Olympus Has Fallen- The March On Washington
We present and encourage progressive Caribbean views of Caribbean and world affairs.
Olympus Has Fallen- The March On Washington
Olympus Has Fallen- The March On Washington
|March on Washington 1963|
On August 28th, 1963 Bayard Rustin, an openly gay, anti-war, Quaker influenced, singer, Black-American ‘human rights’ and peace and justice seeker, Ghanaian non-violent activist, along with A. Philip Randolph, as two of the Big Six, had organized for ‘The March on Washington’, a march in which Martin Luther King Jr. (MLK) gave what most remember as the ‘I Have a Dream Speech’. However, that public and institutionalized memory, as constructed by his enemies, represents a deviation from what King was really talking about. Rustin is again in the public’s eye as the titular holder of the office to which his civil disobedience was rightly directed then, will now be awarding him, posthumously, the ‘Presidential Medal of Freedom’. Of course King’s effigy is as permanent on the Washington Mall as his sanitized image is in mass media and, by extension, the minds of most. The massive crowds that were brought to Washington in this act of mass civil disobedience were not surpassed until the Million Man March/es of the Honorable Louis Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam of the 1990’s America of Bill Clinton. As we approach the fiftieth anniversary of the events of 1963 it may be instructive to revisit King, his demands, measure the achievements since, properly locate him in the pantheon of African- American freedom fighters and compare the America of 1963, at the height of its power, to the America of today, an American Empire in steady decline.
Before the state-sponsored and self-anticipated death of MLK he told Harry Belafonte that he was afraid that he might have succeeded in integrated African-Americans into a burning house. This clairvoyant reading of the future was informed, on one hand, by spiritualism, but on the other, by the years of the interrogation of the American system through the lenses of various philosophies. King, on balance, saw the America of J. Edgar Hoover, as a militarist, violent, unjust, unholy, imperial, system that was more interested in corporations than natural persons, more interested in war than peace, more interested in the genocide of peoples of color than their social needs, more interested in nuclear weapons than social justice, more interested in White domination than the respect for the peoples of color of the world. King knew well that the violence against Africans in the USA reached levels that surpassed all others in human history. He knew the historiographies of Nat Turner, Denmark Vesey, Gabriel Prosser, Marcus Garvey and many other Black leaders who were destroyed by an American Apartheid state apparatus.
Indeed, in his own life time the same Presidential office which would now seek to honor him had an FBI which was spying on him, not unlike the way it current spies on all Americans. For most Whites these sorts of policies were acceptable because they were happening to the ‘other’. The Cointelpro of Hoover for spying on African-Americans, the infiltration of Black communities, the operations of government paid agent provocateurs in Black communities, the wanton murder of Black youths daily by police, the criminalization of Black institutions and the destruction of Black economic areas, were only part of a greater genocidal intent. The Snowden affair now brings these realities to White people for the first time. These things are only problems when they affect White people, you see. All other times they are acceptable. Blacks in America were living within this surveillance state from the turn of the 20th Century – for one hundred (100) years. The FBI, itself, was formed to monitor Marcus Garvey and his UNIA movement, and it made his life hell. Of course, they had help from Dubois, a light skinned Black, and his NAACP, for Garvey was too Black, they thought. These same societal maladies are still present today. Yes, the inner cities of the USA are all blighted with ever greater levels of poverty, crime, lack of health care, unemployment all of which are greater and more unremitting than fifty years ago when King made his signal speech on the Washington Mall. America, at home or abroad, is no less rapacious. In King’s time is was about the fiction of communism and the criminal wars against the peoples of South-East Asia. Today, Obama, willy-nilly, bombs civilians in Afghanistan, Yemen, Iraq, Syria, Somalia and Libya in the name of the American people in a fight against terrorism, but who is the real ‘terrorist’? It has its proxies do the same elsewhere with as much impunity and instead of communism, terrorism is the raison d’être of what King called the military industrial complex. We highly doubt King would recognize any amelioration in the humanity of Obama and the unparalleled American corporate and inordinate greed of 2013.
