Daily News Digest April 3, 2020

Tommorrow, April 4, 1968 Martin Luther King  Was Assassinated

Another Example Capitalism as a Failed System: World Capilalism Was Aware of the Danger of Cornovavirus Threat 4 Years Ago and Did Nothing!

Capitalism Does Not, and Never Has, Worked for the Masses! In Its Death Agony, Capitalism Is Traveling About The World Like The Four Horsemen of the The Apocalypse, Spreading War, Famine, Pestilence, and Death. The very future of Humanity Is Now At stake!occupy1

Daily News Digest Archives

Laura Gray’s cartoon from the front page of The Militant August 18, 1945, under banner headline: “There Is No Peace”

During This Economic Crisis, Capitalism’s Three-Point Political Program: 1.Austerity, 2.Scapegoat Blacks, Minorities, and ‘Illegal’ Immigrants for Unemployment, and 3.  The Iron Heel!  Always Remember:  That President Obama, With a Majority Democrat Legislature Supported the Wall Street Bailout and Remember, That he Established, in writing,  the United States Capitalist Austerity Program. —  The Race to the Bottom/Pauperization of the 99%!

Democracy?:As the Capitalist Robber Barons Steal from the 99%,  Only the 1% Voted For Austerity!   The 99% Should Decide On Austerity — Not Just The 1% Who, Profit From Austerity!!  Under Austerity, All of the World Will Eventually Be Pauperized, Humbled, and Desecrated Like Greece and Puerto Rico.!   Socialism Means True Democracy, that the 99% Will Rule, Not the Few!

Images of the Day:

‘I Am a Man’ March 29, 1968: Scene in Memphis

Striking Memphis sanitation workers resumed their daily marches March 29, 1968 – one day after rioting left Main and Beale littered with bricks and broken glass and dappled with blood. The city was taking no chances on a repeat of the violence: National Guardsmen in armored personnel carriers equipped with 50-caliber machine guns escorted the marchers. (By Barney Sellers / copyright, The Commercial Appeal)

Bendib: Essential Biz

Quote of the Day:

Martin Luther Kings stated his outlook at his speech to SCLC Convention of Aug. 1967:

. . .“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. ’Who owns this oil? … Who owns the iron ore?… Why is it that people have to pay water bills in a world that is two-thirds water?’ . . . On Page 602, A testament of hope: the essential writings and speeches of Martin Luther: King states the course that he was planning to take in the fight for economic equality:“The Emergence of social initiatives by a revitalized labor movement would be taking place as Negros are placing economic issues on the highest agenda. The coalition of an energized section of labor, Negroes, unemployed, and welfare recipients may be the source of power that reshapes economic relationships and ushers in a breakthrough to a new level of social reform.”. . . He continues on Page 631: “There is nothing except shortsightedness to prevent us from guaranteeing an annual minimum — and livable — income for every American family.“There is nothing but a lack of social vision to prevent us from paying an adequate wage to every American citizen whether he be a hospital worker, laundry worker, maid, or day laborer.“There is nothing, except a tragic death wish, to prevent us from reordering our priorities, so that the pursuit of peaces will take precedence over the pursuit of war. There is nothing to keep us from remolding a recalcitrant status quo with bruised hands until we have fashioned it into a true brotherhood.” . . .

. . . These words have even more meaning in today’s world. At that time, the stock market was below 1,000 points. Today, it is above 10,000 points, and yet conditions for Blacks are still lower than after World War II.  At the time of their assassinations, both Martin Luther King and Malcolm X were embarking on a course in opposition to thecapitalist system. It is clear from reading and listening to their final speeches that they had both evolved to similar conclusions of capitalism’s role in the maintenance of racism. That is why they were “neutralized”. . . .  Unlike Malcolm X, who never got the opportunity to act upon his convictions, Martin Luther King was organizing a movement to obtain his stated goals when he was assassinated in Memphis. He was in Memphis to build “the coalition of an energized section of labor, Negroes, unemployed, and welfare recipients” in support of striking municipal garbage workers. If such a force had been launched, the whole power of the anti-war and civil rights movement in the 1960s could have transformed the labor movement and become “the source of power that reshapes economic relationships and ushers in a breakthrough to a new level of social reform.” Such a coalition, as King envisioned it 52 years ago, is needed today. The best tribute to Martin Luther King and Malcolm X would be to begin anew to build a movement based on the ideas and the concepts that they had developed at the time of their untimely deaths. — The Assassinations of M.L.K. Jr. and Malcolm X

Videos of the Day:


The United States is not a Democracy (A government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised by them directly)! Only the 1%, through their ownership of the Republicrats and who profit from war and the war budget, vote for War and the war budget — A policy, which Gore Vidal called a  Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace. — The 99% Should Decide On War — Not Just The 1% Who Profit From War!  Under a Democracy, The 99% would have the right to vote on the policy of Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace! The United States takes from the poor and gives to the Rich.

