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Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr: A Conservative, not a Radical

October 12, 2009
From yesterday’s opening entry in NewsReal’s ongoing series of “Overrated Black People” a commenter who disagreed with Michael Eric Dyson claimed that the socialist professor had indeed written one book which should be “read by everyone”:
David Thomson
The overrated and often juvenile Michael Eric Dyson wrote one book that should be read by everyone. In 2000 he published I May Not Get There With You: The True Martin Luther King, Jr. Dyson accurately pointed out that the assassinated civil rights leader was a non-violent radical activist. And this most certainly was the harsh truth of the matter. MLK was not a moderate! He slimed the United States as a racist nation murdering innocent citizens in Vietnam—-and was a convinced socialist. Guilt tripped conservatives often wish to deceive themselves regarding the legacy of Rev. King. Unfortunately, Dyson has the much better argument.

David Horowitz, who has been a longtime advocate of King (see the opening essay in Hating Whitey) cautioned Thomson not to trust Dyson’s attempt to hijack the popularity of King for the Left:

David Horowitz

Don’t believe everything (or anything?) that Dyson writes. King — the King of the Civil Rights Acts was certainly a centrist and even conservative. We on the left — including SNCC and the Panthers and SDS — regarded him with suspicion. We didn’t want integration into the American system which we regarded as the Great Satan. Consequently, King was pushed aside in 1966 and had no following. Under pressure from the left he gave the worst speech of his career — the one about Vietnam — in order to regain his popularity among activists. The later Father John Neuhaus, then a radical, either wrote the speech or had an enormous influence on it. Martin Luther King’s message — America should be a society with a single standard for whites and blacks is anathema to the left and they have spent the last forty years subverting it.

  1. Walt permalink
    October 12, 2009 5:55 pm

    Dr. King actually, from what I read, tried to keep his distance from the Marxists. He did not push class warfare or social upheaval, but integration and political equality. Stokely Carmichael and those like him parted company with Dr. King after the mid-60’s. They were Marxists, and Dr. King was not.

  2. Walt permalink
    October 12, 2009 6:07 pm

    You can see something similar in what happened to President Kennedy after his death. He was transformed from being a relatively conservative Democrat who cut taxes and supported a strong military into some sort of social progressive, which he never was. This process of rewriting history is reminiscent of the Ministry of Truth. Historical figures, whenever feasible, are mutilated and crushed in order to fill a leftist mold.

    I could go on with the Founding Fathers being portrayed historically as a collection of agnostics and atheists, despite mountains of contemporary journals, speeches, and public documents that illustrate quite the reverse for most of them. This is another example of historical falsification that gains steam with the likes of Howard Zinn, Noam Chomsky, and so many others.

  3. swathdiver permalink
    October 13, 2009 4:55 am

    Folks, Martin Luther King was a Communist. He attended the Highlander Folk School where a picture of him was taken in class with KGB Paymaster Stanley Levison who was King’s speechwriter. Bayard Rustin and Hunter Pitts O’Dell were Communists who were part of King’s inner circle too. There is much, much more evidence should one be willing to learn more.
    President John F. Kennedy was not a conservative. He too was liberal but one thing set him apart from most of the Democratic Party and his brother Teddy. He was anti-communist. Indeed, he was assassinated by a Communist. Kennedy deceived the American people about his medical condition, abused drugs and was a serial adulterer. Hardly traits of a Conservative.

  4. October 13, 2009 5:21 am

    Like Swathdiver said, those Communists probably influenced Dr. King in his demogougic attacks of the U.S. effort in Vietnam.

    As a fellow traveler, serial adulterer (“I’m not a negro anymore”), and plagiarist, Dr. King is hardly the material one should use as a hero.

    Incidentally, Rabbi Meir Kahane, Zt”l was also shot. Why isn’t he a worldwide hero? He certainly made more sense that Dr. King did. If Israel had listened to Rabbi Kahane, Zt”l, Israel would not be having those intifadas and those bus bombings. If America had listened to him, we would’ve kept a better eye on the Muslims and might not have had another 9/11.

