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Pacifica Forum lecture to focus on MLK, communism

The Pacifica Forum plans to hold a lecture titled “Martin Luther King: Communist?” today (Friday) at 4 p.m. in the Walnut Room of the EMU. The poster for the lecture describes it as “a discussion of whether or not Martin Luther King was a communist and of implications of the answers.”

That’s it. I am beyond disgusted with the Pacifica Forum. For those not familiar with it, the forum is ostensibly dedicated to discussing pacifism and militarism, but in reality the majority of their lectures are nothing but thinly-veiled, anti-Semitic drivel. Some former members claim the PF is now home to a number of white separatists, so I guess it’s material has expanded appropriately. While I believe the forum should have the freedom to present whatever psychotic lectures they please, I also believe organizations and institutions should have the freedom to associate or not associate with whomever they please. Is this really the kind of thing the University of Oregon wants to support? I will be going to cover the lecture, so expect a detailed report tomorrow.

A final aside: I’m aware that MLK was critical of capitalism in many of his speeches; in fact, he seemed to favor democratic socialism. However, I don’t see what the possible “implications” of this are, besides the PF using it to try and discredit the man and the Civil Rights Movement as a whole. If you still think I’m being reactionary, read about past Pacifica Forum insanity here, here, here and in the Holiday Issue of the OC.

  1. Vincent. says:

    My initial reaction was the same as Olly’s. I would’ve thought that the PF’s intent was to claim MLK as a communist, rather than denounce him as one.

  2. guest says:

    Pacifica Forum is nuts and thrives on the “controversy” surrounding them. You might want to look at how they get free use of campus facilities without having any members of the campus. (Their esteemed leader is long since retired from teaching.)

    “Where do we go from here?”
    King’s last, and most radical, Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) presidential address

    I want to say to you as I move to my conclusion, as we talk about “Where do we go from here,” that we honestly face the fact that the movement must address itself to the question of restructuring the whole of American society. There are forty million poor people here. And one day we must ask the question, “Why are there forty million poor people in America?” And when you begin to ask that question, you are raising questions about the economic system, about a broader distribution of wealth. When you ask that question, you begin to question the capitalistic economy. And I’m simply saying that more and more, we’ve got to begin to ask questions about the whole society. We are called upon to help the discouraged beggars in life’s marketplace. But one day we must come to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring. It means that questions must be raised. You see, my friends, when you deal with this, you begin to ask the question, “Who owns the iron ore?” You begin to ask the question, “Why is it that people have to pay water bills in a world that is two-thirds water?” These are questions that must be asked.

    Now, don’t think that you have me in a “bind” today. I’m not talking about communism.

    What I’m saying to you this morning is that communism forgets that life is individual. Capitalism forgets that life is social, and the kingdom of brotherhood is found neither in the thesis of communism nor the antithesis of capitalism but in a higher synthesis. It is found in a higher synthesis that combines the truths of both. Now, when I say question the whole society, it means ultimately coming to see that the problems of racism, the problem of economic exploitation, and the problem of war are all tied together.

  3. Olly says:

    “However, I don

  4. who you rooting for between the two?

    any names on running mates after the primary?

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