Coronavirus Updates

The Rebber BaronGovernment:

Trump Throws Up ‘Outrageous’ Roadblock for Seniors, People With Disabilities in Need of $1,200 Checks “The Trump administration is throwing up an unnecessary barrier that will make it harder for seniors, people with disabilities, and veterans to get the payments they desperately need.” By Jake Johnson

Evidence Shows Trump—Who Says He Knew Covid-19 ‘Going to Be Horrible’—Let Exports of Key Supplies to Continue “In the absence of early detection and purchasing agreements, crucial medical supplies have been ferried out from American manufacturers for foreign markets.” By Julia Conley

‘Moving to Rob Us Blind in Broad Daylight’? Trump to Hold In-Person Meeting With Big Oil CEOs to Discuss Coronavirus Relief “Right now money is needed for people’s health, direct relief, and making sure we have a resilient future—not bolstering the fossil fuel industry.” By Jake Johnson  New Disclosure Reveals Sen. Kelly Loeffler and Her Husband Dumped Retail Stock and Bought Shares In a Company That Manufacturers Medical Supplies New disclosure reveals Sen. Kelly Loeffler and her husband dumped retail stock and bought shares in a company that manufacturers medical supplies By Grace Panetta

  • Kelly Loeffler just disclosed more stock trades, including shares in retail companies she sold and ones she bought in Dupont, which makes medical supplies, The Atlanta-Journal Constitution reported.
  • After she attended a January 24 closed-door briefing on the COVID-19 outbreak, Loeffler dumped hundreds of thousandsof dollars in stocks while also buying up shares in telecommuting software.

Loeffler and her representatives have rejected criticism that she used her position in the Senate and access to top information to dump stocks before the market plummeted, saying neither she nor her husband have direct control over their portfolios.

Chomsky: Ventilator Shortage Exposes the Cruelty of Neoliberal Capitalism COVID-19 has taken the world by storm. Hundreds of thousands are infected (possibly many times more than the confirmed cases), the list of dead is growing exponentially longer, and capitalist economies have come to a standstill, with a global recession now virtually inevitable.  The pandemic had been predicted long before its appearance, but actions to prepare for such a crisis were barred by the cruel imperatives of an economic order in which “there’s no profit in preventing a future catastrophe,” Noam Chomsky points out in this exclusive interview for Truthout. Chomsky is emeritus professor of linguistics at MIT and laureate professor at the University of Arizona, author of more than 120 books and thousands of articles and essays. In the interview that follows, he discusses how neoliberal capitalism itself is behind the U.S.’s failed response to the pandemic. By C.J. Polychroniou


Pulverized: Capitalism, Africa and Covid-19 In the Global North it is a ‘novel threat.’ In the South, it extends the common experience of brutal assaults accompanied by waves of illness and death The Covid-19 pandemic is one of the greatest crises of our era – though the elements of the crisis, as they are now being experienced in the Global South and North, are not entirely unusual. State and military enforced restrictions on free movement, imposed isolation, curfews, with towns and cities locked down, are not unique in our lifetime, though they might be in the richest countries in the world. By Leo Zeilig and Hannah Cross

Civil Rights/ Black Liberation:

