Talk:Martin Luther King Jr.

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Who[edit]

who's the idiot who wrote that incoherent crap anyway?????????????? — Unsigned, by: 213.9.47.115 / talk / contribs

Averting edit wars[edit]

We really don't need this page to contain apologia for slavery, needless red-baiting, and whitewashing the conduct of the government toward King. So let's talk about things here.TallMan (talk) 12:22, 23 April 2018 (UTC)

Wow! Simmer down, there, @TallMan! It is a fact that people have been enslaving each other for pretty much all of human history; and it wasn't just Africans who got enslaved. MLK's proposal of reparation for Blacks is therefore insensible. We don't need more discriminatory treatments. So why don't we all just learn from the past and move on? People today are not responsible for the mistakes of their ancestors. Red-baiting? MLK himself admitted his socialist tendencies. Whitewashing government conduct towards him? I left that section largely intact. (Yes, many Founding Fathers were slave owners, but they clearly did not invent slavery. They inherited it. It makes no sense to judge people from way back when using moral standards of today. The fact that we no longer do some of the things they do is a sign of progress. Don't you think? I'm not sure why that bit is relevant, so I removed it.)
Thanks for reaching out. I hope we can resolve this to everyone's satisfaction. Nerd (talk) 14:35, 23 April 2018 (UTC)
First, I'm not too happy about the attempt to preemptively cast me as emotional here by telling me to simmer down. That's a cheap rhetorical trick, and I'll thank you to stop being a dickhead by using those sorts of gambits. On to the content: the fact that people have been enslaving each other for most of human history is irrelevant. MLK was concerned with slavery in the American context, and most notably in the American South. Hereditary chattel slavery, as practiced in the South, overwhelmingly involved people of African descent. In addition, the aftereffects of slavery (again, especially in the South) fell disproportionately on blacks. In light of these facts, and on MLK's goals, it makes perfect sense for MLK to focus on the treatment of blacks. Your request that we "learn from the past and move on" overlooks the ways in which the effects of hundreds of years of chattel slavery and systemic racism linger into the present day. You can't simply "move on" until this has been dealt with. It's like trying to "move on" from a broken leg before setting the bone and letting it heal.
On red-baiting: acknowledging that MLK was socialist is fine. But that's not what you did - your edits included things like adding parenthetical commie-bashing remarks to the quote from "I have a dream" and defending the US's involvement in Vietnam, which are irrelevant at best. It's needless anti-communist propaganda and it does nothing to improve people's understanding of MLK or relevant issues.
When it comes to discussing King's treatment by the US gov't, you've made some edits that completely obliterate the existence of the gov't campaign against King. Here's your version of the first sentence of the relevant section:
"For all his remarkable achievements for civil rights in the United States, Martin Luther King was, unfortunately, a Communist sympathizer who opposed American involvement in Vietnam at a fateful time. His image is further tarnished by his personal conduct."
And here's the existing version:
In an attempt to detract from his achievements, the United States government conducted a prolonged campaign intended to undermine King's power and reputation; they tried to label him as a communist sympathizer, and to discredit him by revealing him to be "amoral" in his personal relationships.
You'll notice that your version doesn't mention that the gov't engaged in a campaign to discredit King. That's pretty much a textbook example of whitewashing the US's conduct.
Oh, and when it comes to judging historical figures by today's moral standards: of course it makes sense for us to do that. We do it all the time. You did it when you said that our conduct being different than theirs is a sign of progress. Not only can we do it, we ought to do it. We ought to acknowledge that Jefferson and Washington were slaveowning shitheads who helped build a country and a society that was good in some ways and deeply profoundly evil in others.TallMan (talk) 16:24, 23 April 2018 (UTC)

Whitewashing?[edit]

You concerned they're trying to subvert your monopoly on what MLK was, said and meant? "I had a nightmare: That idiots would get7 my message ass-backwards and little black kids start telling little hiwt7e kids to check their privilege" P.S.: Captcha with roads to trigegr libertarians, lol. --46.5.16.116 (talk) 16:52, 3 June 2018 (UTC)

Evidence?[edit]

"King understood that Goldwater and later Richard Nixon were preparing their Southern strategy, wherein, after generations of voting Democrat, Dixie would flip overnight and become the strongest supporter of Lincoln's party."

