There was a time —I must have been in second grade—our class went on an excursion to Wall Street. With my seven-year-old nose glued to the glass, I remember staring in wonderment at an exhibition case containing George Washington’s false teeth, arguably the high point of my early indoctrination. Tales of cherry trees and dentures laid the groundwork. Like all American children, I was subject to the brainwashing that, with the exception of my eighth grade class devoting a year to questioning segregation, would leave me a contented and unthinking subject into adult life.
This week, the truth is out about the founding father’s teeth. Several of them were human teeth pried from the bloody jaws of slaves who worked on George Washington’s plantation.
This week Americans marked the birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr, piously mouthing his easier platitudes, carefully sidestepping the demanding challenges of King’s moral universe—the rights of the poor, the disenfranchised—all flotsam of the rich man’s world.
To my utter amazement, I learned that one of my most politically astute friends had no idea that in 1999, nearly thirty years after his assassination, in a civil suit, the King family applied to the courts for redress because they believed James Earl Ray, the official U.S. patsy, was innocent. The King family hired lawyer Bill Pepper to defend him. It is that story I need to tell today.
The Memphis court, after a one-month trial with Judge James Swearington presiding, which generated 40,000 pages of documents, and which included 70 eye witnesses, three of whom placed Ray elsewhere at the time of the assassination, exonerated him. And after less than an hour’s deliberation, all defendants: the FBI, the U.S. Army, the Memphis Police, the Dixie Mafia, and a bar tender named Lloyd Jowers were all found guilty of collusion in MLK Jr.’s death. That night, Nightline reported it; thereafter, the media responded to the decision with the absolute silence for which they are known.
The King family’s motives for going to trial were to get at the truth, and to exonerate Mr. Ray who had died in jail of cancer the year before. For themselves, they asked for punitive damages of $100 to be divided five ways.
Had they demanded $125,000,000 in damages, chances are you might have heard this story long before today.
The process of Dis Illusion is a long one, and necessitates relinquishing ingrained belief systems one by one, but none of us can hope for any significant social change in the U.S. until this process is complete.
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Black Lives Matter at School, started as a single day of action in Seattle and now expanded to include 20 cities, is set for a week of action February 4 – 8.
Southern Poverty Law Center sues Corinth Mississippi for incarcerating poor debtors to pay fines.
Lexington’s Bishop Stowe challenges fellow Catholics to end “our association of young people with racist acts and a politics of hate.”
ACLU sues administration for detaining 10,000 children despite the fact they have sponsors waiting for them, and for sharing sponsors’ personal information with ICE, making them vulnerable for detention and deportation.
In show of solidarity, Indigenous People’s march in D.C. places their issues front and center.
Ten thousand students march in Berlin, and 30,000 in Brussels as Global# #climatestrike movement rises.
Sweden to ban sale of gas and diesel cars after 2030.
Greta Thunberg, who took a train from Sweden to Davos, and camps there in a tent, warns Davos millionaires not to offer any hopeful bromides but to panic “as if your house were on fire. Because it is.”
Winnemem Wintu and fishing groups sue CA department of water resources to protect Delta water flows.
Trust for Public Land’s banner 2018 year includes protecting 177 public green spaces, and helping state pass 16 voter-approved ballot measures generating more than $4.8 billion in new funds for parks and protecting nature.
New York Governor launches Green New Deal with accelerated targets.
EPA abandons plans to rollback essential protections for farm workers.
In British Columbia forests, First Nations People continue decade-long shutdown of dirty energy projects.
Despite shutdown, Federal Judge blocks regime’s plans for issuing permits for offshore drilling.
People’s Policy Project issues seventh paper urging a green Tennessee Valley Authority expansion all over the country.
De Blasio proposes ordinance making N.Y.C. the first city to mandate paid time off for its workers.
TSA agents call in sick at unsustainable rates during “shutdown.”
California farm workers to be paid overtime for working fewer hours, and, beginning in 2022, to get overtime just like any other worker.
LA teachers triumph after six-day strike, winning smaller classes, better pay, a cap on charter schools, and more funding for school nurses and counselors.
Brown University Dining Services student-workers hit university with lawsuit alleging that Brown has been violating federal labor laws for decades.
Minnesota prison strike wins concessions.
Lady Gaga interrupts concert to sound out on VP’s so-called ‘Christianity’ and the regime’s shutdown.
Hundreds of thousands of gilets jaunes, initially protesting fuel tax increase, initiate world-wide movement which most recently has spread to Australia.
Mexican immigrant Celebrity chef, Jose Andrés’s pop up D.C. kitchen serves nearly 10,000 meals in two days, feeding thousands of furloughed federal workers.
“A coup is not a democratic transition” Medea Benjamin points out, disrupting pompous Pompeo’s speech on Venezuela.
Supreme Court leaves program protecting young illegal immigrants from deportation in place, defying bid to build a border wall.
Supreme Court declines attempt by the regime to terminate DACA program.
U.S. Federal Judge throws out Resolute Forest Product’s $300 million SLAPP lawsuit against Stand.earth and Greenpeace.
Judge Tucker rules in favor of Mumia Abu Jamal after decades of unjust imprisonment.
New United farm worker immigration bill introduced in Congress.
Reporter Marzieh Hashemi is released from federal custody after ten days of arbitrary imprisonment.
Four progressives named to House Oversight Committee.
Nomination of misogynist, homophobic Robert W. Patterson as Acting Associate Commissioner of Social Security Administration rejected.
New York legislature passes college financial aid for undocumented youth.
Lead by Barbara Lee and Ted Lieu, House Dems demand diplomatic, political and humanitarian strategy for Syria withdrawal.
#45 takes ‘time out,’ ending shutdown by signing deal made before Christmas.
Congress passes farm bill giving greater protection to farm animals and pets.
Ooops! France hits Google with $57 million fine for violating EU’s new consumer protection rules.