“The American Disease”: Only the Overthrow of the Oligarchy Will Cure It Although the coronavirus provided the trigger for the current global shrinkage, the economic crisis was already looming when the pathogen made its physical appearance. “The Race to the Bottom cannot coexist with a living wage or a truly universal national health care system.” Donald Trump mouths the words “Chinese disease” with a racist sneer, playing a juvenile game of “dozens” while the world economy shrinks. Although the geographic origin of Covid-19 is open to question , the prime vector of chronic global economic sickness is indisputably the United States – the place where all the symptoms of late stage capitalism in chaotic decline are on full display. By Glen Ford, BAR Executive EditorFreedom Rider: COVID-19 and Black Workers The gross inequalities and declining standards of life in the US are magnified by the corona crisis, pushing already marginalized populations to the brink. “The supposedly great nation is just a failed state with a big army and a powerful oligarchy.” There is an old saying that if America catches a cold, black people get pneumonia. The communicable disease reference is especially relevant now that the COVID-19 corona virus pandemic has created a crisis in this country. A privatized health care system worsened a medical emergency whose impact could have been mitigated if the United States was as advanced as it claims to be. Now most of the country is in some form of lockdown, sheltering in place or other By Margaret Kimberley, BAR senior columnistChina and Cuba’s Medical Internationalism is a Shining Example of Global Solidarity China sends medical equipment abroad, Cuba sends doctors and cutting-edge drugs, but the US fails to provide its people, doctors and nurses with basic tools and protection. “How is it that the entire capitalist economy can grind to a halt while trillions continue to be pumped into waging war abroad?” U.S. imperialism has loathed China and Cuba ever since the mid-20th century when both nations pursued a revolutionary path and replaced the yoke of imperialism with their own forms of socialism. Americans are constantly bombarded with anti-communist and racist talking points which depict China and Cuba as “authoritarian” states that kill, torture, and repress the so-called democratic aspirations of their own people. The corporate media portrays the people of Cuba and China as backward stereotypes worthy only of the imperial targets placed on their backs. Most people residing in the U.S. are either unaware of their government’s imperialist war crimes or find themselves too distracted to fight the U.S. sanctions against Cuba or the dangerous military provocations that successive U.S. presidential administrations have waged against China. The COVID-19 pandemic currently wreaking havoc on the U.S. and the West challenges the very legitimacy of the imperialist narrative against China and Cuba for the sheer fact that these maligned nations have been able to organize a heroic campaign of global solidarity to control the spread of the disease. By Danny Haiphong, BAR Contributing EditorPentagon Orders All Installations to Stop Reporting COVID-19 Infections and Deaths  This is going to become a problem for the Pentagon, whether it’s on Navy destroyers, submarines, and aircraft carriers or the 800+ bases. “The Space Command will be one more operation trying to get in line while we don’t have masks, gloves, gowns, ventilators, ICUs, or even tests.” The Pentagon has ordered  all its commands, bases, and personnel to stop reporting statistics on COVID-19 infections and deaths in the US military, citing “operational security concerns.” By Ann Garrison, BAR Contributing Editor
Flattening the curve on Capitalism? CEO from Boeing to CEO from Wells Fargo, By BAR Poet-in-Residence Raymond Nat TurnerIheard by the flies on walls at Mar-a-Lago:
“It’s their health or our economy— we get to choose…”
“Yes, like ’08— Heads we win—and tails they loose?”
“Gentlemen, toast to health risk over economic risk—
and let’s be like Mike, with cures like stop and frisk…”

COVID-19: The Capitalist Emperor Has no Clothes The systemic failure of the capitalist order triggered by the coronavirus has reinforced the growing awareness that extreme wealth inequality is a fundamental characteristic of the system. “Billions of dollars were allocated to business while millions of people are facing an increasingly desperate situation.” As the capitalist emperor strolls down the avenue of U.S. public opinion butt-naked but for the first time since the 1930s, more and more people are starting to realize that they were not crazy. The brutal failures of the capitalist system that they saw were not a figment of their imagination or a diversion from their own personal failures. Instead, they were the awful reality of degradation, dehumanization and social insecurity embedded in the system. Many could see that reality but wouldn’t allow themselves to believe their own eyes and experiences. They couldn’t call it out like the kid in the fable – until now.  By Ajamu Baraka, BAR editorRacial Profiling Disorder: the All-American Pandemic  RAPROD carriers are convinced that blacks disproportionately carry guns and other contraband.“Cellphone cameras and access to social media have become a mandatory survival tool like condoms during the HIV/AIDs crisis.” “Please, please help me. No, I don’t want to put handcuffs on. No! Don’t put handcuffs on! No, I want to stay in school, I just got here. Let go of me. No, please let me go…I don’t wanna go in a police car. No, please give me a second chance!” By John G. Russell

BAR Abolition & Mutual Aid Spotlight: Mutual Aid Disaster Relief The system is a disaster and the victims can best determine their own needs — only the people save the people. “Mutual aid builds power from below, more effectively than any other means.” In this feature, we ask organizers involved in mutual aid projects to share a little bit about their work. We understand mutual aid work as the part of social movement organizing that meets people’s direct needs. Unlike charity work, however, mutual aid is part of a broader strategy to address the root causes of injustice by mobilizing people to dismantle structures of domination and build the world we want. By Dean Spade and Roberto Sirvent, BAR Contributors“I’m Detained at Rikers Island and I’m Sick With Coronavirus” “The corrections officers think it’s a joke, and I be telling them, ‘This is serious, man.’” “The Department of Corrections is not prepared to handle this crisis.” With around ten thousand people packed into its cells, New York’s Rikers Island prison is today a hotbed of contagion. There have been 103 inmates and eighty staff who have officially tested positive for COVID-19 in New York’s jails already — and, given the delays in test results, the real count is likely far higher. Given the risk to human life, recent days have seen mounting calls for prisoners to be released. By Jojo Goldman

