Monday, January 21, 2013

Martin Luther King's Greatest Antiwar Speech Compared to Obama's Uncle Tom Inaugural

Martin Luther King gave two profound antiwar speeches in April, 1967.  The first, at Riverside Church in New York City is justifiably one of his most well-known sermons.  He spoke for just under an hour on April 4th, exactly one year before his assassination.  It was recorded on audio tape, and there are several sources that provide complete transcripts.

At the end of the month, he gave a shorter version at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia.  Between the two, on April 15th, he attended what was then the largest protest against the Vietnam War, in New York City, where he stated:
I have not urged a mechanical fusion of the civil rights and peace movements. There are people who have come to see the moral imperative of equality, but who cannot yet see the moral imperative of world brotherhood. I would like to see the fervor of the civil-rights movement imbued into the peace movement to instill it with greater strength. And I believe everyone has a duty to be in both the civil-rights and peace movements. But for those who presently choose but one, I would hope they will finally come to see the moral roots common to both.
At the time King made these speeches, the United States was spending about 21% of the world share of annual military expenditures.  Last year - 45 years later - our share of global military spending for a country's own defense was 43%.  Under President Obama, we recently set a world record for arms exports to other nations - almost $8.7 billion.  Mostly to countries who would be far better off spending these funds on education, infrastructure and green economic development.

Having saturated countries surrounding Iran with unneeded military equipment and systems over the past four years, Obama is now courting southeast Asian nations with the same weapons and systems, touting fear of China as the sales pitch.

Writing today about MLK's April 4,1967 speech, Glenn Greenwald notes:
Citing the massive violence brought by the US to the world, King urged: "How can they trust us when now we . . . charge them with violence while we pour every new weapon of death into their land? Surely we must understand their feelings even if we do not condone their actions." Anticipating the predictable smears of him that he knew were coming from making this argument - from pointing out the US's own responsibility for the violence and extremism it claimed to be fighting - he said: "We must not call everyone a Communist or an appeaser who . . . recognizes that hate and hysteria are not the final answers to the problem of these turbulent days."  
But a citizenry whose "soul becomes totally poisoned" by endless war is incapable of considering nonviolence as an alternative. It loses its capacity for empathy (to understand what motivates others' actions), for self-assessment (to acknowledge the role one's own actions play in perpetuating this violence), for rationality (to consider whether those being killed are actually implacable foes), and for communion (to see "the enemy" as anything more than dehumanized Others who must be extinguished). Thus do we hear - in the face of endless reports of dead children and innocent adults from US violence - this morally stunted defense: I can't think of an alternative other than boots on the ground. That's the mantra of a degraded citizenry trained to recite from a script of endless war.
Indeed, our pro-war mindset has numbed us to almost too many things to list.  Non-response to the real dangers of climate change, degradation of lands and oceans through insane agricultural practices that poison each almost irremediably, decaying nuclear plants and the ticking time bombs of nuclear waste in spent fuel pools, top my list.

Of course, none of these dangers came up in Obama's second inaugural speech today.  After all, it was partially paid for by Exxon-Mobil ($260,000), a company that has spent more than any other to create disinformation and lies about the seriousness of climate change:
A new report from the Union of Concerned Scientists offers the most comprehensive documentation to date of how ExxonMobil has adopted the tobacco industry's disinformation tactics, as well as some of the same organizations and personnel, to cloud the scientific understanding of climate change and delay action on the issue. According to the report, ExxonMobil has funneled nearly $16 million between 1998 and 2005 to a network of 43 advocacy organizations that seek to confuse the public on global warming science.
I watched Obama's uninspired speech this morning.  Afterward, I cleansed my mind, listening to both of King's April, 1967 speeches, which damned so fully the war empire Obama epitomizes.

It is very sad that had it not been for King's sacrifice, Obama might not have ever made it to the podium where he could perform for the elite today as the ultimate Uncle Tom.

Martin Luther King at Riverside Church:
Martin Luther King at Ebenezer Baptist Church:


Anonymous said...

Now you're just reduced to being an ass.