In 2013 African-Americans find themselves under leaderships in civil rights movements that are almost all people of mixed race backgrounds - biracial. So whether we are talking about the National Urban League – Marc Morial , the NCCCP – Benjamin Jealous and so on. Then, we have a liked mind in the White House. When we add people like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton we are left with a group of highly compromised individuals who fool the masses by pretending to sing from the hymnal of Dr. King as they delight in the betrayal of the very people King served. Cornel West has recently cited this generalized behavior, of selling out. He contends that this behavior will soon come home to roast in relation to the Trayvon Martin affair. There we had so-called Black leaders raising the expectations of the people in circumstances where there was no determination of meeting popular demands for justice. So what current Black ‘leaderlessness’ has done was to generally deliver African-American people to ends which serve their own narrow interests and those of their masters, including the election, twice, of Obama to the White House in the absence of reciprocity to those very communities that most reliably supported him. Again, a departure from the normal political game, as winning interest groups tend to get their concerns addressed, not so for Blacks, even Hispanics have a higher priority in the American pecking order, and now the gay community has more political currency than Black people in a dramatic rearrangement of the cards in this political shell game. Of course, the elites, on both sides, will have done well for themselves in the process. This is the state of African-Americans today still being bartered by some blacks and White people and having their interests subordinated to demons not of their own making.
So the ‘leading’ Blacks will be organizing themselves to head for Washington to remember a march which fifty years since has not delivered neither the jobs nor the justice demanded. The leading Blacks, despite the evidence to the contrary, will be using this occasion as part of a wider disinformation campaign to deceive the American people and the peoples of the world that the American experience is something other than what it is. The leading Blacks would want to continue the patent lies about King as an accomodationist who would have been happy to see a ‘Black’ man in the White House. The leading Blacks will be all over the mainstream media singing the praises of King and in the service of their masters in the Democratic National Committee (DNC). King the man who fought for jobs and justice, against war and imperialism will be brought to the service of a President who is anathema to everything he believed in. A President who could hardly restrain himself from using Kings very Bible in a sacrilegious act of an oath of office when he had spent years doing all the things MLK himself defiantly fought against, all his life, and caused his state-sponsored murder. Some of these sycophants would want to cloak themselves in their religious dress and purport to imagine what King would say, were he here today, as if with an authority to speak for him, in a self serving exegesis. His very family seems to have bought into this false narrative and have opted for the coin instead of the true King. For them Harry Belafonte who supported King, in many ways during his life, could not be at the funeral of his wife, Coretta Scott-King, for he is a truth teller and was seen as being too dangerous to talk about the real MLK in the presence of ‘powerful’ people and indeed the POTUS of the time. What manner of men are these? Have they no shame? Or do they expect to be able to fool all the people, all the time? Are these events similar to the occurrences that led to the writing of a book with untruths? In the American landscape very few are representative of the narrative of King, or Malcolm X and those few are all on the fringe. You will hardly see them on popular media. Only the narrative by the founder of the Nation of Islam, The Honorable Elijah Mohammad (PBUH) and his Messenger, The Honorable Louis Farrakhan, stands apart in any meaningful way, and in practice. That has yet to be processed into White or granulated sugar.
The fiftieth anniversary of the march on Washington comes at a time when the flames of the ‘burning house’ of which King apocryphally spoke are clear for all see. This rightness gives credence to the main plank of the Nation of Islam for Black people to seek a separate state of their own as Olympus is falling. We have been citing signs of collapse that include, the weakness of the US dollar, over extension in military campaigns abroad, the bankruptcy of cities and states, growing de-industrialization, long term and chronic unemployment/underemployment, the relative strength of other powers, political dysfunction at home, the presence of up to 1000 military bases abroad, the withdrawal of the support by American citizens for their government, systemic economic decline, growing and uncontrollable national debt, the rise of inverted totalitarianism at home and abroad, a dysfunctional education system, systemic racism, classism and the growing perceptions by citizens that none of the Commons serve their interests. This ‘burning house’ of which King spoke is here today. We are seeing, in real time, what the collapse of an Empire looks like. King knew that this level of marauding, ferocious, avariciousness by any Empire could not last forever and knew that its internal dynamics would bring Empire to an end, sooner or later. He represented a voice to which the White power structure had no strategic response so he had to be marked for death. He sought to unite sanitation workers and Black and White workers across the country in efforts to liberate Black people and help the country he loved but the establishment, then as now, could not see any further than the racist system of things which is alive and well, still. What King could not see was that the collapse of capitalism itself would give company to Empire in oblivion before Black people could exit the firm grip of the mighty.