Is there any evidence that the Dixiecrats switched parties overnight? There is no citation. 68.0.189.224 (talk) 19:11, 25 August 2018 (UTC)

I doubt they flipped overnight. The phrase can be metaphorical: "rapidly" or "over one election season" (most precise one), which makes it problematic. If it's literally overnight, it should have "literally" included and be backed with a good source. If it's metaphorical, it should be more precise, such as the aforementioned "over one season". --It's-a me, Lgm sigpic.png LeftyGreenMario! 21:52, 25 August 2018 (UTC)

Contradiction[edit]

  • "Was close associates with a communist.Wikipedia"
  • "The FBI bugged his home, his office, and hotel rooms in the cities he traveled to. The taps were part of an attempt to frame Stanley Levison, a lawyer King had ties to, as a communist. King adamantly denied that he or anyone in the freedom movement were communists."

CowHouse (talk) 04:54, 14 September 2018 (UTC)

homophobia[edit]

it is simply false to say homophobia is in any way a legacy of mlk when there is no record of anything he has said on the subject either privately or publicly. the answer he gave in a magazine is literally all there is and is far from damning. its ill informed by todays standards, but for a church man from the 50s when the prevailing view was that homosexuality was a dangerous mental illness and listed as such by the APA, its politely and gently put advice.

when this is all there is, it is not sanitizing his image nor is it excusing homophobia to remove a claim not supported by any evidence from his own words or from people close to him. even his wife and daughter cannot say

it is simply not known what his true views were. it is false to suggest otherwise. AMassiveGay (talk) 09:44, 13 June 2020 (UTC)

it is simply false to say homophobia is in any way a legacy of mlk when there is no record of anything he has said on the subject either privately or publicly.
it is simply not known what his true views were.

the answer he gave in a magazine is literally all there is and is far from damning. its ill informed by todays standards, but for a church man from the 50s when the prevailing view was that homosexuality was a dangerous mental illness and listed as such by the APA, its politely and gently put advice.

Please read your own response when you try to whitewash an article once again. Unless you give me actual arguments, I will keep reverting your whitewashing attempts. — Godless Raven 🌹 Heretic 10:01, 13 June 2020 (UTC)
i've literally just gave my argument you fucknut. its pretty simple. how about you defend your argument for once? AMassiveGay (talk) 10:06, 13 June 2020 (UTC)
You refuted yourself there. There is not much to say. — Godless Raven 🌹 Heretic 10:10, 13 June 2020 (UTC)
Adding that section in seems quite unnecessary, tbh. If that stays in we may as well throw in a homophobia section for most people born before 1960. Anyways, he was friends with Bayard Rustin and his wife claimed he would have been pro-LGBT had he lived to see the movement reach its zenith--Hastur! (talk) 10:25, 13 June 2020 (UTC)
raven, are you really this fucking stupid? rearranging what i said proves what exactly? that you dont understand how words work? i'll ask again, defend your claim. provide some sources beyond one anodyne quote which happens to be the entire known body of work mlk produced on the subject of homosexuality. AMassiveGay (talk) 10:33, 13 June 2020 (UTC)
@Hastur The problem is that people want to celebrate MLK as if he was a saint, when he clearly was homophobic. That is what we call by definition whitewashing. People should be aware that he was mildly homophobic despite all the great things he advocated for. That's what any critical thinker should advocate for, imho. If you want to argue for why other people are homophobic, why not? I totally think we should expose every ounce of truth of historical figures e.g. Benjamin Franklin thought only anglo-saxons are white, with germans and swedes being "swarthy". There is evidence that MLK was homophobic and I think it should be there. I know you are arguing in good faith, so please let me know if you disagree. — Godless Raven 🌹 Heretic 10:52, 13 June 2020 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── MLKs homophobic comments are sourced and since there is no source for AMGs claims I don't personally see any reason to remove perfectly good material from the article. This is a common criticism of MLK and not covering it would be weird. Obviously if you have any additional information you can get your sources and add that but just removing stuff you don't like is cringe. EK (talk) 11:04, 13 June 2020 (UTC)

