LISTEN: Martin Luther King, Jr.'s 1964 conversation with Robert Penn Warren


Martin Luther King, Jr.'s soaring oration has come to define how many think of him, so it's interesting to hear Dr. King speaking conversationally in 1964 with Robert Penn Warren, almost in the relaxed feel of a podcast. Read the rest

On conservative attempts to co-opt MLK

Hamilton Nolan: "It all adds up to a simple formula: concede wholehearted support for the points that have already been won, while dismissing (as irrelevant, or unpatriotic, or immoral) the points that are still active political issues with which conservatives disagree." [Gawker] Read the rest

Why Americans should be worried about state surveillance

As the Prism/NSA leaks story unfolds, many Americans are left with a cynical "are you surprised?" response that rather misses the point. Recent American history is full of stories of spies using surveillance to target civil rights heroes like Martin Luther King, who was heavily surveilled during the Kennedy administration, culminating with the FBI sending him an anonymous package with evidence of his adultery and a note telling him to kill himself.

Here's a video and transcript of an excellent Chris Hayes editorial on MSNBC in which Hayes reminds us that America's spooks can and do use intelligence to attack causes that are later seen as being on the side of justice:

In 1964, after Hoover called King the most "notorious liar in the country" in a press conference, a package was sent to King in the mail, a package the House select committee ultimately traced back to the FBI. Inside this package, one of the most remarkable artifacts in American history was an anonymous letter addressed to Martin Luther King and a copy of an electronic surveillance tape apparently to lend credence to threats of exposure of derogatory personal information made in the letter. We don't know to this day for sure what was on that tape. The heavy speculation throughout the years it was of personal and sexual nature recorded by a device planted in Dr. King's hotel room.

The letter that came with the tape read in part, "you know you are complete fraud and a great liability to all of us negroes.

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Public Enemy's By the Time I Get to Arizona

A few minutes late, but man, this is good stuff.

YouTube - Public Enemy - By The Time I Get To Arizona (Thanks, Fipi Lele!) Previously:Free MP3: folk cover of Public Enemy's "Bring the Noise" - Boing Boing Boing Boing: Public Enemy's Internet strategy Public Enemy's history of copyright in hip hop - Boing Boing Boing Boing: Mashup up of Flaming Lips, MLK and Public Enemy Crossed Genres cover art featuring MLK as Terminator, KKK as girl ... Rare MLK speech on civil disobedience - Boing Boing Lost 1965 MLK sermon from Hollywood Synagogue - Boing Boing Video: Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I Have A Dream" - Boing Boing Martin Luther King, Jr. playlist - Boing Boing Read the rest