quote:A detailed exploration of the early King is important for showing the weaknesses in the radicalization thesis, which posits that King's politics and economics became much more radical during the last three years of his life (1966-1968). Carson rightly suggests that the pre-1955 writings reveal that the young King was far more radical than scholars have tended to depict him. For example, as a graduate student at Boston University, he was already calling for the demise of U.S. capitalism.
quote:After supporting desegregation efforts in Saint Augustine, Fla., in 1964, King concentrated his efforts on the voter-registration drive in Selma, Ala., leading a harrowing march from Selma to Montgomery in March 1965. Soon after, a tour of the northern cities led him to assail the conditions of economic as well as social discrimination. This marked a shift in SCLC strategy, one intended to "bring the Negro into the mainstream of American life as quickly as possible." Having begun to recognize the deeper relationships of economics and poverty to racism, King now called for a "reconstruction of the entire society, a revolution of values." Along with demands for stronger civil and voting rights legislation and for a meaningful poverty budget, he spoke out against the Vietnam War, which took funds from antipoverty programs.
Early in 1968, King began to plan a multiracial poor people's march on Washington to demand an end to all forms of discrimination and the funding of a $12-billion "Economic Bill of Rights." In the midst of organizing this campaign, he flew to Memphis, Tenn., to assist striking sanitation workers. There, on Apr. 4, 1968, King was felled by an assassin's bullet.
quote:"It means that questions must be raised. You see my friends, when you deal with this, you begin to ask the question, ˜Who owns the oil?' You begin to ask the question, ˜Who owns the iron ore?' You begin to ask the question, ˜Why is it that people have to pay water bills in a world that is two-thirds water?'"
I was 16 when MLK was assissinated. I wasn't paying anymore attention to economics than it took do my part time job after school. I am sure I had no idea what GNP was. I do not recall any comments by MLK about economics besides general things about poverty and jobs. That last statement was made at a SCLC meeting a few months before his death. The trouble with people making speeches is sometimes things are said for effect. That business about water bill and the world being two-thirds water sounds nice but as soon as you contemplate the fact that most of that is ocean water which is undrinkable it sounds stupid.
So I am hoping to open a discussion about did MLK have any specific economic intentions and if he was really knowledgable about economics. I did searches and looked at a lot of pages but most don't have enough detail. So has anyone read any books by or about MLK to help clarify this? And how much would his ideas matter now? He was killed before the moon landing and we could not even have discussions like this.