Thank you <3 — Godless Raven 🌹 Heretic 11:11, 13 June 2020 (UTC)
So, to be clear, in the entire body of MLK's work, all we have as proof of his homophobia is a few sentences from an advice column? And we call this part of his legacy? It comes off as... petty to include this. It's such a bizarrely small part of his existence, and of dubious relevance given his closeness to Bayard Rustin.[1]
And let's not forget that Martin Luther King Jr is a highly respected individual. I don't see the virtue in making spurious accusations against him. It isn't whitewashing, it's holding ourselves to a higher standard of evidence. --Hastur! (talk) 11:50, 13 June 2020 (UTC)
Just so I understand your argument: are you doubting the veracity of the transcript released by Stanford University, @Hastur? — Godless Raven 🌹 Heretic 12:08, 13 June 2020 (UTC)
It is absolutely brain dead to both say MLK has a "legacy" of homophobia while also saying he wasn't as homophobic as his contemporaries. Oh look another quote snipe from the mong that is Raven and of course EK swoops in to protect the page Féinléiriú (talk) 13:09, 13 June 2020 (UTC)
You understand that the word you used there is a racist and ableist slur, right? — Godless Raven 🌹 Heretic 13:13, 13 June 2020 (UTC)
Oh shit so it does, I never knew the origin or made the connection. I apologise. I should have just said idiot. Féinléiriú (talk) 13:15, 13 June 2020 (UTC)
ok if you have finished being racist towards raven and insulting his intellectual ability for no reason, do you actually have an argument? There appears to be no actual evidence to rebut the veracity of the disputed section so far. EK (talk) 13:20, 13 June 2020 (UTC)
Well for one we could not call it part of his legacy he's not famous for being a homophobe. He was homophobic. A single sentence saying this referencing the article will suffice. It's not worth a whole section for a for a trait most people had. Putting in the whole quote is a waste of space. We don't do it for any other view he has, we don't justify he was for civil rights by putting every quote Verbatim of every time he said he was for civil rights. We don't even do it once. Féinléiriú (talk) 13:25, 13 June 2020 (UTC)
Correction we do do it for his socialist views but that is much more significant. Féinléiriú (talk) 13:28, 13 June 2020 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Interesting, only present one thing, but please not the other thing! — Godless Raven 🌹 Heretic 13:29, 13 June 2020 (UTC)

Okay let me toss in my 0.02. First, whatever Kings opinions are, they bear mention in the article in some form. It's clear that he wasn't as homophobic as his contemporaries, but the extent of which is debatable, given how the reference is rather explicitly homophobic (calling being gay a problem that needs to be fixed). To describe it as his legacy is a bit too much, given how homophobes don't typically use King as an argument. The reason they bear mention has to do with the fact that when it comes to the much more extreme Malcolm X, his anti-semetic (not Kings, Malcolms) views eventually did wind up being used by anti-semites and we condemn that on ratwiki and that we shouldn't whitewash someone's flaws entirely. What I find much more interesting is the subsequent spat between his wife, Coretta Scott King, who would become an early supporter of the gay rights movement and his daughter, Bernice King, who is a religious preacher. Coretta has gone on the record to state that MLK was not homophobic and would have supported the gay rights movement, had he lived longer. Bernice on the other hand has come under fire for claiming that MLK would have been against gay marriage. In this regard, it is a very interesting case of how Kings legacy and effect of society has been co-opted by many people over the years and we definetly should be including that. Techpriest (I am Alpharius! / Pencil.png / Tux icon.png / Shield.png) 13:30, 13 June 2020 (UTC)
Thank you Crow, we discussed this on Discord and I am totally okay with your feedback. But calling me a racist and ableist thing like Féinléiriú did is obviously not okay. Also, cherrypicking his legacy isn't okay either. — Godless Raven 🌹 Heretic 13:33, 13 June 2020 (UTC)
It would be a good addition to the white washing section and if it's beefy than sure give it its own section. Féinléiriú (talk) 13:35, 13 June 2020 (UTC)
@Godless Raven This doesn't make your insertions okay either Raven. I've expressed this several times to you by now, but you seem to land in a nasty habit of being overtly hostile when it comes to the tone of your mainspace edits. Just because someone holds a bunk view or two doesn't mean we should completely tar them, and your tone in mainspace often suggests we should do that. Especially when it comes to people like MLK, whose overal effects on society have been a net positive. Try to tone it down or even better, don't just rush your edits in the article. Talk it over with some people first if you have to, a lot of your edits aren't bad in and of themselves, but your editorial tone is abysmal. Techpriest (I am Alpharius! / Pencil.png / Tux icon.png / Shield.png) 13:37, 13 June 2020 (UTC)
The issue is that conservatives are whitewashing MLK, not that there is a liberal/progressive whitewashing of his legacy. His views are part of his person and they should be represented fairly in the article. That's my view. — Godless Raven SDAPOe logo.svg talkstalkwalkbalk 🌹 Flag of Europe.svg 13:39, 13 June 2020 (UTC)
no thats dogshit. conservatives agree with you btw with the same spurious argument with the same lack of evidence, these same few lines is all they have. thats the fucking issue, those few lines is all you got. you've not attempted to justify your argument. you've not addressed anything anyone has said counter to that. just the same old noise of whitewashing. you are full of shit.
those few sentences which are not even a damning example of homophobia. not even his own wife can tell definitively how he felt on the matter, coming to a different conclusion than his own daughter who similarly cannot tell definitively. nor can the aforementioned rustin bayard, whose open homosexuality was well known to all and had become a liability cannot tell definitively. its the same response from everyone who knew the man when asked about his views on homosexuality - they talk about a feeling that suggest to them one thing or another because he did not say.
thats the common thread when looking searching for relevant information. a reference to his ebony magazine response, a reference to bayard's sidelining (and bayards own words), always the caveat that no one really knows because he never fucking said. im sure you ae already aware of that raven, im assuming you looked for supporting evidence for your lazy claim.
[2][3][4] these 3 sources cover it. there are others but as i said, they cover all the same ground. they also provide comment on how the ebony excerpt is not exactly homophobia, certainly not of the kind that warrants a 'legacy'. i've left out sources that agree with you because they dont say any more than you do and are are generally unpleasant fundamentalist christian types spewing actual homophobia. strange bedfellows you have there.
i'll ask you yet again to support your claims. i'll end on this point cribbed from one the sources i provided

There is no private or public record of King condemning gay people, Perry says. Even the FBI’s surveillance of King’s private phone conversations didn’t turn up any moment where King disparaged gay people, she says.

“If Dr. King were anti-gay, there would likely be a sermon, a speech, a recording of some kind indicating such,” she says. “And knowing how closely his phones were tapped; surely there would be a record of such statements.”

AMassiveGay (talk) 14:09, 13 June 2020 (UTC)

Vote[edit]

Does the community wish to present RationalWiki as criticizing Martin Luther King Jr for being homophobic?

Keep section about homophobia[edit]

  1. Godless Raven SDAPOe logo.svg talkstalkwalkbalk 🌹 Flag of Europe.svg 14:09, 13 June 2020 (UTC)
  2. removing the section from our article doesn't remove the criticism from the rest of the Internet, it does tho make sure that there is no way to either explain or rebut this aspect of MLKs views so the article is less informative. EK (talk) 14:36, 13 June 2020 (UTC)

Incorporate in article, but not as a section[edit]

Techpriest (I am Alpharius! / Pencil.png / Tux icon.png / Shield.png) 13:55, 13 June 2020 (UTC) trim and add to whitewash and I think including what crow has mentioned would make it much more relevant too Féinléiriú (talk) 13:56, 13 June 2020 (UTC)

there is nothing here. its just a few short sentences acting like a rorschach test for fuckwits. AMassiveGay (talk) 14:16, 13 June 2020 (UTC)

Remove[edit]

