The MLK You Never Knew: “We’re Coming to Washington D.C. to Get Our Check” [Video]

Yvette Carnell

In this video, Martin Luther King Jr. discusses how the government has broken its promise to black people, and how it has given away land to white poor people from Europe, mostly by way of loans with low interest rates, grants, and federal subsidies, but never gave the Negro any aid, not even that 40 acres and a mule:

What this video reveals is that, by the time of his death, MLK had pivoted. The movement he stewarded was no longer about being treated equally among whites in polite society. It was about being treated equally in an economic setting. It had been revealed to King that black poverty in America wasn’t the consequence of laziness or ineptitude, but the natural outgrowth of set-up where whites were propped up with government funds while blacks were left to wither on the vine and die.

Sadly, nothing has changed. In this recession, corporations and other vested interests have all been bailed out, but not blacks. We’ve received nothing in exchange for our vote. Don’t believe me? Let’s take a tally.

  • Folks like us borrow at market rates if we can borrow at all. Meanwhile, bankers at failed banks have been receiving trillions of dollars  in bailouts from the Federal Reserve. These folks borrow money from the U.S. government, our tax dollars, at zero percent interest, and then loan it back to the government at two and three percent interest. That’s the government handing banks millions on top of millions of dollars with a business plan that can’t fail. Really, your five year old couldn’t mess up this con. 
  • Banks like Citigroup and Bank of America saw their fraud rewarded by receiving something called “credit amnesty’ from the government. This allows these banksters to get loans based on the government’s credit rating. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could get a loan based on the government’s credit rating once you’ve f*cked up your own credit?
  • Banks and others in the top 1% pay less taxes than you and I. Last year, Bank of America paid absolutely no taxes. You’d be in jail before you could say ‘Wesley Snipes’ if you tried that. 

Point being, what King began railing against shortly before he was murdered, gaming the system by subsidizing some groups while marginalizing, and effectively starving others, is still going on, only now, there is no one left to fight it. Surely not Barack Obama, since he’s overseen these bailouts and has deemed black people too toxic to even engage in any meaningful conversation.

And those folks we’ve depended on to pick up the mantle, like Al Sharpton, are too busy protecting their own proximity to power to actually be bothered with King’s legacy. (I mean, “The Rev” dines at a local Wall St. watering hole. God forbid he piss off his dinner buddies, right?)

Again, the question becomes: How do we uphold Martin Luther King’s real legacy (as opposed to the watered down one contrived for public consumption?) How do we fight to take back what was taken from us? How do we fight the cuts to programs that we care about that are most assuredly coming down the pike after Obama’s reelection?

Or is it enough just to protect Obama from shouldering the burden we all carry as African Americans? We should decide, here and now, whether our duty is to defend the principles espoused by MLK in this video, or whether our duty and allegiance is with one man – President Obama. We’ve tried for three years to bend and contort our values so that we could have it both ways, but that’s never been a feasible solution.

You should ask yourself, “what would MLK do?” I can’t say I know for sure what he’d do, but I can say that the answer to that question has resulted in a chasm of moral distance between me and Obama. It has pushed me further away from embracing Obama’s policies.

I can’t decide for you, but it’s high time you stopped pretending, and at least did the emotional work involved in asking the question. The whole world is waiting on us to decide who we are and what we believe in, if anything.

Yvette Carnell is a former Capitol Hill and campaign staffer turned writer. She is currently an editor and contributor to Yourblackworld.


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15 Responses to The MLK You Never Knew: “We’re Coming to Washington D.C. to Get Our Check” [Video]

  1. Cheryl Douglas April 9, 2012 at 3:19 pm

    While I might agree with a lot of what your saying, the choice we are given is Romney or Obama.

    Reply
    • Charles June 21, 2012 at 10:59 pm

      Ms Carroll, i would like you to personally respond to me,I need verification.I was told The Federal Reserve have been murdering
      and starting wars for years.MLK,RFK,and JFK who wrote an exec.order before his assassination(executive order 10289) which
      is still in effect,with no president since him willing to execute it.How can we as a people not protest,talk about,organize,do
      something other than just go along.Ms Carroll ,help me to understand.

