Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday approaches, and the fallen leader is the subject of this week’s Sunday Smack.
King used to be a close friend of the White House — until he moved beyond lunch counter integration issues to fight poverty and America’s conduct in the Vietnam War.
The interrelation between the US government’s attitude toward Vietnam War critics and the more contemporary voices against US wars in Iraq and Syria is unmistakable — the government has an unwavering distaste for both groups. Activists discussing substantive changes to poverty and income inequality also haven’t won many friends in Washington.
King was organizing union workers while moving through the planning stages of a massive tent city rally (familiar, isn’t it?) in Washington DC — shortly before a sniper’s bullet ended his quest.
1960s anti-war protesters became targets for domestic surveillance or blacklist placement, if not worse …
And we know by now that the US government viewed King as an assassination target …
Today’s anti-war protesters, even if they don’t advocate violence, can be targeted for investigation by a government anti-terrorism team.
Some war critics have been placed on the federal government’s no-fly list — a database of names where your inclusion in it prohibits you from flying over US airspace out of fears you have terrorism ties.
According to US government guidelines leaked by The Intercept, broad categories of people with no ideological or organizational ties to terrorism can be placed on the federal government’s no-fly list or other terrorist watchlists.
Logic tells me MLK would oppose US war activities in Syria and Iraq for the same reasons he opposed the Vietnam War.
This brings up my Sunday Smack to you: would Martin Luther King Jr. be placed on the US no-fly list in 2015?
song currently stuck in my head: “burst in with the dawn” – carmen mcrae