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  • The Martin Luther King You Don’t See on TV

    In the early 1960s, when King focused his challenge on legalized racial discrimination in the South, most major media were his allies. Network TV and national publications graphically showed the police dogs and bullwhips and cattle prods used against Southern blacks who sought the right to vote or to eat at a public lunch counter.

    But after passage of civil rights acts in 1964 and 1965, King began challenging the nation’s fundamental priorities. He maintained that civil rights laws were empty without “human rights” — including economic rights. For people too poor to eat at a restaurant or afford a decent home, King said, anti-discrimination laws were hollow.

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  • It’s always kind of weird as an ex-pat Brit watching the MLK Day stuff every year. It’s not that Britain didn’t and doesn’t have its problems with racism – it most certainly does – but that we’d never have dreamed of actually legislating in favor of such bigotry after 1833 or thereabouts.

    • The Emancipation Proclamation had domestic political/military reasons, but it also derailed the significant support the South had in some British financial circles (who held most of the debt of the plantation owners). The proclamation put GB in a position whereby supporting the Confederacy was equated to supporting slavery, and that was politically untenable. The Union blockade of the South disrupted the flow of cotton to British mills, and it is to their great credit that although it hurt their livelihood, the mill workers supported the Union.

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