Anonymous said...

This was not the State of the Union Speech. It was his 2nd Inaugural Speech! Most of us found it very inspiring! Who put the burr under your saddle?

Anonymous said...

Your babbling hackery isn't even close to being factually supported.

You claim Obama didn't address climate change, when in fact, addressing climate change was a clear policy vow he very clearly did address.

Grow up.

It's incoherent lunacy to hold up Glen Greenwald as an example when Greenwald defends Ron Paul who would dismantle civil rights and support his own brand of militarism. And here you want to give someone the idea that Greenwald is venerating Martin Luther King?

Not by a long shot. Greenwald is only using King to feebly attempt to shore up his own inconsistent philosophical ramblings.

You'd do better to at least make an attempt to dwell in objective reality instead of immersing yourself in self-generated fantasies.

Anonymous said...

You, Phil, you are thinking you're in any position to employ an offensive racial slur against the president?

It's bad enough that your criticism isn't coherent, it's worse that you think you're in any position to pass that kind of racially insensitive judgmental insult.

Your claim of supporting 'progressive ideals' simply isn't supported by your actions.

You should be ashamed.

Instead I expect some juvenile mouthbreathing response from you, as has become the norm here.

Philip Munger said...

.... so much for a breath of antiwar sentiment.

nancydrew said...

"a breath of antiwar sentiment" = "Uncle Tom"? Good heavens.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Munger,

I've been composing a response to this vile post (Uncle Tom?? cleansing your palate???) for most of the day, so enraged have you made me. After reading the comments, however, I have to say these good people have spoken my piece for me. I thank them. As for you, Phil, I can only add that I've seen you sink to fairly low depths on this blog, but never so low as today. Let's hope the gods, or somebody, has mercy on your soul.

Philip Munger said...

Anon @ 6:04 pm:

Thanks. Please provide a link to your response when you have posted it.

Meanwhile, my friend Kevin Gosztola has penned an essay similar to mine. I suggest you read it:

Philip Munger said...

also,. @ 6:04:

Instead of praying for my soul, why don't you pray for these dead kids, who were killed by Obama's illegal drones:

Name | Age | Gender
Noor Aziz | 8 | male
Abdul Wasit | 17 | male
Noor Syed | 8 | male
Wajid Noor | 9 | male
Syed Wali Shah | 7 | male
Ayeesha | 3 | female
Qari Alamzeb | 14| male
Shoaib | 8 | male
Hayatullah KhaMohammad | 16 | male
Tariq Aziz | 16 | male
Sanaullah Jan | 17 | male
Maezol Khan | 8 | female
Nasir Khan | male
Naeem Khan | male
Naeemullah | male
Mohammad Tahir | 16 | male
Azizul Wahab | 15 | male
Fazal Wahab | 16 | male
Ziauddin | 16 | male
Mohammad Yunus | 16 | male
Fazal Hakim | 19 | male
Ilyas | 13 | male
Sohail | 7 | male
Asadullah | 9 | male
khalilullah | 9 | male
Noor Mohammad | 8 | male
Khalid | 12 | male
Saifullah | 9 | male
Mashooq Jan | 15 | male
Nawab | 17 | male
Sultanat Khan | 16 | male
Ziaur Rahman | 13 | male
Noor Mohammad | 15 | male
Mohammad Yaas Khan | 16 | male
Qari Alamzeb | 14 | male
Ziaur Rahman | 17 | male
Abdullah | 18 | male
Ikramullah Zada | 17 | male
Inayatur Rehman | 16 | male
Shahbuddin | 15 | male
Yahya Khan | 16 |male
Rahatullah |17 | male
Mohammad Salim | 11 | male
Shahjehan | 15 | male
Gul Sher Khan | 15 | male
Bakht Muneer | 14 | male
Numair | 14 | male
Mashooq Khan | 16 | male
Ihsanullah | 16 | male
Luqman | 12 | male
Jannatullah | 13 | male
Ismail | 12 | male
Taseel Khan | 18 | male
Zaheeruddin | 16 | male
Qari Ishaq | 19 | male
Jamshed Khan | 14 | male
Alam Nabi | 11 | male
Qari Abdul Karim | 19 | male
Rahmatullah | 14 | male
Abdus Samad | 17 | male
Siraj | 16 | male
Saeedullah | 17 | male
Abdul Waris | 16 | male
Darvesh | 13 | male
Ameer Said | 15 | male
Shaukat | 14 | male
Inayatur Rahman | 17 | male
Salman | 12 | male
Fazal Wahab | 18 | male
Baacha Rahman | 13 | male
Wali-ur-Rahman | 17 | male
Iftikhar | 17 | male
Inayatullah | 15 | male
Mashooq Khan | 16 | male
Ihsanullah | 16 | male
Luqman | 12 | male
Jannatullah | 13 | male
Ismail | 12 | male
Abdul Waris | 16 | male
Darvesh | 13 | male
Ameer Said | 15 | male
Shaukat | 14 | male
Inayatur Rahman | 17 | male
Adnan | 16 | male
Najibullah | 13 | male
Naeemullah | 17 | male
Hizbullah | 10 | male
Kitab Gul | 12 | male
Wilayat Khan | 11 | male
Zabihullah | 16 | male
Shehzad Gul | 11 | male
Shabir | 15 | male
Qari Sharifullah | 17 | male
Shafiullah | 16 | male
Nimatullah | 14 | male
Shakirullah | 16 | male
Talha | 8 | male

