-martin-luther-king-jr-and-ralph-bunche/.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Yes, I regretfully also read that WaPo Outlook piece, and as with so much of WaPo's copy, it caused me to throw up in my mouth a little.

So the Left co-opts MLK for whatever bee happens to be in their bonnets this week...not a surprise for a philosophy that is morally bankrupt that it has to resort to "Dead Celebrity Endorsements" of it's agenda.

I was left wondering where this hogwash would end...will one day some tenured neo-Marxist neckbeard write that George Washington's Continentals suffered through the winter encampment at Valley Forge so that homosexuals could force a Catholic or Mormon church to "marry" them?
Did Teddy Rossevelt's Rough Riders charge San Juan Hill to prevent a Wal-Mart from being built there so that local minority and woman-owned businesses could continue to profit ?

With the Left, no absurdity is too far-fetched. Howard Zinn had already re-written our history,(or did he merely affix his name to the draft copy drawn up in the KGB Cultural Warfare bureau?), while Michael Belleisles went and won himself a major academic prize for ...making sh!t up...to support the notions of unilateral citizen disarmament advocates.
And then there's our favorite non-Native American academic,(get lost Elizabeth Warren!), Ward Churchill.

The Washington Post, like so much of the MSM print media, is best read only by caged parakeets and other avians. Only a bird-brain would accept the malarkey that they print.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Yup, the march goes on. Unfortunately, now, they're marching in circles. Time to move on, guys.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
ah ha MOVEON.ORG yes that and NAACP
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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