“It is right to commend and remember King for what he got right, including the equality of all nationalities and non violent protests against injustice. But we must not ignore his failings.” So wrote Joshua Horn some 3 years ago in Discerning History, adding: “As with any other historical figure, we must be honest about King, complementing and emulating what he did well, and condemning him where he was wrong. Christians must not forget, in their rush to crown him their hero, that he lived a wicked life and denied the very basics of orthodox Christianity. It is deceptive and wrong for evangelical Christians to claim King as a brother in Christ, when all the evidence suggests that he was not.”
That thesis by Horn is one that will be looked at further below, in recalling efforts inspired by Reverend King in economic and housing justice. The Smithsonian Magazine, affiliated with the Washington, D.C. based Smithsonian Institute, published a report in 2018 on “Remembering Resurrection City and the Poor People’s Campaign of 1968,” where “thousands of other protesters occupied the National Mall [in Washington, D.C.] for 42 days during the landmark civil rights protest.”
As COVID19 and related government lockdowns spawned a new wave of poverty in America following the economic boom of the first three years of the Trump Administration, this event in affordable housing history is worth pondering on this Martin Luther King Jr day.
“One day in early December 1967, Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. laid out his vision for the Poor People’s Campaign, his next protest in Washington, D.C.,: “This will be no mere one-day march in Washington, but a trek to the nation’s capital by suffering and outraged citizens who will go to stay until some definite and positive active is taken to provide jobs and income for the poor,” wrote Anna Diamond.
“Three years earlier, when President Lyndon Johnson declared his war on poverty, 19 percent of Americans—an estimated 35 million—lived below the poverty level,” stated Diamond. “Seeing how poverty cut across race and geography, King called for representatives of American Indian, Mexican-American, Appalachian populations and other supporters to join him on the National Mall in May 1968. He sought a coalition for the Poor People’s Campaign that would “demand federal funding for full employment, a guaranteed annual income, anti-poverty programs, and housing for the poor.”
“Assassinated in Memphis on April 4, King never made it to the [National] Mall, but thousands traveled to Washington to honor King’s memory and to pursue his vision. They built “Resurrection City,” made up of 3,000 wooden tents, and camped out there for 42 days, until evicted on June 24, a day after their permit expired.” There are those observers of history who believed that one of the reasons for King’s assignation was fear over what might evolve from his multi-racial Poor People’s Campaign, which included whites as well as minorities.
“But the goals of the Campaign were never realized and today, 43 million Americans are estimated to live in poverty. Earlier this year, several pastors started a revival the Poor People’s Campaign with the support of organized labor, focusing on raising the minimum wage,” said Diamond.
Organized by the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) and led by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., the Poor People’s Campaign mobilized tens of thousands of people across the country to demand economic justice in 1968.
Said King: “America is at a crossroads of history, and it is critically important for us as a nation and a society to choose a new path and move upon it with resolution and courage. In this age of technological wizardry and political immorality, the poor are demanding that the basic needs of people be met as the first priority of our domestic program.” That is from the website of the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), a self-described Quaker organization.
“Organized by the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) and led by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., the Poor People’s Campaign mobilized tens of thousands of people across the country to demand economic justice in 1968,” wrote AFSC.
“The campaign united people from many backgrounds across the country, who presented their plan to lawmakers in Washington and urged them to work toward solutions,” AFSC, which stated that it was involved in that Poor People’s Campaign, said. “Under the “economic bill of rights,” the Poor People’s Campaign asked for the federal government to prioritize helping the poor with a $30 billion anti-poverty package that included a commitment to full employment, a guaranteed annual income measure, and more low-income housing.”
That timeframe predates modern manufactured housing by several years. It was the mobile home era in our profession’s segment of factory-built housing.
Returning to AFSC’s statement, “But by mid-June of 1968, Resurrection City was closed down, and many protesters had been arrested, including AFSC’s Stephen Cary. The economic bill of rights was never passed.”
Cary later wrote: “I supposed the Poor People’s Campaign will be judged to have failed. Certainly, it has not produced the jobs and income that were its goal. But it did prove three things: It has made poverty in America visible, and never again will it be possible to pretend that it is not real. It created a coalition of the poor. It has improved the administration of existing legislation and stimulated new legislation in which [people of many backgrounds] have all seen for the first time the common nature of their problems and have joined together to deal with them.”
Depending on the source, it may or may not be viewed as an exaggeration for AFSC to say that this was the “first time” that the common nature of the problem of poverty that cuts across ethnic or gender groups was identified.
That noted, returning to the Smithsonian article is this.
“On the 50th anniversary of King’s assassination and the 50th anniversary of the Campaign, Smithsonian.com spoke with one of the activists who traveled to Resurrection City: Lenneal Henderson, who was then a college student at University of California, Berkeley.
How did you pass your days in Resurrection City?
