Monday, January 20, 2014

The Reverend Doctor King: A Footnote

While researching something else entirely, I came across the following at the website for The Martin Luther King Jr Center for Nonviolent Social Change (aka “The King Center”), located in Atlanta, Georgia. It received very little attention in the press at the time, possibly overshadowed by events related to the end of a millennium:

After four weeks of testimony and over 70 witnesses in a civil trial in Memphis, Tennessee, twelve jurors reached a unanimous verdict on December 8, 1999 after about an hour of deliberations that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated as a result of a conspiracy. In a press statement held the following day in Atlanta, Mrs. Coretta Scott King welcomed the verdict, saying:

“There is abundant evidence of a major high level conspiracy in the assassination of my husband, Martin Luther King, Jr. And the civil court's unanimous verdict has validated our belief. I wholeheartedly applaud the verdict of the jury and I feel that justice has been well served in their deliberations. This verdict is not only a great victory for my family, but also a great victory for America. It is a great victory for truth itself. It is important to know that this was a SWIFT verdict, delivered after about an hour of jury deliberation. The jury was clearly convinced by the extensive evidence that was presented during the trial that, in addition to Mr. Jowers, the conspiracy of the Mafia, local, state and federal government agencies, were deeply involved in the assassination of my husband. The jury also affirmed overwhelming evidence that identified someone else, not James Earl Ray, as the shooter, and that Mr. Ray was set up to take the blame. I want to make it clear that my family has no interest in retribution. Instead, our sole concern has been that the full truth of the assassination has been revealed and adjudicated in a court of law ...

My husband once said: ‘The moral arc of the universe is long, but it bends toward justice.’ To-day, almost 32 years after my husband and the father of my four children was assassinated, I feel that the jury's verdict clearly affirms this principle. With this faith, we can begin the 21st century and the new millennium with a new spirit of hope and healing.”

If this writer has learned one thing in more than thirty years of living and working in the Nation's capital, it is never to put anything past anybody. For the right price, for the right incentive, most people will do anything, anything at all, and sleep like a baby that night. Some of the "nicest guys" I ever met in this town, are guys I wouldn't trust farther than I could throw them (which is an option I have considered in those cases). It is a sad commentary on the human condition, and yet, if you ever doubt the ability of man to do unspeakable evil without regret, tell that to nearly half a million people who will converge on this city the day after tomorrow.

They don't need convincing. Do you?

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