  5. October 13, 2009 7:55 am

    Swathdiver and Underzog,
    King’s plagiarism and adultery are irrelevant to the ideas he championed. Would you use the same standards for Newt Gingrich and Sarah Palin? Do you really want to set the standard that one must be a morally pure saint in order to be a hero? Then we’re living in a world without heroes.

    And no, King was not a communist. If he was then Horowitz and the other New Leftists would have stood with him. They didn’t. They stood with the REAL Marxists — the Black Panthers.

    You ignore this argument which Horowitz makes because it completely obliterates your anti-King jihad.

    And Swathdiver, Kennedy’s politics were all but identical to Reagan’s. You seem to be mistaking “morally pure” for “conservative.” This is not the case at all. Conservatism is a politcal philosophy and you find morally pure people all over the political spectrum, including on the Left. By your definition every conservative who has ever had an affair isn’t a conservative. This is ludicrous.

    • Ben permalink
      October 13, 2009 10:27 am

      I think part of the confusion regarding Kennedy may lie in the fact that in 1963, Democrat meant something completely different from what it means today. From what I remember, regular Democrats in 1963 were MUCH closer to today’s conservatives than today’s left.

      • October 13, 2009 10:30 am

        This is correct.

      • swathdiver permalink
        October 13, 2009 11:18 pm


        You are correct when referring to many Democrat voters. The Democrats in the Federal Government however were as radical then as they are now. The Party was captured by the Soviets almost a hundred years ago and today is run by The Shadow Party which filled the vacuum created after the Soviet Union collapsed. It’s the Party of government, not the people. The Party that promotes Tyranny, not Liberty.

    • swathdiver permalink
      October 13, 2009 11:14 pm


      So ideas and words are more important then actions? Maybe to you. King was a serial plagiarist and adulterer and surrounded himself with Communists with the objective of using the Civil Rights movement to capture the black vote for the Democrat Party which would further Moscow’s designs on destroying America. The deception worked. Forty plus years after King’s death black Americans are worse off now then they were then, it’s a disgrace.

      MLK was a tool of Moscow. A stated earlier, his speechwriter was the KGB Paymaster in the United States. The Panthers were not as highly connected with Moscow as King was. When you surround yourself with known Communists, cover for them, let them write your speeches and let them help you through school, you’re a commie in my book.

      What argument of Horowitz’s did I ignore David? Remember, just a Divemaster here, help me out.

      Not mistaking anything on President Kennedy. What Kennedy said and did are two different things. President Reagan did what he said. Just because some of one’s policies or actions may be conservative in nature, does not make that person a conservative. As the old saying goes, actions speak louder then words. At least they do to me.

      Funny, you call my definition of conservatism “ludicrous” when I didn’t define it. Clairvoyant? Conservatism is an intellectual pursuit in my view. It’s the constant application of Judeo-Christian values to situations in life.


      • October 14, 2009 8:05 am

        Horowitz was a Marxist in the ’60s. He and other leftists did not count King as one of them. That’s the argument you’re ignoring.

        You did define conservatism in your post. You defined it as someone who is morally pure. And you and I are operating under different definitions of Conservatism. The “constant application of Judeo-Christian values” is a spiritual pursuit, not a political one.

        This is how we view Conservatism at the Freedom Center:
        * Individual Freedom
        * Rule of Law
        * Private Property
        * Limited Government

        • swathdiver permalink
          October 16, 2009 8:02 am

          While Horowitz didn’t count King as one of them, it doesn’t discount the fact that King was not a Commie, he was. I would argue based on all the Soviet Spies in his organization that he was better connected with Moscow then the Black Panthers. The Panthers did for a time work with King. While he walked arm-in-arm at the front of marches, the Panthers and other Marxist thugs were further back along the sides inciting violence to sensationalize the marches for television and their cause. Most video accounts do not show them engaging the police and onlookers but former members and some videos do show it. I think Horowitze mentioned this tactic in one of his books, cannot remember anymore.