  1. -Hastur! (talk) 13:53, 13 June 2020 (UTC)
  2. its entirely without merit. 5 minutes googling will tell you. why the fuck is a vote even needed here? AMassiveGay (talk) 14:18, 13 June 2020 (UTC)
    Don't forget to sign your comments. — Godless Raven SDAPOe logo.svg talkstalkwalkbalk 🌹 Flag of Europe.svg 14:16, 13 June 2020 (UTC)
  3. Féinléiriú (talk) 14:24, 13 June 2020 (UTC)
  4. Oxyaena Harass 14:32, 13 June 2020 (UTC)
  5. Retroactively condemning historical figures for failure to comply with belief system is presentism and always without merit. Smerdis of Tlön, wekʷōm teḱsos. 14:37, 13 June 2020 (UTC)
    I want transparency about MLK, that's why I added it. MLK did good things and he also believed some bad things. The world is not black or white. — Godless Raven SDAPOe logo.svg talkstalkwalkbalk 🌹 Flag of Europe.svg 14:42, 13 June 2020 (UTC)
  6. As much as I hate to feed Raven's persecution complex, I more so hate rewarding his concern trolling.-Flandres (talk) 14:38, 13 June 2020 (UTC)
  7. Actually, come to think of it, I'm changing my vote. We can discuss Coretta and Bernice's different interpretations of MLK without directly criticizing the man himself on that front. Techpriest (I am Alpharius! / Pencil.png / Tux icon.png / Shield.png) 15:03, 13 June 2020 (UTC)
  8. Err... What? ☭Comrade GC☭Ministry of Praise 17:54, 13 June 2020 (UTC)
  9. Pizza SLICE.gifChef Moosolini’s Ristorante ItalianoMake a Reservation 18:47, 13 June 2020 (UTC)
  10. Section does come off as irrelevant sniping on a "product of his time". The advice reflects exactly that someone from the 50s think about gay people. But he still shows love and tolerance for this person, just misguided, it seems. This is like saying I'm a transphobe and carry a transphobic legacy because I made fun of the Birdo from the Mario games for having an indeterminate gender or mocked Yoshi being male and laying egg when I have no clue that transgender identity is a legitimate component of people. The difference is that Martin Luther King didn't live long enough to change these views unlike me. --It's-a me, Lgm sigpic.png LeftyGreenMario! 19:28, 13 June 2020 (UTC)
  11. -Tuxer (talk) 21:32, 13 June 2020 (UTC)
  12. So in 1958, Martin Luther King mistakenly believed that homosexuality was a psychological disorder that could be cured. If a Christian pastor wrote that today, after sixty years of advances in understanding of what it means to be gay and accompanying changes in society, that would be homophobic. For the time, it was just ignorance. A homophobic response from a Christian pastor in 1958 would be telling the letter writer that he was a cursed sodomite who would burn in Hell for all eternity. Spud (talk) 00:46, 14 June 2020 (UTC)
  13. I just don't see any need for including this section in the article. Cosmikdebris (talk) 02:11, 14 June 2020 (UTC)
  14. per Spud Dogeatsdog (talk) 04:32, 14 June 2020 (UTC)
  15. MLK's nuanced homophobia was less important than, say, working with an openly gay individual such as Bayard RustinWikipedia. A small note about MLK's homophobia might be okay in that part of the article. It is not worth an entire section. Other than this one blurb, I don't find any direct quotes on the Internet regarding homosexuality one way or another. He may have not been very comfortable with homosexuality (see this interview with a Quinton E Baker who appears to also have been a homosexual African American activist at the time) but that wasn't important in the cause he was fighting for. The deleted section IMHO is a quote-mined character assassination that lacks nuance. Soundwave106 (talk) 16:49, 14 June 2020 (UTC)
    It was very nuanced, but some people just want to whitewash his legacy and I can understand that. It's not how I feel, I believe in exposing everything about a historical figure as long as it is factual. That is nuanced. But this? This is just whitewashing. But that's okay, truth is not a democracy. — Godless Raven SDAPOe logo.svg talkstalkwalkbalk 🌹 Flag of Europe.svg 16:58, 14 June 2020 (UTC)
    The quote was factual, but I would consider it quote mining. It's an over-emphasizes on one quote when he clearly could work with Bayard Rustin and other homosexual activists (and this was a HUGE risk in the early to mid 1960s), even if he possibly personally was not instinctively comfortable. I wouldn't mind a ref=note type footnote in the Bayard Rustin section, but not an entire section. The subject matter apparently is complex enough for someone to have written an entire book on the subject. I personally think his working with Rustin in defiance of the J. Edgar Hoovers of the world beats out a small advice column in Ebony magazine written in the late 1950s, in terms of scope. Soundwave106 (talk) 17:40, 14 June 2020 (UTC)
    I will quote the quote-mining ratwiki page:

Quote mining (also contextomy) is the fallacious tactic of taking quotes out of context in order to make them seemingly agree with the quote miner's viewpoint or to make the comments of an opponent seem more extreme or to make it seem that the opponent holds positions they don't in order to make their positions easier to refute or demonize.

