Dr. King would have turned 90 years old on January 15, 2020, but his life was cut short by an assassin named, James Earl Ray.
Facts and myths about the late, great Doctor Martin Luther King Jr.
First and foremost, let’s put the wing nut claim to rest that Dr. King belonged to the Republican Party; he was NOT a Republican nor did he oppose Affirmative Action.
King talked very infrequently about his personal politics and was not formally affiliated with either political party. Nor did he explicitly endorse any candidate. In fact, he stated, “I don’t think the Republican Party is a party full of the almighty God, nor is the Democratic Party. They both have weaknesses. And I’m not inextricably bound to either party.” What’s more, the parties of King’s time were different from the parties we know today; policies and platforms have changed drastically over time. According to King biographer David J. Garrow, King was fond of some Republican politicians, such as Richard Nixon, although it is almost certain that King voted for Democrats John F. Kennedy in 1960 and Lyndon Johnson in 1964. Among the few times he ventured into open partisanship was to denounce Republican presidential candidate Barry Goldwater, who, as a senator, had voted against the Civil Rights Act of 1964. King said in an interview, “I had no alternative but to urge every Negro and white person of goodwill to vote against Mr. Goldwater and to withdraw support from any Republican candidate that did not publicly disassociate himself from Senator Goldwater and his philosophy.” Although King supported Johnson’s presidential campaign, he later spoke out about his dissatisfaction with Johnson’s handling of the Vietnam War.Encyclopedia Britannica:
“Science investigates; religion interprets. Science gives man knowledge, which is power; religion gives man wisdom, which is control. Science deals mainly with facts; religion deals mainly with values. The two are not rivals.”-MLK
- The Civil Right leader’s birth name was Michael King Jr., not Martin Luther King Jr.
- He was a doctor of theology.
- King was arrested and jailed 30 times.
- The FBI persuaded King to commit suicide.
- If King had so much even sneezed, he would have died in 1958, after a delusional and paranoid woman plunged a 7″ letter opener into his chest nearly puncturing his aorta.
- MLK earned a “C’ in Public Speaking.
- MLK won a grammy for Best Spoken Word recording for his speech, “Why I Oppose the War in Vietnam.” In 2012, his 1963 “I Have a Dream” speech was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame
- 8. He was a Trekkie.
- 9. He spent his wedding night in a funeral home since no hotel would accommodate a black couple in Marion, Alabama. Coretta King’s friend “happened to be an undertaker and invited the Kings to stay at one of the guest rooms at his funeral parlor.”
- 10. Yes, Sir Ronnie of Raygun opposed the MLK holiday just like he opposed ending Apartheid in South Africa.
- Myth 1: He grew more radical in his last years.
- Another Myth: He believed in equality for all.
- There was one group of people King couldn’t quite judge by the content of their character: women. One of the worst kept secrets of the movement is that King was a sexist. King’s sexism could be seen most clearly through his ambivalent relationship with one of the civil rights movement’s most crucial leaders, Ella Baker.
- The original Civil Right Act did not include gender; it was added to the bill in hopes it would kill it.
My favorite MLK quote-you know who you are: