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(22,336 posts)
Fri Aug 14, 2015, 11:30 PM Aug 2015

First question MLK was asked on Meet The Press: "Aren't sit-ins hurting the negro cause?"

The transcription isn't well done, but this is interesting when compared to BLM.


[Lawrence Spivak]: Dr. King, the former president, Harry Truman, recently
said this, and I quote, “If anyone came to my store and sat down, I would throw 1960 him out. Private business has its own rights and can do what it ants." Now, Pres-
ident, former President Truman is an old friend of the Negro, I believe. Isn’t this
an indication that the sit-in strikes are doing the race, the Negro race, more harm
than good?

[King]: No, I don’t think so, Mr.Spivak. First, I should say that this was an unfortunate statement, and we were very disappointed to hear the president, the former president of the United States, make such a statement. In a sense a statement like this serves to aid and abet the violent forces in the South, and even if Mr. Truman disagreed with the sit-ins he should certainly disagree with them on a higher level. Following his past record, it seems to me that Mr. Truman wouldn’t have faced such a situation because there wouldn’t have been a segregated store in the beginning if he were running it, according to his statements in the past. Now, I do not think this movement is setting us back or making enemies; it’s causing numerous people all over the nation, and in the South in particular, to reevaluate the stereotypes that they have developed concerning Negroes, so that it has an educational value, and I think in the long run it will transform the whole of American society.

[Spiuak]: Well now you have yourself have said that the aim of your method of nonviolent resistance is not to defeat or to humiliate the white man but to win his friendship and understanding. How successful do you think you have been, or are being, in winning the friendship and understanding of the white men of the South?

[King]: Well, I should say that this doesn’t come overnight. The nonviolent way does not bring about miracles, in a few hours, or in a few days, or in a few years, for that matter. I think at first, the first reaction of the oppressor, when op pressed people rise up against the system of injustice, is an attitude of bitterness. But I do believe that if the nonviolent resisters continue to follow the way of non- violence they eventuallyget over to the hearts and souls of the former oppressors, and I think it eventually brings about that redemption that we dream of. Of course, I can’t estimate how many people we’ve touched so far; this is impossible because it’s an inner process. But I’m sure something is stirring in the minds and the souls of people, and I’m sure that many people are thinking anew on this basic prob- lem of human relations.

First question MLK was asked on Meet The Press: "Aren't sit-ins hurting the negro cause?" (Original Post) gollygee Aug 2015 OP
MLK: I think at first, the first reaction of the oppressor, when oppressed people rise up MADem Aug 2015 #1
Nailed it as usual. NOTHING changes. Number23 Aug 2015 #3
Good point jberryhill Aug 2015 #2
Except the protestors shoving their way on stage, aren't being non-violent mythology Aug 2015 #4
You win this thread Electric Monk Aug 2015 #5
and those couple of people have become the rule for BLM now!? Sounds like some have thin skin uponit7771 Aug 2015 #6
Listen to the audio at TWiB of Marissa Johnson's interview. Might change your mind. MADem Aug 2015 #7
Oh, they're violent, all right... bobclark86 Aug 2015 #8
Exactly. State violence. lovemydog Aug 2015 #13
On. Point. Starry Messenger Aug 2015 #25
Thank you for saying this nikto Aug 2015 #9
Somebody? lovemydog Aug 2015 #14
Last year I replied to a post that some of my friends who are tea-party LiberalArkie Aug 2015 #27
That isn't violent protesting gollygee Aug 2015 #18
that's some mythology ya got going there... KG Aug 2015 #26
Why We Can't Wait. lovemydog Aug 2015 #10
Good post, lovemydog. brer cat Aug 2015 #16
Thanks my friend brer cat. lovemydog Aug 2015 #22
I appreciate what you are saying, brer cat Aug 2015 #29
That's a good point. lovemydog Aug 2015 #30
I'm reading this - and maybe I'm putting it in the wrong context? JustAnotherGen Aug 2015 #11
It's not just you. The original post doesn't even mention the election. lovemydog Aug 2015 #12
I was personally thinking BLM protests in general. gollygee Aug 2015 #19
Thanks for the validation JustAnotherGen Aug 2015 #21
A very disappointing comment by Truman brer cat Aug 2015 #15
Yeah, that was a great response gollygee Aug 2015 #20
I think Truman was a man of his time JustAnotherGen Aug 2015 #23
I appreciate your comments, JAG. brer cat Aug 2015 #28
They shouted slanderous lies at the crowd. Waiting For Everyman Aug 2015 #17
They didn't last Sunday in the Bronx . . . JustAnotherGen Aug 2015 #24
'cause yah 'gats' to play nice malaise Aug 2015 #31
Did he call everyone white supremacists? sub.theory Aug 2015 #32
You must not be aware of how people thought of MLK when he was doing his work. gollygee Aug 2015 #33
I don't think that's the whole story sub.theory Aug 2015 #34
An example sub.theory Aug 2015 #35


(135,425 posts)
1. MLK: I think at first, the first reaction of the oppressor, when oppressed people rise up
Fri Aug 14, 2015, 11:36 PM
Aug 2015
against the system of injustice, is an attitude of bitterness.

Hmmmm....plus ça change plus c'est la même chose~! Mais oui?


(24,544 posts)
3. Nailed it as usual. NOTHING changes.
Sat Aug 15, 2015, 12:00 AM
Aug 2015
plus ça change plus c'est la même chose~! Mais oui?



(62,444 posts)
2. Good point
Fri Aug 14, 2015, 11:58 PM
Aug 2015

Back then, there were whites only lunch counters in stores, and it took the sit ins to demonstrate lack of equality, and the force required to maintain that lack of equality.

Today, it's the same thing, but with stages and microphones.


(9,527 posts)
4. Except the protestors shoving their way on stage, aren't being non-violent
Sat Aug 15, 2015, 12:20 AM
Aug 2015

So it's really not a valid comparison.

Look at pictures of the sit ins where the jeering white crowds would toss drinks and food at the black students. Perhaps I missed Bernie Sanders throwing things at the idiots jumping on stage and shouting him down, but until you have that, it's not a equivalent circumstance.

Instead you have a couple of idiots shoving their way on stage, calling everybody there racists and white supremacists. You can't claim the same protections of a non-violent protest if you are the one being violent. Sure they aren't turning fire hoses and police dogs on people, but they are being violent in that they are shoving and screaming at people. Most of us consider the assholes who protest at abortion clinics to be acting violently when they scream horrible things at women going in or out.


(135,425 posts)
7. Listen to the audio at TWiB of Marissa Johnson's interview. Might change your mind.
Sat Aug 15, 2015, 01:07 AM
Aug 2015

Bernie wasn't screaming at anyone, but that Westlake crowd sure was.


(1,415 posts)
8. Oh, they're violent, all right...
Sat Aug 15, 2015, 02:23 AM
Aug 2015

that's why they are packing machine guns and macing people...

Oh, wait. That's the people who are murdering them. The whole point of their protests.



(3,284 posts)
9. Thank you for saying this
Sat Aug 15, 2015, 02:34 AM
Aug 2015

I can't get over the impression that somebody in America is trying very very hard to drive a wedge
between white Progressives and African Americans, and I do not detect a "grass-roots" source.
JMO private suspicions.

United, We The People have a chance.

Divided, we're Toast.

A good question to ask:
What and for whom is the cui bono for dividing those groups?


(15,591 posts)
27. Last year I replied to a post that some of my friends who are tea-party
Sat Aug 15, 2015, 09:05 AM
Aug 2015

was saying that is was the "liberals like you who cause the racial strife and always holding the blacks back. It has always been the Democrats, us Republicans have always come to their aid".

When I posted what their new line was, everyone ridiculed me. But now we hear the same thing from the blacks, I won't say "People of color" as I have not seen where the oriental, or American Indian or other races have been saying it.

So where is this coming from, to me it is from whomever gives the tea-party folks their information.


(22,336 posts)
18. That isn't violent protesting
Sat Aug 15, 2015, 07:57 AM
Aug 2015

Forcing your way on stage, even if there's a bit of shoving involved, isn't violence. They didn't injure anyone in their protest.


(11,833 posts)
10. Why We Can't Wait.
Sat Aug 15, 2015, 03:08 AM
Aug 2015

It's worthwhile to examine similarities to today. Most notably, distressing responses among some self-described liberals. Some on this very thread.

Black lives matter is more important than a rally being interrupted. Too many claim their manner and method isn't appropriate. Yet unarmed black people are still getting murdered by police at a rate of two per week.

For more on this topic I recommend King's Letter From A Birmingham Jail. It's one of the most brilliant pieces of literature in U.S. history. You can read it in its entirety here:


King's letter was later expanded into a great book called Why We Can't Wait.


I think you'll see many more similarities between black lives matter and civil rights. Including the frustrations that King had with some self-described white liberals and their repeated defensiveness and circumlocution regarding matters of great moral and social urgency. Matters of life and death, that are present today.

brer cat

(23,168 posts)
16. Good post, lovemydog.
Sat Aug 15, 2015, 07:35 AM
Aug 2015

I am beginning to think that some self-described progressives are deeply invested in what benefits the white, straight, male segment of the 99 percent and do not like pesky distractions. Could be a belief in trickle-down or a rising tide lifts all boats. After all, anyone who march with Dr. King would certainly share the wealth after they got theirs.


(11,833 posts)
22. Thanks my friend brer cat.
Sat Aug 15, 2015, 08:01 AM
Aug 2015

I wouldn't go that far. Many Sanders supporters are women, for example. I think many feel very strongly that wealth inequality is a tremendously important issue. I do too. The good news is that all our candidates are putting forth strong policies to reduce it.

I think we can unite that with civil rights issues and we'll be the most powerful force come general election time. I'm confident that with persistence and communication we will marry those forces for positive change.

I think the O'Malley and Sanders and Clinton campaigns are trying to combine these powerful forces. The one that does it best will probably get the nomination. I think we're all better off when we keep communicating without fear of hurting each others' feelings too much. It's not easy because we're all hurting in different ways.

We're all pretty emotionally invested in making our country a better & more just place to live. I feel that how I live my life locally has the most positive effect. I feel any of the three candidates I've mentioned would make a fine President. Especially with a more liberal Congress.

Hope you enjoy a great Saturday.

brer cat

(23,168 posts)
29. I appreciate what you are saying,
Sat Aug 15, 2015, 09:22 AM
Aug 2015

however I did not mention or mean specifically Sanders supporters. There are some self-described progressives on DU and elsewhere who come across as being sexist, racist and/or homophobic regardless of the candidate they support.


(31,083 posts)
11. I'm reading this - and maybe I'm putting it in the wrong context?
Sat Aug 15, 2015, 03:11 AM
Aug 2015

I thought this was about Ferguson. My mind didn't automatically go to a Presidential rally.

In the context of Ferguson - and what's been going on there this week -

Bravo MLK!

Maybe it's just me - but does everything has to be about the election?


(11,833 posts)
12. It's not just you. The original post doesn't even mention the election.
Sat Aug 15, 2015, 03:22 AM
Aug 2015

I think some of the folks on this thread have elections on the brain. And post stuff related to their own whacky theories. As opposed to Ferguson, or what MLK was really talking about.


(22,336 posts)
19. I was personally thinking BLM protests in general.
Sat Aug 15, 2015, 07:59 AM
Aug 2015

I wasn't thinking of a specific one. We've had BLM protests locally. They're all over the country.

brer cat

(23,168 posts)
15. A very disappointing comment by Truman
Sat Aug 15, 2015, 07:15 AM
Aug 2015

that I hadn't read before. Lester Maddox, former proudly racist governor of GA, demonstrated quite vividly how private business can "do what it wants" by standing in the door of his restaurant with an ax handle. It is hard to believe Truman would have stood in solidarity with him, but if that quote is accurate, it says what it says.

I really like the measured tone of Dr. King's response. After expressing his disappointment with the comment, he added "it seems to me that Mr. Truman wouldn’t have faced such a situation because there wouldn’t have been a segregated store in the beginning if he were running it..." Well played.



(22,336 posts)
20. Yeah, that was a great response
Sat Aug 15, 2015, 08:00 AM
Aug 2015

He was such a ridiculously intelligent man. He had the perfect response ready right away. "Ball in your court, Mr. Truman."


(31,083 posts)
23. I think Truman was a man of his time
Sat Aug 15, 2015, 08:05 AM
Aug 2015

That is not excusing him - just acknowledging the framework.

He also pretty much had to join the KKK to get a foot in the door in his politics in his home state.

Neither of these negate that the desegregation of the military was the first loud statement by a President in terms of 'action' (Harding was the first with outspoken beliefs) that would spark the second civil rights movement.

That was the beginning of the end of the original Jim Crow.

brer cat

(23,168 posts)
28. I appreciate your comments, JAG.
Sat Aug 15, 2015, 09:09 AM
Aug 2015

So often people fail to acknowledge the framework and fail to give any credit where credit is due unless an individual meets some purity test. I see this often in criticism of President Carter, a man I hold in deep esteem. Perfect? Hell, no, but a man who transcended his time, deliberately and with courage imo.

In line with this, I have many times realized after posting on DU that I should have started my comments with "yes, but" instead of launching straight into my somewhat differing opinion. Acknowledging my basic agreement before starting with my nuanced difference might have started a more civil discussion.

Waiting For Everyman

(9,385 posts)
17. They shouted slanderous lies at the crowd.
Sat Aug 15, 2015, 07:42 AM
Aug 2015

Lies, is that how to build a successful movement? What reaction did they expect?

They called a crowd of white progressives / liberals, "white supremacist liberals". That is not accurate, that is a lie -- an ugly, nasty, slanderous lie at that.

I was 13 when MLK gave his "I have a dream" speech, and I followed all the events in the years afterward. I don't remember him ever shouting lies at a crowd. If you look at film of the 1963 March on Washington crowd, there are a LOT of whites there (roughly 20%). He didn't tell them to shut up and they're part of the problem.

What he did do, is describe a better society, and lead concrete steps toward achieving it. That inspired people, and they followed of all colors. It's the "vision thing", that's what is entirely lacking here. People are motivated by that, not by being berated, and having their past efforts for equality whatever they may be, counted for absolutely nothing.

