The Assassination of Martin Luther King. Racism and the Growing Cancer Blighting U.S. Foreign Policy | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED X-Frame-Options: DENY X-Frame-Options: SAMEORIGIN

The Assassination of Martin Luther King. Racism and the Growing Cancer Blighting U.S. Foreign Policy

If the death of Bobby Kennedy marked the end of the dream of the sixties (see the Robert F. Kennedy chapter of this series), the death two months previously signaled the beginning of the end.

On the early evening of April 4, 1968, Martin Luther King was standing on the second-floor balcony of the Lorraine hotel in Memphis, Tennessee when a single bullet plowed through the breeze and struck the man of peace and compassion with devastating effects. Rushed to the hospital, he was pronounced dead an hour later. [2]

In the ten days following news of King’s death, 200 cities across the nation saw looting, arson, and sniper fire. Peter Levy wrote in The Great Uprising: Race Riots in Urban America during the 1960s that followed that the United States experienced its greatest wave of social unrest since the Civil War.” Fully 3,500 people were injured, 43 were killed and 27,000 were arrested. [3]

While the Baptist Minister subscribed to non-violence, between the loss of a civil rights giant and the widespread segregation and poverty affecting blacks, such an expression of outrage is understandable.

Yet, Dr. King was in the process of doing more than demanding an end to racial inequality. He went to Memphis to stand with and support striking sanitation workers. He was also intent later in the month of April to lead a massive Nonviolent Poor People’s March on Washington involving impoverished Americans of all races. [4][5]

And more critically, he was speaking out against the growing cancer blighting American foreign policy – the war in Vietnam. His first, and arguably one of his most important speeches was heard at the Riverside Church in New York City – exactly one year before his assassination![6]

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