Afrah Ali Mohammed Nasser | 9 | female
Zayda Ali Mohammed Nasser | 7 | female
Hoda Ali Mohammed Nasser | 5 | female
Sheikha Ali Mohammed Nasser | 4 | female
Ibrahim Abdullah Mokbel Salem Louqye | 13 | male
Asmaa Abdullah Mokbel Salem Louqye | 9 | male
Salma Abdullah Mokbel Salem Louqye | 4 | female
Fatima Abdullah Mokbel Salem Louqye | 3 | female
Khadije Ali Mokbel Louqye | 1 | female
Hanaa Ali Mokbel Louqye | 6 | female
Mohammed Ali Mokbel Salem Louqye | 4 | male
Jawass Mokbel Salem Louqye | 15 | female
Maryam Hussein Abdullah Awad | 2 | female
Shafiq Hussein Abdullah Awad | 1 | female
Sheikha Nasser Mahdi Ahmad Bouh | 3 | female
Maha Mohammed Saleh Mohammed | 12 | male
Soumaya Mohammed Saleh Mohammed | 9 | female
Shafika Mohammed Saleh Mohammed | 4 | female
Shafiq Mohammed Saleh Mohammed | 2 | male
Mabrook Mouqbal Al Qadari | 13 | male
Daolah Nasser 10 years | 10 | female
AbedalGhani Mohammed Mabkhout | 12 | male
Abdel- Rahman Anwar al Awlaki | 16 | male
Abdel-Rahman al-Awlaki | 17 | male
Nasser Salim | 19


Anonymous said...

As expected, a juvenile mouth-breather response which was fully expected.

Actual progressives have been capable of observing objective reality and reported on the same,, not at all.

Expect more of the self-congratulatory wheedling trying to compensate yourself for your obvious inadequacies. You'll fail miserably, but that won't deter you, ...never has in the past.

Anonymous said...

Did you really think you could throw up a list of casualties and hide behind them?

Asking you to grow up is obviously too much to ask.

nancydrew said...

Yes. Just what Uncle Tom would do. Call on drones at the direction of whitey.

No one argues about the ethical questions here. Your post however is uni-dimentional. Simplistic and frankly, racist. Sorry. Sincerely and respectfully.

Philip Munger said...

"Sincerely and respectfully."


What is racist about the post, Nancy?

nancydrew said...

Uncle Tom. Put that away for heaven's sake. It's beneath you. imho It's akin to Oreo. Steppin' Fetchit. Sambo. You know the litany. Come on. You resorted to racist shorthand to attend your point. You ended the post with "the ultimate Uncle Tom." Header "Obama's Uncle Tom Inaugural." That's not thoughtful commentary.

nancydrew said...