          The values you list are Judeo-Christian values. One does not have to be spiritual to possess, use or support them. When I was an atheist, I still embraced many of these values.

  6. Keith permalink
    October 13, 2009 10:26 am

    To clear up the confusion of who Dr. King really was at the end of his life, I would recommend the book called “Where do we go from Here”
    It might be difficult to find in book stores, you can also try the web.

    • October 13, 2009 10:31 am

      Would you like to summarize it for us?

  7. The Inquisitor permalink
    October 13, 2009 12:40 pm

    Responsible opposition to King at the time was twofold.

    1. He was a force behind enacting unconstitutional civil rights legislation and

    2. His movement served as a transmission belt. Naive youngsters committed to fairness hopped on, took a ride through the movement, and at the end hopped off a committed Marxist when presumably (if David Horowitz is correct.) they parted company. (Today we have universities.) If accurate, to what degree does King bear responsibility? He may not have been a communist, but he hung out with them enough to capture the attention of the FBI.

  8. Judy permalink
    October 13, 2009 1:49 pm

    It has become a full speed ahead effort of the Left to re-write not only American history, but, world-wide history. You only need to read the writings of MLK to see that he was not only a political conservative (despite his human failings), he was an advocate of self-responsibility, self-initiative and held a deep belief in accountability through which a man (person) would gain wisdom and integrity. He unfortunately does not fit the mold that Progressives need to enshrine him in the movement so, it has become necessary to massage and manipulate the truth. All heros have human failings.He captured the attention of the FBI for very different reasons. He was viewed as a potential rallying point/figure for a huge population that could alter the direction of the government and meld millions of African-Americans in the future elections of those that did not see the wisdom of desegregation. Just as we have now, they had Progressive and other groups that joined “like” movments, became disenchanted for a variety of reasons (they could not subvert, change the direction of, or eventually disagreed with the ideology) and they left. I am sure that it was easy to misinterpret MLK. Jumping on the wrong bandwagon is something we have become very familiar with in the past 9 months.

  9. Keith permalink
    October 14, 2009 1:21 pm

    Dr. Martin Luther King wanted real change,to get an idea of what he really ment here’s a summery of his last book(Where do we go from Here)

  10. cee permalink
    October 17, 2009 9:18 am

    it is funny in a sick sort of way, that once a person is dead and unable to speak for herself or himself as the case may be; each side rewrites history to suit that side. King was a radical in that he wanted a society where one would be judged by ones deeds rather than by skin color. He was a conservative in that he advocated non-violent means to gain the desired ends. Kennedy was a liberal in many ways. Kennedy was a conservative in many ways.

    political parties have really polarized themselves to the point of being ridiculous. I don’t fit into either party any more. What am I? A woman of a certain age who believe in equal pay for equal work, my medical decisions are between me and my physicians. A Jew who believes that Israel must be secure in its borders with an undivided Jerusalem. A person with a life threatening disease whose medications cost anywhere from $500 a month to $15 for a three month supply depending on the insurance policy that one has. I want a single payer system, where non one would be denied care. I have good health insurance but my adult children pay as much as I do but get far less. A person who believes that people should never starve to death or die from lack of health care or be uneducated. Children are not throwaways. The Governments, local, state, and national, are bogged down with regulations that are unwieldy, costly and contradictory in many cases. The lobbyists should be banned, or at least severely limited to the amount of people they can employ and money that they can contribute to any thing. elections should be limited to a set amounts, only local people should be able to contribute to local politicians. just as the states and local governments are forced to have a balanced budget, so should the federal government. there should be no earmarks, there should be term limits. 8 years and let the next group in. okay I am mostly fiscally conservative and socially liberal and progressive in that I think that we need to be green, independent of foreign industry, grow out capacity to manufacture rather than to consume, and be personally responsible. Also I like political debate, not personal vilification. I don’t fit into a pigeon hole. I am ticked with all the parties. What does that make me.? where is my label? and most of all why do I need to have a label

  11. Keith permalink
    October 19, 2009 2:57 pm

    That’s True….


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