Communist King

Above: MLK Jr. at a supposed communist gathering. Right-wing conservatives in the age of McCarthyism often disseminated anti-leftist literature to slander King.

Though I am a bigger supporter of the ideas initiated by Malcolm X, I have long grown to admire the intellectualism of Martin Luther King Jr., whom is often lost among many. King’s complexities are at times subject to a mere conversation about his great speeches; I believe it is his thoughts on the economy and war that are more impressive. King is heavily criticized by the Right for being an advocate for the distribution of wealth; I am not sure why that surprises so many, seeing that blacks encompass a large body of the poor. King believed the plight of poor whites and poor blacks would create a unified construct that might advance society pass the element of race, class, and gender. Thus, allowing members to be a part of a more egalitarian society.

Upon his death, King had shifted from the politics of the domestic Negro, and had engaged himself in more international debates about human rights. In doing so, King showcased a strong leftist political leaning — one very similar to W.E.B. Du Bois, who passed away as a self-exiled communist in the African country of Ghana. The radical 60s allowed great black intellectuals to us use leftist thought as a fashion for eradicating domestic and international racism. In truth, King was not a communist; he did congregate with communist as a show of solidarity for the disenfranchised. The same was true of Black Panthers — whom like members of the Communist Party, were in diametric opposition of King. Though King was not a panther nor a communist, he greatly grasped the notion of solidarity with such groups as a method of eradicating domestic and international inequalities.


2 thoughts on “Communist King

  1. King stood with the disenfranchised, so why wouldn’t he be in solidarity with all perceived as outcasts?

    Conjecture Warning
    Many (most?) people believe in merit-based systems, be they in the classroom, on the marathon course, or income source. Where many run into issues is when they perceive victors to be the benefactors of an unfair advantage.

    When it comes to income, Glenn Reynolds refers to Wall Street-like disadvantages as “crony capitalism”, which does not resemble actual capitalism. My belief (based on zero research) is Dr. King saw many profit from an unven playing field in the workplace.

    That would have given him common ground with communists, whether he desired the same end state (distribution of wealth) or not (preferring equal opportunity to create wealth to a distribution thereof).

  2. Bryan, I agree with you. But, I think his most common ground relates to the hypocrisy of merit based. Case in point: At the time of King, this were set up to discriminate against handwork. Folks (some) only saw skin color.

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