      Reply
  2. Fuller June 21, 2012 at 3:32 pm

    Many of us were aware of DR. King’s evolving thought processes as related to economic justice for African people here in this country. This was a major reason he had to be assassinated.

    We must end the the so called main stream medias’ attempt to sanitize the image of now” Popular,” thinkers such as DR. King and Brother Malcolm

    Reply
  3. shirl June 21, 2012 at 4:29 pm

    This need to be played everyday on youtube maybe the President\could get to view it. Well we know he have studied
    Dr king and tried to inmate him around black people. But i am
    tired of the comparsion. In no way is the President like DR. King/
    well in one way a great speaker. But not in deed to Black people
    unless you are a successful black person

    I have seen some idiot wearing a t shirt with pic of Dr king and
    The president on the shirt/punching out Dr. king. Now that is
    really really stupid for someone to make a T shirt like that.

    But the younger generation just don’t know about the real Dr. King/just the waterd down version like DR Boyce had written about
    maybe a month ago. They need to read all The books out there
    by Dr. King.

    Reply
  4. Michael Benjamin June 21, 2012 at 4:43 pm

    Almost fifty years after Dr. King’s observation, Professor Cornel West, Tavis Smiley, Ben Jealous and others still want America to make good on that promissory note. Many believe that the pursuit and fulfillment of a Black socioeconomic agenda will “secure the riches of freedom and the security of justice” as Dr. King urged.

    Reply
  5. erica June 21, 2012 at 6:26 pm

    I agree fully with the article. I feel the same way. While he is catering to every other culture for votes he has decided to forget his own people. Look at what Israel is doing right now. They are rounding up all black people and putting them into tents to ship them back to their countries. This is apartheid! they are doing this because they say that blacks are a cancer and must be deported.
    As if they were not in that position years back when Hitler was in power. Funny how soon they forget and is ready to inflict the same pain that was brought unto them. As soon as someone disagree with the deportation of the blacks to their countries you are automatically antisemitic, while Israel is being funded. This says a lot about the character of this man the policies which he follows and who is commanding him to do so. He is sending out troops all
    over the world as he sees fit. He just let all of those immigrants come to the U.S with no problem but the deportation of blacks out of Israel is swept underneath the rug. He has drones out watching everyone diminishing our bill of rights and is tyranny improvised at best.

    Reply
  6. Bigsneakertees June 21, 2012 at 10:16 pm

    Some people are still drinking the Obama cool aid and it’s safe to say that truth hurts. Obama policies suck and poor people are never mentioned by this guy , he always refer to the middle class , can someone please tell me , what about the people that’s giving Obama their vote , poor people.

    Reply
  7. Onesilverbac June 22, 2012 at 4:38 am

    The President is not your friend! Get that into your head!
    The only thing he has in common with you and I is skin color.

    You have to understand we don’t all look alike, we don’t all think alike, we have not all had the same experiences so we see the world differently.

    Neither are we all poor and uneducated or in need of financial help every month.

    It all reminds me of reparation demands, “never happens” no matter what you might think. I’m sure they can document over a Trillion dollars given over the last 50 years.

    Just my opinion.

    Reply
  8. A. Neil Newman June 22, 2012 at 7:54 pm

    Ms. Carroll, I sense your frustration with the heirs to the MLK legacy, but this is a different day and time. We have advanced to the level where we are able to participate in the political process that has been used for hundreds of years to deny us (Black people) equal access under the law.

    I believe that we have to work to get this President reelected; after that, we should hold him accountable for implementing some of the changes that will benefit the Black community directly.

    He (the President) has done many this to help Black people, e.g., the Affordable Health Care Act, supporting the Attorney General with his efforts to combat voter suppression, passing the Consumer Credit Act, and changing the way we pay back student loan are some of the major accomplishments of this President while dealing with one of the most Right Wing Congressess in this nation’s history. President Obama cannot resolve all the wrongs
    that have been perpartrated against the Black Man over four centuries in less than four years. Be patient with the Brother. Give his a chance. After all Dr. Martin Luther King fought for a long time before we actually benefited from his efforts.

    Reply
  9. Dr.Strange June 23, 2012 at 4:18 pm

    Obama isn’t even black. His mom is full white! He does not count anyways, which is why I did not vote. He is a half breed. Now King was black. So, stop looking for that Uncle Tom to do something for us.