It is quite clear that I DO NOT agree with homophobia and I am not doing this to paint a worse picture of MLK than what is the case. I wrote in the article the pertinent context: It was the 1950s and his homophobia was not comparable to his contemporaries; HOWEVER, MLK was homophobic, just way less. The nuance is also that homophobes can work with gay people to get racial justice just like how there were Jews that supported Hitler before the holocaustWikipedia or Blaire White, despite herself being trans, being deeply transphobic and hurting transgender people. Whether there is cognitive dissonance or an utilitarian approach, those things can exist and the world is not black or white. I depicted the context and made sure people understand MLK was not as homophobic as the people he was surrounded with. — Godless Raven SDAPOe logo.svg talkstalkwalkbalk 🌹 Flag of Europe.svg 17:49, 14 June 2020 (UTC)

Goat[edit]

I wonder if Raven will make a userpage declaring his against voters Martin Luther Kingists. Really makes people think he has a point. Féinléiriú (talk) 13:59, 13 June 2020 (UTC)

I just don't want to whitewash homophobia from prominent leaders. That's how I feel about it. But sure, I already created User:Godless Raven/MLK in case my work gets deleted. — Godless Raven SDAPOe logo.svg talkstalkwalkbalk 🌹 Flag of Europe.svg 14:18, 13 June 2020 (UTC)
your 'work' consists of sanctimony and one solitary quote. good job. AMassiveGay (talk) 14:21, 13 June 2020 (UTC)
Perhaps. — Godless Raven SDAPOe logo.svg talkstalkwalkbalk 🌹 Flag of Europe.svg 14:27, 13 June 2020 (UTC)
The oddest phrase I see is this "we shouldn't sanitize King's life like conservatives attempt to do" I'm not quite sure why its inclusion would need to be justified by a random dig at some political group. The section is appropriate for the article or it isn't.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 15:18, 13 June 2020 (UTC)
Look, it will be deleted anyway, no need to debate what is going to be deleted soon anyway. Y'all win. — Godless Raven SDAPOe logo.svg talkstalkwalkbalk 🌹 Flag of Europe.svg 15:25, 13 June 2020 (UTC)
Thank you for your advice.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 15:47, 13 June 2020 (UTC)

"He was a man of his time." HairlessCat (talk) 15:31, 13 June 2020 (UTC)

Uh whatever? A really anodyne quote showing King deferring to the dominant elite opinion of the time; homosexuality was officially listed as a disorder in the DSM. I'm pansexual by the way. The whole sleeping around while preaching monogamy thing is more worthy of disapproval in my opinion, not that that's rare among clergy either. --47.146.63.87 (talk) 18:42, 14 June 2020 (UTC)

Close?[edit]

We've got 15 votes to yeet the section and 2 to keep. I don't see how leaving the vote open further could lead to any different result than what we're looking at now. Pizza SLICE.gifChef Moosolini’s Ristorante ItalianoMake a Reservation 22:17, 14 June 2020 (UTC)

Icon fedora.svg * dons Mod Hat *Icon fedora.svg
I declare this discussion and vote over. Spud (talk) 05:17, 15 June 2020 (UTC)

"Pro-life"[edit]

Reading through the source, this term would be a bit misleading, since it says King was only really opposed to abortion, and not other forms of birth control. It also lists his reasoning as fear of forced population control which given some stunts that the US government has pulled historically isn't really that unfounded. ☭Comrade GC☭Ministry of Praise 16:27, 15 March 2021 (UTC)

i was just looking through that source the only mention king's views on the subject are right near the beginning

'“Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., stridently denounced abortion as a form of genocide in many speeches.” (Lifelines, Winter 1997, p.14 online)'

i havent been able to find 'lifelines' that is referenced. the rest of the sources consists of what other peoples views on abortion are. its a piss poor source AMassiveGay (talk) 16:44, 15 March 2021 (UTC)