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Socialist "Saint" defended. (Letters to the Editor).

As a relative newcomer to THE NEW AMERICAN, I must share my feelings about articles such as the one on Martin Luther King ("Socialist Saint" by William Norman Grigg) in the February 11th issue. I was appalled to find an article that would so clearly alienate people in this country who would ordinarily be interested in the cause of freedom.

Like most people, Martin Luther King had his flaws. He also had a goal for his people. It would be nice to think that justice was a natural extension of everyday human behavior. The history of the treatment of Blacks, American Indians, and other minorities clearly shows us that justice and freedom must be gained and maintained. Since Mr. King is deceased and unable to defend himself, I find it repugnant that a publication with the statement of purpose "That Freedom Shall Not Perish" would print such an article. Factual or not, it serves no valuable purpose at this time. Mr. King gave something to his people that they needed: leadership, direction, and a sense of pride. For this, every freedom-loving American owes him a debt. As an American, I suffer when my neighbor suffers. I am pleased that my fellow Americans of other skin tones are finding opportunities that enable them to live useful and productive lives--opportunities that once were denied them despite the fact that they were citizens under the protecti on of the Constitution of the United States of America. I marvel at the Christianity of the attitudes of the majority of Black Americans. Despite angry and radical leadership, most blacks have put the past aside and go about their daily lives as ordinary citizens, caring for their families as best they can.

To read an article that was so irrelevant to the important goals facing this country at this time made me wonder at the real purpose of the John Birch Society. Is this organization working to strengthen the social fabric of the United States so that we can fend off the forces that would pull the Constitution out from under us? There are many muckraking facts that can be dredged up to slander dead public figures. If the John Birch Society is hoping to alienate every thinking person under the age of 60, more articles like this one are in order. Many intelligent people would think that rather than pander to a few aging bigots, the energy could be better spent.


Oceanside, California

William Norman Grigg replies: According to Carolyn Dickey, "factual or not," our critical examination of Martin Luther King serves no valuable purpose at this tune." When, pray tell, would such an examination be more timely? King is the only American honored with his own federal holiday; nearly every major American city has a street bearing his name; schoolchildren are taught to emulate him; presidents and other officials reverently invoke his name to justify expanding federal power (as President Bush just did defending his education initiative).

Yes, King is "deceased and unable to defend himself." The same is true, however; of many other historical figures, from Caesar to Lenin. What makes King different is that custodians of "respectable" opinion have decreed that any criticism of King is an act of "bigotry." This is ironic, given that Webster's International Dictionary (2nd ed.) defines a "bigot" as "one obstinately and irrationally, often intolerantly devoted to his church, belief or opinion." Guardians of the government imposed King mythology display little tolerance toward those of us not inclined to burn incense at the shrine of that ersatz civic saint.

This helps explain why most Americans "under the age of 60" know nothing about the real Martin Luther King. But a magazine bearing the mission statement "That Freedom Shall Not Perish" has a duty to confront such pernicious myths, rather than encouraging their passive acceptance.
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Publication:The New American
Article Type:Letter to the Editor
Date:Mar 11, 2002
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