    Reply
  10. Catlover June 23, 2012 at 4:29 pm

    I am glad to see that more of the truth about what MLK was about is coming out. Remember, the US is a colonial country…meaning that it’s foundation is built on stolen land and resources, including slavery. Land is the basic component of wealth. It was designed from the beginning to profit from these stolen things for the benefit of white people, which is why when white people cry about ‘welfare’, they are being hypocritical because colonialism as a system is a welfare system – they are living off of the stolen lands and resources of other people. It is a component of the system of racism/white supremacy. I think this last part of MLK’s vision needs to be pushed more, particularly since this was his view before he was murdered, instead of an emphasis on integration. Personally, I am for economic independence.

    Reply
  11. Ichliebedackel June 25, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    Wow, I just read a lot of the most recent comments and I am very, very surprised. It is absolutely pathetic and sad that most of the readers assume that President Obama shares their skin color and, therefore, should make their race-biased issues his top priority. That is silly. During the 2008 elections, (then) Sen. Obama made it very clear that if elected, his priorities were to do things for ALL Americans. He has succeeded at a lot of those things (health care reform, bank and insurance bailouts, hate crime legislation, assistance to families for higher education, better treatment of veterans, etc.). The list is long. President Obama has been responsible for certain things that one could put on a negative list (Guantánamo is still open, the murder of Osama bin Laden defines the rule of law, etc.). But before you criticize the President, please do consider a few things:

    * President Obama inherited an utter mess, the likes and scale of which had never been seen before;
    * This President has had to deal with an incredibly onerous, bellicose and outright cantankerous legislature;
    * Please ignore the melanin content in President Obama’s skin! He is neither Black nor White. It doesn’t matter! The expectation that the President should focus on racial issues is as absurd as the Republican stance of “ego rules” (or to put it another way, “Who cares about my bretheren, I–and maybe my family–are the only people who count. I will only vote for someone who makes life good for me. Good riddance to the rest of humanity…”)
    * You may not be happy about everything President Obama has done, but who is the alternative? Do you REALLY thing that Senator Romney would make decisions that would benefit the needy? Do you really believe that Senator Romney cares about the little guy? Do you really believe that Sentor Romney would be effective with Congress?

    Please stop the polemic and THINK. President Obama may not be perfect, but he does have many, many (poorly marketed) accomplishments and he is much better than any alternative candidate–regardless of the party.

    Reply
  12. patrice August 5, 2012 at 12:44 pm

    Food For Thought!!We are so ignorant.All we do is complain and divide,I am certain if Dr King was living he would not back Rommney. plus do nothing. ALL TOMS VOTE FOR ROMMNEY OR be IGNORANI AND VOTE FOR NOONE>

    Reply
  13. Marvin Blades August 5, 2012 at 10:26 pm

    I am not surprised by Dr. King’s statements. He was a leader in the truest since of the word and was not for sale. President Johnson thought that Dr. King was bought and paid for after his signing of the Voting Rights Act and the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and 1965. King’s stance on the Viet Nam War was viewed by Johnson as betrayal. One which Johnson never forgave him for.

    I will always admire Dr. King and hold him in high regard. If any leader was for the people…he was!

    If only he had not been assassinated his Poor People’s Campaign may have changed America!

    Reply
  14. SUPER RIGHTS August 6, 2012 at 12:56 am

    Remember black people.obama did not promise us anything from the getgo, A lot of blacks assumed because he was black that he
    was gonna do something for black people.what a A..ss blacks were.
    I dont know how many mulatto blacks,you blacks have lived around,but they always thought that they were the better blacks
    and always shunned the true blacks because of the counter
    exceptance of whites. This been happeening every since the plantation.question,how many slave pictures have we seen with
    an mullatto on the auction block,or in the field.you really got to
    watch yourself around them because they will dare not to give
    up their watered down white priviledge,and will cross you as soon
    as they got a chance.They think different because a lot of them
    have not shared the experience which is dangerous because they
    have been conditioned to adhere to their master.you would have a better chance with a white then a mullato black.I PROMISE YOU
    BECAUSE THEY WILL BE DEFENDING THEIR WHITE PARENT THROUGH BETRAYING THE BLACK.

    Reply

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