Life in the camp was kind of frenzied; it was very, very busy. There were things going on every day, there were people going back and forth, not only organized demonstrations, but to meet with agencies like the Department of Agriculture, Labor and [Housing and Urban Development]. I went to about seven or eight different agency meetings.
I went to some meetings of the D.C. government, and I also went to meetings of D.C.-based organizations that were part of the coalition of the Poor People’s Campaign like the United Planning Organization and the Washington branch of The National Urban League. At the camp, we also had something called The University, which was a sort of spontaneous, makeshift higher education clearing house that we put together at the camp for students who were coming from different colleges and universities both, from HBCUs and majority universities.”
Why did you feel compelled to go?
I was raised in the housing projects of New Orleans and San Francisco, and my parents were very strong community advocates. I also witnessed the Black Panther Party emerge in Oakland in 1966. Stokely Carmichael’s call for Black Power focused on the need to transform our communities first in order to get ourselves out of poverty.”
There were clearly different threads to the movement by blacks and others to improve their economic and political status in America. Some were peaceful, others, not.
Common Dreams, an leftist or “progressive” pro-socialist platform, said this about Dr. King.
“In 1964, accepting the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo, he observed that the United States could learn much from Scandinavian “democratic socialism.” He often talked about the need to confront “class issues,” which he described as “the gulf between the haves and the have-nots.”
In 1966 King confided to his staff:
“You can’t talk about solving the economic problem of the Negro without talking about billions of dollars. You can’t talk about ending the slums without first saying profit must be taken out of slums. You’re really tampering and getting on dangerous ground because you are messing with folk then. You are messing with captains of industry. Now this means that we are treading in difficult water, because it really means that we are saying that something is wrong with capitalism. There must be a better distribution of wealth, and maybe America must move toward a democratic socialism.”
That is interesting, because the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) reportedly monitored King due to his alleged ties with socialist and communist actors.
Common Dreams connects King with Senator Bernie Sanders, and then stated that “Concerns about the political influence of the super-rich, the nation’s widening economic divide, the predatory practices of Wall Street banks, and stagnating wages, have made more and more Americans willing to consider the idea [of Democratic Socialism] seriously.” That may all be true to a point. But what it arguably fails to note is that those Democratic Socialists are often getting funded or supported by the very people they publicly decry. It is arguably in some measure a head fake. Common Dream’s writer Peter Dreier, or others like him, can complain about the “the political influence of the super-rich, the nation’s widening economic divide, the predatory practices of Wall Street banks, and stagnating wages, have made more and more Americans,” and then offer as a ‘solution’ politicos working for those same deep-pocketed forces. It is straight out of the Leninist playbook. Senator Sanders is no poor man. He and his wife own multiple houses and they are millionaires. Paltering? Misdirection and deception?
Which is a useful point to pivot back to the opening paragraph above from Discerning History, taken from
Joshua Horn’s article entitled, “Was Martin Luther King Jr. a Christian?” From that article, also penned with the 50th anniversary of King’s assassination in mind, is this about King’s religious beliefs.
Martin Luther King Jr’s theology was very liberal. In papers he wrote during his time at Crozer Theological Seminary he made his views clear. He said that the evidence for the Virgin Birth is “is too shallow to convince any objective thinker.” He stripped the doctrines of the divine sonship of Christ, the virgin birth and bodily resurrection of all literal meaning, saying, “we [could] argue with all degrees of logic that these doctrines are historically and [philosophically] untenable.” In another paper he [King] wrote:
[A] supernatural plan of salvation, the Trinity, the substitutionary theory of the atonement, and the second coming of Christ are all quite prominent in fundamentalist thinking. Such are the views of the fundamentalist and they reveal that he is oppose[d] to theological adaption to social and cultural change. … Amid change all around he is willing to preserve certain ancient ideas even though they are contrary to science.
He did not believe these doctrines even though the Bible taught them. Instead he rejected them as superstition because they did not fit his notions of modern science. The doctrines he was rejecting are fundamental to Biblical Christianity.”
So, Horn is making the case based on Christian beliefs and the biblical texts that King’s own writings belie any claim that he had a ‘Christian faith.’
Instead, Horn says that King was into what is known as Liberation theology. That movement has clear ties to socialists, which lines up with what Common Dream’s writer said in the points noted above.
Horn wrote, “After graduating from college, we do not see a radical change in King’s theology, or a repudiation of his former unorthodox views. Although he did not explicitly preach these liberal beliefs, his messages were still consistent with them. His message would fall under the banner of black liberation theology – he preached a form of Christianity that was reworked to apply to physical freedom of the slaves. The central theme of his Christianity was not Jesus Christ, the son of God coming to earth, it was the deliverance of the Israel from their slavery in Egypt. In his famous “mountaintop” speech, when he was listing the seminal events of history, he mentioned the Exodus, not Christ’s death and resurrection.
