image: Wikimedia commons (link).
Martin Luther King, Jr. was born on January 15, 1929.
One of the central messages that Dr. King emphasized was the necessity of waking up and staying awake.
In an address to the graduating students of Oberlin College in 1965, entitled "Remaining Awake Through a Great Revolution," he declared, "There is nothing more tragic than to sleep through a revolution."
In this context, he brings up the story of Rip Van Winkle, who slept for twenty years and woke up to find the picture of the king of England outside the local pub replaced by a likeness of George Washington. Then he proclaims that the revolution that was taking place today is "a social revolution, sweeping away an old order and bringing in a new," sweeping away an old order of colonialism, slavery, and racial segregation and replacing it with a new vision of freedom and human dignity.
Then he tells the young men and women of the class of 1965 that, "The great challenge facing every individual graduating today is to remain awake through this social revolution."
Those words are given all the more poignancy because, as everyone knows, Martin Luther King was brutally and treacherously murdered less than three years after the date of that speech.
For decades, the world was told that a lone gunman, probably motivated by racism, was responsible for the killing of Martin Luther King in April of 1968. However, due to the tireless efforts of researchers including human rights lawyer William Pepper in conjunction with the King family, it has now been shown beyond reasonable doubt that the official story foisted upon the public regarding the murder of Dr. King was a deliberate fabrication and that he was actually assassinated as part of a carefully-coordinated plot overseen by powerful elements of the national security apparatus controlled by forces opposed to that new vision of freedom and human dignity that was sweeping the world.
The fact that this nefarious plot continues to be downplayed by the major news media (especially during news coverage discussing the importance of Dr. King's life and work on the observation of his birthday every year) and that the wider public is largely unaware of the criminal conspiracy behind the assassination of Martin Luther King in 1968 is all the evidence we need to determine that the problems that he spoke against in the 1950s and 1960s are still very much with us today and that the subject of the life and death of Martin Luther King is not an issue of a bygone era but a very real and dramatic issue of critical importance to everyone alive today.
A civil trial held in the state of Tennessee concluded in December of 1999 that the government of the united states was guilty of carrying out a conspiracy resulting in the death of Martin Luther King, Jr.
You can read the full details, along with extensive transcripts, in the 772-page book entitled The Plot to Kill King, by attorney William Pepper.
You can also hear William Pepper discuss this case, and the significance of the life and cause of Martin Luther King, in numerous interviews such as this one and this one (with journalists outside of the "mainstream" outlets). You can also read this article, first published in January of 2016, by Dr. Asad Ismi entitled "Who Killed Martin Luther King? The Cover-up of the Century."
The fact that the absolutely explosive result of that 1999 civil trial which found the government guilty of the wrongful death of Dr. King remains largely unknown to this day is all the evidence that anyone needs in order to conclude without doubt that the "news" media in its current state does not exist to inform the public of the truth.
On the contrary, it exists to keep the public asleep.
It exists to keep the public asleep to the existence of powerful elements who are opposed to the vision of freedom and human dignity that Martin Luther King proclaimed and that his life stood for. Elements which are opposed to the end of the old order of colonialism, slavery, and racial segregation and which are dedicated to preserving that old order.
Elements that are very real and very powerful, as evidenced by their ability not only to orchestrate the complex criminal conspiracy to murder Dr. Martin Luther King, but also to cover up that murder at the time of its execution and to keep it covered up for the following fifty years -- including the eighteen years which have elapsed since the civil trial in which overwhelming evidence emerged which conclusively demonstrates the existence of such a conspiracy.
When Dr. King began his efforts, he and the brave individuals who worked and marched with him were protesting for civil rights and against legally-enforced segregation and disenfranchisement in the united states. However, as his speeches make clear, he saw this initial battle as being inseparable from the cause of human rights world-wide, and he explicitly stated that the end of legally-enforced segregation was not the ultimate goal but rather true equality of opportunity for all people, regardless of skin color or ethnicity, and the abolition of the causes of poverty for all people.
You can read his statements on this subject in a speech delivered in May of 1964 entitled "The World's March Towards Human Rights," in which he calls for a unified effort of people regardless of skin color to make a "massive assault upon slums, inferior education, inadequate medical care: the entire culture of poverty."
And in a 1962 address to the Negro Leadership Conference on Africa he declared the connection between the forces of segregation in this country and the forces of colonialism and exploitation in other countries, saying that, "Colonialism and segregation are nearly synonymous; they are legitimate first cousins because their common end is economic exploitation, political domination, and the debasing of human personality."
Today, these aspects of Dr. King's message are largely glossed over or even completely obscured by the same elements that work to keep the general population of men and women unaware of the criminal conspiracy that plotted to kill him and who then not only did so but kept that conspiracy suppressed using various forms of propaganda and "public relations" for fifty years. Economic exploitation, political domination, and the debasing of human personality have not abated in the fifty years since Dr. King's death -- in fact, they have in many ways accelerated dramatically.
As Martin Luther King told that graduating class of Oberlin College in 1965, "the great challenge facing every individual today is to remain awake."