The Roots of Organizing: The Young Lords’ Revolution Historian Johanna Fernández makes the case for the Young Lords as profound thinkers as well as highly capable street activists. “The Lords synthesized ideology with practical political activity pretty much on the fly and constructed an urban version of liberation theology along the way.” By Ed Morales South African Police Unleash Water Cannons and Rubber Bullets During Virus Lockdown The lockdown included bans on any sales of alcohol and cigarettes and even barred exercises outside the home.  “Police were accused of tasering and beating a man to death after the man was caught going to buy beer.”Despite efforts by President Cyril Ramaphosa to  enforce a pandemic lockdown at South Africa’s overcrowded slums without violence, defense forces were reported to be joining police in firing on the community with rubber bullets and water cannons. By Global Information NetworkOn Being Black, Southern And Rural In The Time Of COVID-19  The states in brown opted not to expand Medicaid under Obamacare. Elders and already sick folks are at risk down South, the Blackest region of the nation with the worst health care. “Black Southerners are once again in this nation’s peripheral vision—even as the global pandemic threatens to devastate our communities.”Just weeks ago, Black Southerners were the talk of the nation. What issues we support. What candidates were courting us for our vote in the Democratic primary. We went from constantly ignored and under-resourced to the focus of national conversations. We went from unimportant to shifting what was possible in regards to who would become the next president of the United States. We went from being abandoned and, in some cases, mocked, to issues that impact us being front and center in national debates and polls. By Ash-Lee Woodard Henderson


Italian Workers Issue An Appeal to the Workers Of The World The comrades of the IMT in Italy, Sinistra Classe Rivoluzione launched a campaign, “Workers are not cannon fodder” for the closure of all non-essential production, with the workers to be sent home on full pay, and where work is deemed essential for full protective equipment to be provided and safety procedures strictly adhered to. Their campaign appeal saw over 200 trade union shop stewards and activists sign up immediately, and more workers are signing every day. Add your name to show your support! ‘Never Seen Anything Like It’: Economists Warn 6.6 Million New Jobless Claims Portend Unparalleled Crisis “A portrait of disaster. Unemployment insurance claims for the last two weeks are mind-blowing.” By Jake Johnson


Fed’s Balance Sheet Blasts to $5.8 Trillion; Suggests Fed Is Back to Bailing Out Foreign Banks along with Wall Street At 4:30 p.m. today, the Federal Reserve released the shocking details of what it has been up to in the past week. Its balance sheet has skyrocketed from $5.3 trillion as of March 25 to $5.85 trillion yesterday, a growth of $557 billion in one week’s time.    One of the factors affecting this growth was a $142 billion jump in the amount of its Central Bank Liquidity Swaps, where it provides dollars to foreign central banks in exchange for their local currency. During the last financial crisis, some of these dollar swaps were used to bail out global foreign banks that were in trouble. Given the current condition of numerous European banks, and their ties through derivatives to Wall Street’s mega banks, there is every reason to believe these dollar swaps are another thinly disguised bailout of a Frankenbank-financial system – for the second time in 12 years.    Sopping up all of that surplus debt the U.S. government took on to launch that big corporate tax cut in 2017 was also a factor in the growth of the Fed’s balance sheet – as it will continue to be. The Fed increased its purchases of U.S. Treasuries that are flooding Wall Street by $362 billion in one week’s time, giving it a new total of $3.34 trillion of Treasury securities on its balance sheet. It calls this maneuver Quantitative Easing but it’s actually an unwanted debt mop-up operation. By Pam Martens and Russ Martens

Citigroup, an Admitted Felon with a History of Abusing Customers, Is Handling Billions from the Stimulus Bill Yesterday CNBC reported that Citigroup is one of the banks selected by the Small Business Administration to handle billions of dollars earmarked in last week’s stimulus bill to help small businesses get back on their feet and keep their employees paid during the coronavirus crisis. Citigroup’s Citicorp subsidiary was charged with, and pleaded guilty to, a criminal felony count brought by the U.S. Department of Justice on May 20, 2015 for its role in rigging foreign currency trading. Its rap sheet for a long series of abuses to its customers and investors since 2008 is nothing short of breathtaking. (See its rap sheet at the end of this article.) By Pam Martens and Russ Martens


