I was in my late teens when MLK changed the world, for the better. I lived outside of Washington, DC, where I was born and raised in various places within 2 hours of our capital. On august 28th, 1963 I was getting ready to enter my junior year in high school in Annapolis, Md., finishing up my summer as a lifeguard at a local pool.
MLK gave his “I have a dream speech” that day. Annapolis is the state capital and houses the Naval Academy and has lots of rural farming and fishing industries in the surrounding geography; tobacco farming to the south and Baltimore 90 minutes to the north. A diverse area demographically and economically (the area around DC even then had five of the richest counties in the country).
The reaction to the speech was positive in my house, my father spent 20 years in the Marine Corps, spent four years in the Pacific fighting up the chain of islands ending at Iwo Jima; then going to Guam to prepare for the invasion of Honshu. He had an integrated battalion (he was a LtCol. at the time, 28 years old). He told us kids that we all look the same when a mortar round hits us.
At school however the feelings ran the gamut, as they did everywhere else. Annapolis High School was across the street from Bates High School, the “colored” school. I had friends who were as opposed to MLK as others were around the country. I had friends who saw him as a person who would change the country. Stories were circulating then that he had plagiarized material for his PhD, that he cheated on his wife, was a communist, etc.
Well, cheating on his wife appears to be true, a Mr. Garrow has published a 7800 word detailed piece based on interviews and materials just released from the FBI, “vetted summaries” from tape recordings that will be released in 2027. The Justice Department has confirmed the accuracy of the summaries. No one in the U.S. would publish the piece, so he went to England. Most of the MSM have discounted the material, but the tapes supposedly clearly indicate the accusations are accurate.
Mr. Garrow is a Pulitzer prize winning historian, respected by his profession and peers. He identifies himself as a “democratic socialist.”
I have heard of this piece, and read more in details from the WSJ today, on the Opinion pager, “A Reckoning With Martin Luther King.”
I post this for one reason. All of us are imperfect. Do we trash everything an imperfect person did because they-owned slaves-cheated on tests-cheated on their wife-sexually harassed another person-don’t think Obamacare is the right solution-etc. if what they do is considered by all to be “good” for the people of the country? Many hate President Trump because he is a cad, crude guy-yet-the results so far are economically good-NATO is stepping up rather that sucking off us-China has been screwing us for decades (I have seen this personally as I traveled there on business)-maybe N Korea will be tamed-Iran has been using our money to kill those they don’t like-Russia has stolen territory from other countries. I like many of these results even while disliking him personally.
I disliked Clinton, still do, but he was an effective president, mostly. I disliked Obama, he disliked me too-I cling to my bible and guns, and I think he was an ineffective-elitist president.
It is easy to be critical.
How many of us would stand up to the kind of scrutiny you get when you become a public figure. When Nixon was running against JFK and proof of his philandering was found, Nixon refused to use it because he felt the election should not be tarnished by such action. Kennedy won by 112,ooo votes-not win a majority, he won the electoral college (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1960_United_States_presidential_election). He won Illinois by 8800 votes, many say Mayor Daley was the reason he got those votes.
My hope and prayer is both sides get off their high horses and stop judging the other side of a debate as ………………….., insert your own words.
Divided we will fall.