MLK's Final Speech Was Fraudulently Edited to Change History
I made an astonishing and disheartening discovery. Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s final speech has omissions and substituted text in 18 of the 20 online sources checked. This means there could be more. Are people throughout the world learning inaccurate wording for Dr. King's "I've Been to the Mountaintop" address?
Rev. King delivered his famous final speech in Memphis, Tennessee on April 3, 1968, the day immediately preceding his assassination. He was shot in the face while standing alone on the balcony of the Lorraine Hotel on April 4 during a strike by sanitation workers.
A video excerpt from Rev. King's final speech presenting accurate wording is below:
Below is the correct language of Dr. King's quote. Text that is usually omitted online is in ALL CAPS below, and text often substituted for Rev. King's actual words is parenthetical.
All we say to America is, "Be true to what you said on paper." If I lived in China or even Russia, or any totalitarian country, MAYBE I COULD UNDERSTAND SOME OF THESE ILLEGAL INJUNCTIONS. Maybe I could understand the denial of certain basic First Amendment privileges, because they HAVEN'T (hadn't)* committed themselves to that over there. But somewhere I read of the freedom of assembly. Somewhere I read of the freedom of speech. Somewhere I read of the freedom of (the)** press. Somewhere I read that the greatness of America is the right to protest for RIGHTS (right)***. And so just as I say, WE AREN’T GOING TO LET ANY DOGS OR WATER HOSES TURN US AROUND, we aren't going to let any injunction turn us around.
References to "illegal injunctions" against peaceful assembly and to "dogs and water hoses" were deleted in the fraudulently edited presentations of MLK's "Mountaintop" speech.
* I did not hear MLK say "hadn't," but "haven't."
** I did not hear MLK say "THE press," but only "press."
*** I did not hear MLK say "right" (an ideological standard), but "rights" (as in full citizenship)
It is disturbing that so many online sources changed Rev. King's words without notifying readers that the speech was altered. One would assume the individual publishers carrying the misprint do not know.
Dr. King was more than a scholarly, peace-loving dreamer. He was a courageous human rights activist whose inspired leadership required that he and thousands of others who were fed up would stand up in the face of powerful government opposition. It is interesting that the text revealing the civil rights leader's willingness to defy illegal injunctions while facing police armed with guns, vicious dogs, and high-powered water hoses would comprise the frequently omitted parts of Dr. King's speech. Most online videotape excerpts of the "Mountaintop" address start with Rev. King saying, "We’ve got some difficult days ahead." Those video excerpts are not useful in verifying the authenticity of this often-misprinted quote, because this quote comes before their starting point. Stanford University has the quote correct at its link: http://www.stanford.edu/group/King/publications/speeches/I've_been_...
One would assume the video presented herein was cut to capture the most memorable portions of Rev. King's “Mountaintop” address. Unlike this video, the written versions all carry Dr. King's description of a plane incident just before the speech's famous conclusion when Dr. King proclaimed having "been to the mountaintop."
Dr. King’s methodology for non-violent social change required suppressed people and their supporters to peacefully assemble and protest for basic citizenship rights in a hostile climate wherein their justice quest was met with fierce dogs, strong water hoses, and worse. Thousands of African Americans were joined by people who were white, Jewish, and other, who stood together for justice during the civil rights movement in the face of illegal injunctions.
Civil rights activists should be heralded by all Americans. Their tenacity taught us that the human spirit is determined to be free, and society is better for the dedication those freedom fighters showed. Their protests against injustice never included rioting, looting, or losing their sense of dignity, unity, and purpose. Young people who protested the shooting death of Oscar Grant by Bay Area Rapid Transit police on New Year's Day are to be commended for demanding justice; however, protesters should take a lesson from Dr. King and the Freedom Riders who stood with him. The civil rights era of the 50's and 60's offers valuable lessons about the effectiveness of non-violent conflict resolution that should be protected and passed down to future generations without censorship. We must all learn to get along and resolve disputes without property damage and bloodshed. See the link below:
Happy Martin Luther King Day to Americans - Strongest People on the Planet!
The online versions of the "Mountaintop" address had omissions described in the quote below in 18 of 20 online sources checked in mid-December 2008. Recurring errors in Dr. King's speech are noted by brackets. Three of the links that featured the misquote follow it, although this writer hopes necessary corrections have been or will be made.
All we say to America is, "Be true to what you said on paper." If I lived in China or even Russia, or any totalitarian country, [omission] maybe I could understand the denial of certain basic First Amendment privileges, because they hadn't [should be "haven't"] committed themselves to that over there. But somewhere I read of the freedom of assembly. Somewhere I read of the freedom of speech. Somewhere I read of the freedom of the [extra word] press. Somewhere I read that the greatness of America is the right to protest for right[omit "s"]. And so just as I say, we aren't going to let [omission] any injunction turn us around.
There are many more examples of Dr. King's final speech being misquoted in online documents while being presented as literal translations. Because identical errors recur in so many publications, this appears to be deliberate misinformation on the part of the person or entity that supplied the speech to publishers.
During the 1970’s, Black History gained popularity in universities because African American history was omitted from or misrepresented in most American History classes. For instance, my high school textbooks of the 1960's and 1970's made little or no mention of slavery, only Pilgrims.
Laws barring the right for Rev. King and other demonstrators to peacefully assemble and petition their government for a redress of grievances were "illegal injunctions." Dogs and water hoses were regularly used against demonstrators. It seems ridiculous for anyone to intentionally change Rev. King's speech to leave out those references, especially since peaceful protests won the great victory of that day. On the other hand, perhaps the deletions in Dr. King’s final speech result from error rather than intentional sabotage. It could be that the censorship this writer faces daily has made her distrustful enough to ask:
WHY IS THERE STILL AN EFFORT TO RE-WRITE BLACK HISTORY?
