They Saw Him as a "Liar" and “Thug”
By Donald V. Watkins
©Copyrighted and Published on July 28, 2019
He graduated from high school at age 15. He graduated from college at age 19. He received his graduate degree at age 22. He received his Ph.D. degree at age 26.
He became the pastor of Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama at age 25. He won the Nobel Peace Prize at the age of 35.
The FBI labeled him as the “most dangerous Negro” in America at age 34 simply because of his “powerful demagogic speech” at the 1963 March on Washington. They called him “filthy," a “colossal fraud,” and an “evil, abnormal beast.”
FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover called him the “most notorious liar in the country.” Local and state police agencies in the Deep South called him a "nigger" and a “thug.”
He was disliked by nearly 75% of the American public when he was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee on April 4, 1968, according to a Harris Poll in early 1968.
He was one of the bravest men in American history. He was under constant threat of harassment by state and federal law enforcement agencies and death by assassination. He was shot at; his home was bombed; he was hit with rocks, bottles, and stones; he was forcefully arrested on numerous occasions; and he was nearly stabbed to death on one occasion.
He is revered today. The only Memorial on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. that is dedicated to a non-President bears this man’s name.
This American patriot is Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Back to the Future
Unfortunately, the derogatory terms used by the FBI and state and local police agencies to describe Dr. King and other people of color 56 years ago, are back in vogue.
Today, the “flamethrower-in-chief” of racial hatred in America is the President of the United States. The President is enthusiastic about and proficient in his ability to demonize people of color.
Sadly, the President is mentoring a whole new generation of Americans in the art of hating and disrespecting people of color. He is making it fashionable to become a neo-racist.
The harassment of people of color is at levels not seen since the 1950s. It is open and notorious, once again.
As was the case in the 1950s, the white clergy and their church congregations are sitting on the sidelines in silence.
We have made it all the way back to the 1950s, when America was “great” for those who oppressed native Americans, African-Americans, Jewish-Americans, and Spanish-Speaking Americans with impunity.
Where do we go from here?
PHOTO: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. getting arrested in 1958 by Montgomery, Alabama police officers.