LIVE tomorrow: Alan Woods on coronavirus and the world crisis of capitalism Alan Woods (editor of marxist.com) will join us for a special live broadcast, in which he will discuss the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the worst-ever crisis of capitalism. Tune in at 5pm (BST) to watch the stream on marxist.com, via YouTube, or our social media channels. The coronavirus outbreak has dealt a savage blow to the world economy and political situation. The leaders of most countries initially downplayed the severity of the emergency in an attempt to keep business going, and are now desperately scrambling to stabilise the situation and avoid social unrest.

Health, Science, Education, and Welfare:

The government of the United States can pass laws in a few days to spend tens of trillions of dollars for war and the bailout of Wall Street and the bankers. Yet, those who ‘governn’, pass universal healthcare for themselves, but they cannot spend even one trillion dollars for universal health for those who are ‘governed’! This is what is considered, by the powers to be,  a democracy and part of the democratic way. — Roland Sheppard, Let the People  Vote on Healthcare! 

Book Review: ‘Why the U.S. Government Assassinated Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr.’ Review by Roger Hollander of the book by Roland Sheppard, just published by ReMarx Publishing

The question of who ordered the assassinations of Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr. is a vital one, and thousands of pages have been written on the issue. Those who dismiss the notion that the United States government would engage in assassination — by characterizing those who believe this as “conspiracy nuts” — willfully ignore the 1975 Church Committee Report that exposed covert, illegal government activities and the many CIA-orchestrated assassinations and coups d’etat from Africa to Latin America.  The CIA’s experience with overseas assassinations has given it more than enough expertise to conduct domestic assassinations, with the added advantage of having control over investigating agencies at the local, state and national levels.
Deciding criminal guilt is largely based on proving means, motive and opportunity. When it comes to political assassination, the key question is motive.  Powerful government institutions possess, or can easily obtain, the means and the opportunity to conduct an assassination and divert attention to “a lone gunman” or a patsy like Lee Harvey Oswald. The mainstream media conveniently forget this fact as they rush to legitimize wacky theories that take the heat off the CIA, FBI, NSA and police.
In “Why the U.S. Government Assassinated Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr.,” Roland Sheppard exposes the U.S. government’s motive for assassinating Malcolm X in New York’s Audubon Ballroom on Feb. 21, 1965, and Martin Luther King Jr. at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis on April 4, 1968. The fact that Sheppard is one of the few remaining eye witnesses to the assassination of Malcolm X adds a note of immediacy and authenticity to his analysis.
Sheppard describes the unusual absence of security on the day of Malcolm X’s assassination, and he recounts his personal observations of what happened in the crucial moments. He tells of a second suspect apprehended that day by the New York Police, a man whose existence later disappeared from the official version of events.  However, when Sheppard was interrogated at the Harlem Police Station, he saw this man walking freely into one of the offices. Sheppard recognized him as the assassin.
In 1999, the King family launched a civil suit to expose the facts surrounding the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. The conclusion: “After considering all the evidence, a Memphis jury ruled that someone other than James Earl Ray had been the shooter … that the City of Memphis, the state of Tennessee and federal government agencies were all involved in the assassination.”
The heart of Sheppard’s work is his analysis of the motive for these two government assassinations.
There is nothing more threatening to the U.S. corporate elite, the government, the military and the mass media than the prospect of revolution. Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr. were developing beyond their original Black liberation philosophies. They were emerging as powerful advocates and organizers for revolutionary change in the American economic and political system.
In his final years, Malcolm X expanded the fight against racism to include the fight against poverty and war. In 1962, he supported striking hospital workers in New York City. And he was the first mass leader in the United States to publically oppose America’s war against Vietnam.
In his speech at the Oxford Union in 1964, Malcolm X gives Shakespeare a revolutionary twist. He begins with the famous question: “Whether it was nobler in the mind of man to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, or to take up arms against a sea of troubles and, by opposing, end them. His answer: And I go for that. If you take up arms you’ll end it, but if you sit around and wait for the one who’s in power to make up his mind that he should end it, you’ll be waiting a long time.”
There is nothing more threatening to the U.S. corporate elite, the government, the military and the mass media than the prospect of revolution. Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr. were developing beyond their original Black liberation philosophies. They were emerging as powerful advocates and organizers for revolutionary change in the American economic and political system.
