Monday, January 18, 2010
Assassinations of Progressive Leaders in the U.S., 1963 - 1984
This is not a comprehensive list, just some of the most well-known. Some people who came of political age in the 1960s came to believe that whenever a leader would step forward to organize people to defend themselves and to demand their equal rights as citizens, that leader would simply be assassinated.
After the assassination, the U.S. government would take control of the scene of the crime and the corpse, turn the corpse over to U.S. goverment-controlled doctors, interview any witnesses then classify their statements as "top secret" to prevent public access, and issue an "official" version of the crime which always concluded a lone-nut gunman did the killing, acting on his own.
But for most of these people, the organizations that hounded them, spied on them, maintained enormous dossiers of their every word, their every act, planted spies inside their inner circles, and had squads of trained mercenaries and assassins on their payroll, was the FBI under the leadership of the cross-dressing J. Edgar Hoover.
Did the FBI kill these people? Did it hire or direct those who actually did the deed, pulled the trigger? Are these people actually a list of prominent Americans murdered by the U.S. government? Those are questions that continue to be asked, at least partly because the U.S. goverment has shown its willingness to direct assassinations around the world, and partly because of the secrecy and lies that surround the investigations of these murders.
This is not an exhaustive list. And I'm not sure every name is of a person who can properly be called "progressive." But they were seen as progressive by the right-wing in this country, and that perception undoubtedly contributed to the environment in which the right-wing publicly called for their deaths.
Much like the environment we have today in which the drug addict on the radio and all the rent-boys who work at Rupert Murdoch's Whorehouse create a frenzy of hatred among their brain-damaged listeners, encouraging them to believe that people on "the other side" should be murdered.
And the same evironment spread from the pulpits through TV and radio by such people as that fat slob (now dead) Jerry Falwell who crowed on 9/11 that the U.S. deserved to be attacked and have thousands of our citizens murdered because the country allowed people like "feminists" to walk freely on the land. And the same enviroment spread from the pulpit by that ignorant cracker Pat Robertson who just gleefully celebrated that earthquake in Haiti and death of over 100,000 of those poor people by saying they deserved it because they were not part of his church. They are papists, mackerel-snappers, Pope-lovers, Catholics, which Robertson claims are devil-worshippers so he dances on their mass graves.
The right-wing always historically promotes their lunatic followers to murder progressives. We have no similar list of right-wingers assassinated under a progressive government. Assassination is a tool of the right-wing. And unfortunately is a tool of the U.S. government which openly kidnaps, tortures, and murders people around the world, and apologizes to no one for those murders.
When John F. Kennedy was murdered, Malcolm X said that it was a case of the chickens come home to roost, and he was roundly condemned across the country by those who interpreted his comments to mean that he supported the assassination. But what he really said was that the U.S. had a policy of using violence against so many other countries in the rest of the world that it was inevitable the violence would return to haunt us one day. Of course he himself was assassinated a little over a year later.
Each of these people were insightful, energetic, creative, intelligent, and likely could have provided critical leadership for our people in trying to move towards a more just and perfect union. Each of these people was murdered for one purpose: to silence them. That is why it is so important for all of us to use our voices, speak up publicly in favor of justice and against privilege and oppression, in favor of peace and against war, in favor of fairness inside our country and a new co-operative approach to our neighbors and countries around the world. Peace.
June 12, 1963
Medgar Evers, U.S. civil rights activist
November 22, 1963
John F. Kennedy, President of the United States
February 21, 1965
Malcolm X, black leader with an international perspective, Muslim
April 4, 1968
Martin Luther King, Jr., black civil rights activist
June 5, 1968
Robert F. Kennedy, U.S. Senator, Candidate for Democratic nomination for President 1968, brother of assassinated President John F. Kennedy
Fred Hampton, Deputy Chairman of the Illinois chapter of the Black Panther Party
Orlando Letelier, Chilean ambassador to the United States under the administration of Salvador Allende
George Moscone, Mayor of San Francisco
Harvey Milk, gay rights activist, San Francisco City Supervisor
John Lennon, British musician, founder of the Beatles.
Alan Berg, radio talk-show host, killed by Neo-nazis