It is, of course, your blog, your prerogative. I'm merely an occasional guest here. Fully aware of that. But I simply think you undermine yourself with this sort of cheap improvidence.


Philip Munger said...

Nancy, Cornel West says it better than I possibly could.

Obama's speech bothered him in much the same way it bothered me.

Posted above.

The use of "Uncle Tom" in the context I have used it has rarely if ever been regarded as "racist shorthand." I certainly don't feel you have proven the point of your accusation.

nancydrew said...

Phil -- I'm not in the business of "proving a point." I can *prove* nothing.

If Uncle Tom isn't crappy shorthand, I don't know what expression might be. Ay. Did you describe any other president as Uncle Tom? Why choose that particular casually flung denigrating phrase?

Call me dense I guess. I've been through worse. ;)

btw -- Like your new site design.

Anonymous said...

Upon closer inspection with teh Wiki. I must agree with your title.


Phil said...

'Uncle Tom,' per Merrian-Webster: "a black who is overeager to win the approval of whites (as by obsequious behavior or uncritical acceptance of white values and goals)"

Per Wikipedia: "an epithet for a person who is slavish and excessively subservient to perceived authority figures, particularly a black person who behaves in a subservient manner to white people; or any person perceived to be a participant in the oppression of their own group."

Barry's bi-racial rather than black, but otherwise there can be no doubt he's the pure embodiment of the term.

Philip Munger said...

thanks for both the critiques and support here. I'll certainly be praising or criticizing Obama from time to time, both @ PA and fdl.

Anonymous said...

No 'dictionary' is going to excuse your use of dog whistle racial slurs. It's as simple as that.

None of your patronizing 'excuses' gives you any cover.

You've simply shown yourself to be an ass, nothing less.

george said...

Name calling always, always makes people mad and stops the discussion. If you want people to take you seriously, and I think you do, write with intelligence, reason and understatement, not hyperbole to make your point. I get you anger and angst, just want the highest level thinking you have, not the lowest feelings.

Anonymous said...

What's represented here was Phil's 'highest level of thinking'.

He regularly creates false narratives in order to engage in his self aggrandizing.

Anonymous said...

I have a question for all of the dissenters here. Do you agree with the "wars" we are fighting in the Middle East? Do you agree with the drone strikes that kill innocent civilians? Can any of you agree on a purpose for these wars and conflicts? Is there indeed a purpose behind the wanton slaughter of innocents?

I personally feel that the deaths by drones are collateral damage from wars where no one seems to know who the enemy is and why we are even engaged. Even the troops must feel some remorse over their actions as they are committing suicide at an unprecedented rate.

If any of you can find a good and just purpose for all this bloodshed then, please, do share. Until then it seems that Phil is merely calling it as he sees it, and as many of us see it. The rest of you cheerleaders were blinded by yesterday's pageantry.

Philip Munger said...

"The rest of you cheerleaders were blinded by yesterday's pageantry."

--- I'm afraid they are blinded by more than that.


Phil T said...

If you want people to take you seriously, and I think you do, write with intelligence, reason and understatement, not hyperbole to make your point.

That's exactly what this post was. It laid out some opinions and ideas, explained the reasoning behind them, then summarized it again with that final sentence, using a well-known term that fits the thesis precisely.

So what part of the post wasn't serious?

Anonymous said...

The post was a miss mash of cut and paste from other's opinions interspersed with lies, misrepresentations, and fabrications in order to put forth a totally false narrative and it was all capped off with dog whistle racial slurs.

There isn't anything credible, let alone serious about the 'post'.

Objective and subjective discussion or criticism of policy or issues doesn't require racial slurs and there's absolutely no place for lies or fabrications and misrepresentation.

Phil T said...

lies, misrepresentations, and fabrications in order to put forth a totally false narrative

And yet you can't point out any part of it that's false. It seems pretty obvious who is and isn't serious here.

Anonymous said...