An article by Karen Hatter at the link below commemorates the 41st anniversary of Dr. King's death and presents a thorough examination of the misinformation that was employed to discredit him and confuse his message. Apparently, this effort never ended.
The 41st Anniversary of the Murder of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Martin Luther King, Jr. and 21st century human rights activists have much in common and apparently face the same opposition. There are striking correlations between Dr. King's struggle for civil rights for African Americans and my own family's efforts to hold America to "what it said on paper." Dr. King's freedom quest ended in Memphis, Tennessee on April 3, 1968, by an assassin's bullet. Suspicions of a police cover-up linger to this day. My family's justice quest began in Memphis on August 1, 2003, with my mentally ill brother's secret arrest and wrongful death while in police custody. Due to an elaborate cover-up, although it is now five years later, Larry Neal's family is not allowed to know why he was secretly arrested or exactly how he died. Authorities refuse to answer his family's simple question: Why and how did Larry Neal die? See http://wrongfuldeathoflarryneal.com
Rev. King was a human rights advocate who devoted himself to liberating oppressed people. He used the Word of God and his gift as an orator to make a positive difference in the world. Since Larry's death, my family started ASSISTANCE TO THE INCARCERATED MENTALLY ILL ("AIMI"), a grassroots human rights organization with an online presence on Care2 and other Internet networks. This writer spends long hours advocating for oppressed mental patients and their families, trying to save others from suffering as my family has by an unjust system of "justice" that appears to use such persons to keep prisons and jails filled and profitable. AIMI also advocates for other people victimized by the justice system, especially prisoners.
Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated. This writer remains home day after day after being followed for months and accosted several times at businesses in her neighborhood by parties unknown. The stalking has been going on ever since Larry Neal's family successfully served a lawsuit to The (Johnnie) Cochran Firm for fraud, alleging that The Cochran Firm contracted with Larry's mother immediately following his death in order to protect Memphis/Shelby County Jail, then merely held the wrongful death lawsuit against the jail to linger inactive on the law firm's shelves while Tennessee's statute of limitations ran for 10.5 months. The statute of limitations on such matters is 12 months in Tennessee; therefore this law firm kept our case inactive until it was too late to find honest lawyers.
The plight of African Americans living under Jim Crow laws and their quest for civil rights spearheaded by Rev. King and other leaders were ignored, met with violence sanctioned by authorities, and censored in mainstream news until the civil rights movement became impossible to ignore. Rev. King took it to the streets. Thousands of protesters joined Rev. King and marched for equal rights under the law. The quest to render basic human rights and civil rights to 1.25 million mental patients who are presently wrongly imprisoned in America for reason of their mental dysfunctions may require a similar effort. Just as Rev. King and his freedom fighters marched across the Jim Crow South, Assistance to the Incarcerated Mentally Ill members march across the Internet to alert the public of the injustice inherent in imprisoning rather than treating citizens for mental illness, challenge capital punishment, and other humanitarian concerns. Many other human rights and civil rights organizations also march online every day.
Atlanta is Martin Luther King's hometown. It is also home of the Court-declared "non-existent" Atlanta Cochran Firm office. It seems to this writer that this law firm took the name of a trusted legal agent for disenfranchised persons and now uses it to prevent and contain lawsuits after the wrongful deaths of African Americans like Billey Joe Johnson, Kathryn Johnston, and Larry Neal. The justice system now incarcerates 1in 9 African American young men. People are made to serve long sentences in prison for infractions that were mere misdemeanors a few years ago. Contrarily, it is nearly impossible to hold the system accountable for infractions against the people - even wrongful death by police. Justice does not seem to work well in the reverse.
People of all races find the apparent emergence of a police state and decline of civil liberties in America alarming. With 1 in every 31 persons either behind bars or living under the immediate threat of prison as parolees or probationers, America has been dubbed a prison nation. Inmates are oftentimes abused and killed, including vulnerable mental patients who should have been treated in hospitals or their communities (depending on their offenses) rather than jailed in the first place. While the investment portfolios of prison investors grow thicker, the chairs around American dinner tables grow fewer because brothers, sisters, uncles, and parents are in prison - 2/3 of whom are arrested for non-violent crimes. Unfortunately, the cruelty within America's prison system rivals that in offshore "War on Terror" determent camps. See this desperate plea for help by Pennsylvania prisoners who fear for their lives, saying they were severely punished when Obama became president by verbal abuse, beatings, electrocution, and starvation, with their punishment allegedly growing more brutal after they reported their torture: http://www.care2.com/c2c/share/detail/1124844
Dr. King and other historical human rights heroes of all races and nations would be disappointed that people in the U.S. have allowed the proliferation of an emerging police state in America without strong and united opposition. While we still have freedom on assembly on the books, people must unite and just say "NO" to injustice prevailing - peacefully, lawfully, and emphatically.
Join us for the Human Rights for Prisoners March in Atlanta on May 16.
See a list of 25 justice issues at the link above which will be addressed by peaceful, concerned people walking together in what is intended to be a multi-racial, multi-cultural march for justice in Dr. King's hometown.
The solution for justice is the same today as Rev. King suggested four decades ago. America must be true to what was said on paper and actually become a nation with equal justice for all.
Assistance to the Incarcerated Mentally Ill
at Care2: http://www.care2.com/c2c/group/AIMI
Author's Website: http://wrongfuldeathoflarryneal.com
Author's Page: http://www.care2.com/c2c/people/profile.html?pid=513396753
Let no man pull you so low that you hate him. Always avoid violence. If you sow seeds of violence in your struggle, unborn generations will reap the whirlwind of social disintegration. ~ Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.