The U.S. government also feared Malcolm X’s growing international stature and the political connections he was making in Africa, Asia and Latin America.
Sheppard reminds us that Malcolm X met with Che Guevara and the Cuban delegation to the United Nations in New York, in December of 1964. He was invited by Ahmed Ben Bella, the leader of the Algerian revolution, to participate along with Che and other independence movement leaders at a conference in Bandung beginning March 3, 1965.
He had also arranged for the issue of human rights violations against Afro-Americans to be considered on March 12, 1965, by the International Court of Justice at the Hague. His assassination put an end to all of this. Ben Bella had been assassinated just four months later.
Fighting Words
Martin Luther King Jr. was also beginning to challenge a political system that profits from racism. Sheppard cites King’s speech at the Southern Christian Leadership Conference Convention in August 1967:
“Why are there 40 million poor people in America? … (W)hen you begin to ask that question, you are raising a question about the economic system, about a broader distribution of wealth … (Y)ou begin to question the capitalist economy.”
King pointed out that the Northern liberals, who had given moral and financial support to end Jim Crow laws in the South, would not support the effort to eliminate economic segregation. As Sheppard states: “Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated to subvert the Poor People’s Campaign. King was building a mass movement against poverty, and those who profit from poverty were determined to stop him.”
Martin Luther King Jr. was also beginning to challenge a political system that profits from racism. King’s opposition to the U.S. war against Vietnam sent shivers down the back of the military-industrial complex. In his historic sermon at the Riverside Church in New York on April 4, 1967, sometimes referred to as the greatest MLK speech you never heard of, King exclaimed:
Money that should have been spent on Johnson’s War on Poverty was being lost in Vietnam’s killing fields … A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death …We are taking the Black young men who had been crippled by our society and sending them 8,000 miles away to guarantee liberties in Southeast Asia which they had not found in Southwest Georgia and East Harlem. So we have been repeatedly faced with the cruel irony of watching Negro and white boys on TV screens as they kill and die together for a nation that has been unable to seat them together in the same schools.
King called for a coalition of labor, anti-racist, anti-poverty and anti-war activists; and a united movement poses the greatest threat to the status quo.\
King called for a coalition of labor, anti-racist, anti-poverty and anti-war activists; and a united movement poses the greatest threat to the status quo.
In his book on Malcolm X, George Breitman states, “Malcolm was not yet a Marxist.” A reviewer of Breitman’s work added, “Not yet! But it was only a matter of time.”
Malcolm X wrote: “It is impossible for capitalism to survive, primarily because the system of capitalism needs some blood to suck. Capitalism used to be like an eagle, but now it’s more like a vulture. It used to be strong enough to go and suck anybody’s blood whether they were strong or not. But now it has become more cowardly, like the vulture, and it can only suck the blood of the helpless. As the nations of the world free themselves, then capitalism has less victims, less to suck, and it becomes weaker and weaker. It’s only a matter of time in my opinion before it will collapse completely.”
Martin Luther King Jr. may not have been as far along the road of rejecting capitalism for socialism. Nevertheless, I believe that this was also a matter of time. In a 1966 speech to his staff, King explained: “(S)omething is wrong … with capitalism … There must be a better distribution of wealth and maybe America must move toward a democratic socialism.”  The U.S. government was determined that neither of these fighters should be allowed to have that time. However, before moving to assassinate them, it tried to “neutralize” them.
Sheppard describes the activities of COINTELPRO, the FBI’s program to infiltrate, disrupt and destroy the Civil Rights Movement, the Anti-Vietnam War movement and any other threat to the status quo.
FBI boss J. Edgar Hoover called King “the most dangerous Negro” and tried to blackmail him into silence. To discredit Malcolm X, the FBI paid an informer inside the Nation of Islam. When these efforts failed, assassination was the final option.
The U.S. government assassinated Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr. because they rightly came to understand and challenge the capitalist economic system, its social impact – war, poverty, injustice, environmental disaster – and its reliance on racism to divide and conquer.
Sheppard concludes with an appeal to action; we must learn the truth about Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr. so we can carry their vision forward and conclude the struggle they so bravely began.
Roland Sheppard describes himself as a retired business representative of Painters Local 4 in San Francisco, a lifelong social activist and socialist. Prior to being elected as a union official in 1994, he worked for 31 years as a house painter. Roland Sheppard’s Daily News is accessible at https://rolandsheppard.com/.