On the contrary, the false narrative and the misrepresentations and lies have already been pointed out.

Your reading comprehension skills appear to be a mite bit deficient. That can be easily remedied, but it appears you're more interested in shoring up your own misguided and erroneous preconceptions.

Try this, (anyone who still isn't clear on this), read the inaugural speech transcript, then read the hackery Munger provided here once again,

...let us know if you were able to perceive the flawed premise and the misrepresentations. It only takes a fairly ordinary level of reading comprehension.

You might even review the previous comments.

Of course, actual subjective observation of reality might not be anything you've ever been interested in, ....especially if it doesn't tend to enforce your preconceptions. That's clearly a feature Munger has been cultivating for a long time.

Acknowledging his misrepresentations, his false narratives and his fallacious preconceptions is something he's adamantly opposed to. Might not mesh with the self-generated veneration he holds for himself.

(the guy actually created a Wiki page for himself to heap laudatory praise on himself. You can't get much more egomaniacal than that.)

Philip Munger said...

"(the guy actually created a Wiki page for himself to heap laudatory praise on himself. You can't get much more egomaniacal than that.)"

--- that's a goddam fucking lie

I only found out about my wikipedia page after it had been created. I didn't ask for anyone to create it. The two people who created it did it entirely beyond my knowledge.

If you have any evidence that I had anything to do with the creation of the wikipedia article, please present it.

Otherwise, you should apologize.

Not holding my breath, asshole.

Anonymous said...

Hilarious, you 'demanding' apologies.

The mouth-breathing is a nice touch though.

Kind of puts the rest of the hackery in perspective.

Anonymous said...

Look at that, Mungermouth,

When you're caught out lying, you ignore it or deny it.

Yet look at your response when you calim someone's lying about you. Such potty mouth.

(...we've seen that before from you, haven't we)

Consistency is needed before you'll have any credibility, or are the 'rules' different for you?

Since your use of lies is a feature of a long term nature here, you no longer engender any confidence in any of your claims anymore. You've spread so many falsities that one should fact check what you say just for starters.

Philip Munger said...

I feel so sorry for you.

Anonymous said...

Isn't that just so precious,

...the Munger is having a sad.

Similar to the wingnuts, he can't seem to place where his sadness originates.

Phil T said...

the false narrative and the misrepresentations and lies have already been pointed out.

All I see in any of these comments is a bunch of name-calling. Ok, at one point you (or some other 'anonymous') claimed that the prez "addressed" climate change, although all he did was acknowledge the existence of the issue without saying a word about what he will (or rather won't) do about it. Quibble over the definition of "address" if you want, but it's a far cry from "lies and fabrications."

Otherwise, all you folks have offered nothing but baseless insults and name-calling. Would you or anyone care to actually address some of the post's actual points? Do you not agree that O is subservient to white people's (i.e. the rich elite's) goals, and/or a participant in the oppression of his citizens? Do you not agree that there's total diametric opposition between Dr. King's dreams/goals and Obama's policies? If not, why not?

Anonymous said...

The post has no point, it was cribbed from someone else's work and then embellished with misrepresentations, and then given a false narrative. To top that off, it was capped off with a dog whistle racial slur.

Hackery, false narratives, false equivalencies and dog whistle racial slurs don't deserve being 'addressed' in any other manner than to show scorn for that kind of contemptible and despicable behavior.

Don't try to even pretend that within that context anyone should carry on as if that kind of thing deserved anyone's consideration.

As was stated before, discussion of policy and issues can be found where false premises, misrepresentations, and racial slurs aren't a part of the framing. If you want actual issues or policies addressed, find a mature and objective environment for it. You don't find that here in Munger's self-consecrated fantasy world.

Phil T said...

So you can't give an actual answer or response, then. Oh well. No surprise.

Anonymous said...

I told you about that reading comprehension problem you have, ought to look into getting that cured.

Anonymous said...

In Phil T's world it seems if he doesn't care for the answers he gets, he just decides to declare for himself that there wasn't any answer at all.

Small world Phil T lives in.