Wouldn't the natural impulse be to say to themselves after that, fine do it yourself then. What is so surprising about that? If that's the end BLM is trying to achieve, the Seattle Two are doing a good job of it.

They aren't demonstrating to me that Black Lives Matter to them, because they're doing everything they can to strip away the only white allies they have. That tells me they don't really care about effecting any change, regardless of their words. People encouraging this are encouraging that same failure, so how much do they really care as well?

I see it as an attempted psychological manipulation game, and not much more. I don't see it preventing one police shooting. Not now, not ever.

ABC footage without commentary (Burt Lancaster's words about 11 min. in are interesting)...

Narrated, with background on the event...

See the difference?

Extended cell footage showing how patient this crowd tried to be...

Still think the Seattle Two's protest was very much like MLK's? I sure don't.


(31,083 posts)
24. They didn't last Sunday in the Bronx . . .
Sat Aug 15, 2015, 08:17 AM
Aug 2015


Hundreds of protesters hit the streets of New York City, along with cities across the United States and overseas, for multiple actions on August 9 in memory of Michael Brown, who was killed one year ago in Ferguson, Missouri by police Officer Darren Wilson.

Brown’s death at the hands of Wilson last year sparked riots, protests and the birth of the Black Lives Matter movement.

To commemorate the death of Brown, multiple U.S. cities, including the town of Ferguson itself, held rallies and marches. Activists in New York City held three separate actions, ensuring that streets from downtown Brooklyn up to the Bronx would see protesters taking them over. And in addition to remembering Brown and the town of Ferguson, the protesters used the occasion to draw attention to the city’s police problems and other incidents of police violence against people of color since Brown’s death.

“This protest will not only remember Michael Brown, but will demand an end to the racist police terror that the black and brown communities face each day, as well as salute the brave uprising that moved many into action,” the Peoples Power Assemblies, one of the groups that helped organize an action in Brooklyn, said in a statement. “The demand to an end of police terror will include an immediate stop to the daily brutality and deaths at the hands of police — whether at traffic stops, during broken windows harassment or in jail cells.”

I think #blm should completely ignore Sanders and instead put pressure on folks like DeBlasio.

Hate to harsh the far left's giddy - but Federal Gov isn't going to help black folks - we need to punch up from our local government and work around Federal Gov. Fed Gov is D.C - and inside the beltway - if they were worth anything - none of this would be necessary in the first place.


(652 posts)
32. Did he call everyone white supremacists?
Sat Aug 15, 2015, 10:34 AM
Aug 2015

MLK understood healing and building bridges. Tearing down walls. His dream was brotherhood/sisterhood of all people. This is why MLK is so revered today in America and globally.

There's just no equating MLK with this hateful, racist group that hijacked the Sander's rally to tell everyone they're a white supremacist.


(22,336 posts)
33. You must not be aware of how people thought of MLK when he was doing his work.
Sat Aug 15, 2015, 11:22 AM
Aug 2015

Hint: It sounded a lot like how you're talking about BLM.


(652 posts)
34. I don't think that's the whole story
Sat Aug 15, 2015, 11:51 AM
Aug 2015

You do realize that the reason the Civil Rights Act passed was that there was significant support won outside of the south, right? Ultimately, protest by a minority has to win over the majority or there will never be victory. Hateful, angry protest may raise awareness, but it won't change many minds. It's the wrong kind of awareness. That's not how human psychology works. When people feel under attack, they only harden their position.

Gandhi and MLK understood this. They knew that they had to win people over which is why peaceful protest is often effective. It opens the door for people to listen. This is just human nature. We aren't going to talk with someone screaming at us and blaming us, especially if we feel it's unfair (rightly or wrongly). Right?

Think of it this way. If the US had continued to verbally attack Iran and demand they give in to our demands there never would have been dialogue, let alone agreement. These are two countries that once hated each other. It took a leader who was willing to reach out in peace and offer to talk to break that ice. And it worked. See Cuba for another example.

If the group who disrupted the Sanders event believed they were helping the cause, and I'm not at all sure they were, it was a disastrous miscalculation. Think of what would have happened if they had reached out to the Sanders campaign and asked to speak. I'm all but certain they would have been permitted. If they had talked about how black men are being discrimated against across this country by law enforcement, and welcomed those in attendance to join their cause don't you think people would have been far more likely to have listened and supported? If they had even handed out flyers or carried banners they would had more success in getting people to talk to them. Instead, they have alienated many Americans who would have otherwise joined. They have significantly harmed how BLM is viewed.


(652 posts)
35. An example
Sat Aug 15, 2015, 12:16 PM
Aug 2015

For an example of a minority movement that got this very right look at the LGBT movement and the phenomenal success it has had. They were once up against seemingly insurmountable odds, but they have won people over. People changed their minds.

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