DiscoverRadio Project Front Page PodcastBuilding Bridges: The Revolutionary King: MLK's The Three Evils of Society, "the sickness of racism, materialism & militarism", Segment 1
Building Bridges: The Revolutionary King: MLK's The Three Evils of Society, "the sickness of racism, materialism & militarism", Segment 1

Building Bridges: The Revolutionary King: MLK's The Three Evils of Society, "the sickness of racism, materialism & militarism", Segment 1

Update: 2020-01-25
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The Revolutionary King: MLKs The Three Evils of Society, "the sickness of racism, excessive materialism and militarism" and his prophetic work then for the path forward today!
with
Dr. Clayborne Carson, African American professor of history at Stanford University, and director of the Martin Luther King, Jr., Research and Education Institute. Since 1985 he has directed the Martin Luther King Papers Project, a long-term project to edit and publish the papers of Martin Luther King, Jr.

For anyone that is preoccupied with the current local-global condition affecting the human family with the visible ravages of racism eating at our soul, poverty's death march and the ever expanding military industrial complex cancer devouring everything in sight our two-hour special The Revolutionary King will truly aid us on our journey to become more affective agents for social change.


On Aug. 31, 1967, Reverend Martin Luther King delivered The Three Evils of Society speech at the National Conference on New Politics, which is the most prophetic and revolutionary address to date on the questions of militarism, poverty, and racism. "We are now experiencing the coming to the surface of a triple prong sickness" was how MLK framed the problem that "has been lurking within our body politic from its very beginning." Identifying "the sickness of racism, excessive materialism and militarism" and considering the three problems as the "plaque of western civilization." Dr. King understood that the Civil Rights and Black Liberation Movement was from the outset a battle against the system itself.

At the time of the speech, MLK was facing increasing white opposition to black empowerment and equality, an expansion of crony capitalism and open ended commitment to military expenditures on the Vietnam war that all together led to deepening poverty and rising discontent in the African American community. The conditions in today's America and the world resemble what MLK described in "The Three Evils of Society" speech in 1967.


MLK spoke of America's "schizophrenic personality on the question of race" with two conflicting personalities. One professing "the great principles of democracy" and another that practices its antithesis. Every step forward in confronting racism in America has an equal step backward, which MLK perceptively identified as the white backlash -- the "old prejudices, hostilities and ambivalences that have always been there. The white backlash of today is rooted in the same problem that has characterized America ever since the black man landed in chains on the shores of this nation." Racism, for MLK, was that "corrosive evil that will bring down western civilization" and white backlash was nothing more than good old White Supremacy that is never content with equality.


Dr. King was a great leader in the Black Revolutionary Tradition whose work should help shape our understanding of capitalism and organizing today. Now is precisely the time to recount and be instructed by Dr. Kings revolutionary legacy against the systems efforts to white wash and degrade his frontal challenge to its crimes. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was one of the great revolutionaries in U.S. and world history. He was a leader of the Civil Rights and Black Liberation Movement, a fierce internationalist, anti-imperialist, and Pan Africanist, a Black militant, a socialist, and part of The Movement that was far to the left of the Democratic Party.


Since 1980, with the rise of Ronald Reagan, the two party system, aka U.S. imperialism, has waged a counter-revolution against the great victories of the revolutionary sixties, where the revolutionary left won so many of the ideological battles against U.S. hegemony. In the past 40 years, in particular, it has been profoundly painful to witness, and difficult to combat, the lies and slanders against the historical, and political achievements of the Black and Third World led movements.


In the case of Dr. King, the establishment has tried to distort Kings life by putting him forth as an accommodating, dreamer and use him as a counterforce against Malcolm X, Mao Tse-tung, Ho Chi Minh, Paul Robeson, W.E.B. Du Bois, Fidel Castro, Frederick Douglass, Fannie Lou Hamer, and the great Third World revolutionaries throughout history. In truth, Dr. King was one of their colleagues and comrades and in turn, they all had great appreciation of his unique and courageous role in history.
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Building Bridges: The Revolutionary King: MLK's The Three Evils of Society, "the sickness of racism, materialism & militarism", Segment 1

Building Bridges: The Revolutionary King: MLK's The Three Evils of Society, "the sickness of racism, materialism & militarism", Segment 1

knash@igc.org (Ken Nash and Mimi Rosenberg)