Before scoffing at this headline, you should know that in 1999, in Memphis, Tennessee, more than three decades after MLK’s death, a jury found local, state, and federal government agencies guilty of conspiring to assassinate the Nobel Peace Prize winner and civil rights leader. The same media you would expect to cover such a monumental decision was absent at the trial, because those news organizations were part of that conspiracy. William F. Pepper, who was James Earl Ray’s first attorney, called over 70 witnesses to the stand to testify on every aspect of the assassination. The panel, which consisted of an even mix of both black and white jurors, took only an hour of deliberation to find Loyd Jowers and other defendants guilty. If you’re skeptical of any factual claims made here, click here for a full transcript, broken into individual sections. Read the testimonies yourself if you don’t want to take my word for it.
It really isn’t that radical a thing to expect this government to kill someone who threatened their authority and had the power to organize millions to protest it. When MLK was killed on April 4, 1968, he was speaking to sanitation workers in Memphis, who were organizing to fight poverty wages and ruthless working conditions. He was an outspoken critic of the government’s war in Vietnam, and his power to organize threatened the moneyed corporate interests who were profiting from the war. At the time of his death, he was gearing up for the Poor People’s Campaign, an effort to get people to camp out on the National Mall to demand anti-poverty legislation – essentially the first inception of the Occupy Wall Street movement. The government perceived him as a threat, and had him killed. James Earl Ray was the designated fall guy, and a complicit media, taking its cues from a government in fear of MLK, helped sell the “official” story of the assassination. Here’s how they did it.
- The Setup
- The Conspiracy
- The Cover-Up
- The Deception
As we remember Dr. King and the important work he did, we should also reject the official account of his death as loudly as the government and media shout down anyone who tries to contradict their lies. As Edward R. Murrow said,
“Most truths are so naked that people feel sorry for them and cover them up, at least a little bit.”