Liberation theology is a secularization of Christianity, using the Bible as a framework to speak to people’s longing for freedom. It is an abandonment of the message of the Bible. Instead of applying the full breath of scriptural to the hearers, it constructs a new theology to appeal to your worldly needs. This fits perfect with King’s denial of fundamental beliefs in the supernatural events scripture records. He didn’t need to believe them if he was just repurposing a few events from scripture to construct his own story of the world.”
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Horn says of King under the heading of an “Immoral Life” the following.
“There is substantial evidence that Martin Luther King Jr.’s private life and character was unworthy of a minister of the Gospel, or even of a Christian. The FBI monitored him for many years, wrongly and unconstitutionally using their surveillance powers to get damaging information to discredit him for political purposes. This monitoring included following him on his travels around the country and placing recording devices in his hotel rooms. The FBI claimed to have evidence, both anecdotal and on audio recording of King committing adulteries on many occasions. They even went to the point of sending him an anonymous letter threatening him with the release of this information and encouraging him to commit suicide. The FBI records on King will remain sealed until at least 2027.
We do not have to take the word of the FBI to believe that MLK was not a man who lived a righteous life. Dr. Ralph Abernathy, a close friend of King’s, admitted as much in his book, And the Walls Came Tumbling Down. He wrote that even the night before his assassination, King had committed adultery with multiple women. The consensus among historians is that Martin Luther King Jr. was repeatedly unfaithful to his wife.”
The next point from Discerning History makes an argument very much in alignment with a principle that MHProNews has advocated for some years, namely, the ancient Biblical wisdom of applying the principle of separating the wheat from the chaff. Find the good, but do not pursue what is bad, evil, or useless.
Said Horn, “It is right to commend and remember King for what he got right, including the equality of all nationalities and non violent protests against injustice. But we must not ignore his failings. As with any other historical figure, we must be honest about King, complementing and emulating what he did well, and condemning him where he was wrong. Christians must not forget, in their rush to crown him their hero, that he lived a wicked life and denied the very basics of orthodox Christianity. It is deceptive and wrong for evangelical Christians to claim King as a brother in Christ, when all the evidence suggests that he was not.”
Additional Information, MHProNews Analysis – Lessons Learned?
There are numerous studies, like the one from the Heritage Foundation graphic shown above, that reveal that the so-called President Lydon Banes Johnson (“LBJ” – D) War on Poverty, which many fought at the time as an unconstitutional socialist camel’s nose under the Congressional tent, proved to be a failure. The so-called ‘promise’ of socialism and communism are demonstrably failed in country after country where they are tried. The robust economic dynamism of South Korea stands in stark contrast to the communist regime of North Korea.
By contrast, the case can be made that the first three years of the Trump economy, pre-COVID19 economic shutdowns in numerous so-called blue and some red jurisdictions, was raising millions out of poverty. That vivid evidence of minorities and whites being raised out of poverty underscores the benefits of free enterprise over socialism or communism.
But Free Enterprise must be contrasted with unfettered capitalism, because the founders and others since have opposed the monopolistic or oligopoly styles of concentration of wealth and power. The American Way was historically a noble effort to balance the rights of all people “who are created equal” in God’s eyes, but who each have different gifts, skills, and ways that they can contribute to a just society. Those on the right or libertarians who argue for unfettered capitalism are as mistaken as those on the left which push socialism. And, as noted above, that push for socialism is often being funded by uber capitalists, which should immediately signal the sad reality that much of what occurs in Washington is political theater.
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On this Martin Luther King Jr Day, it is worth pondering the role that affordable manufactured housing could be playing. HUD Secretary Ben Carson made the case quite well in this lengthy quote below.
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Applying the good federal laws that exist should be the focus of what appears to be a looming, and arguably questionable if not illegitimate Biden-Harris regime.
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Those concerns noted, let us pivot for a few moments to a pragmatic look ahead.
Democrats will hold a nearly unchecked power in Washington, D.C. Will the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI), which keeps touting their access to policy makers:
- push Democratic lawmakers in oversight roles, a looming Biden-Harris White House, and HUD for the full and proper implementation of the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000 (MHIA or 2000 reform law)?
- Will MHI push for the full and proper implementation of the Duty to Serve (DTS) by the FHFA on the Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs)?
- The smaller Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR), which has no PAC but has worked in a bipartisan fashion with lawmakers and administrations for decades, has been consistent in its push to implement those good, existing federal laws.
- By contrast, MHI – based upon years of examination of sources in and out of MHI, and their own statements – has been engaged in what certainly appears to be a campaign of foot dragging.
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Time will soon tell. Will MHI even mention DTS or getting Democrats to fully implement the MHIA 2000 and enhanced preemption?
This will be an acid test examined in near-real time here by MHProNews. Buckle up and stay tuned.
Because MHI and those in power have the opportunity to actually do what they claim, or they will be exposed as merely posturing frauds who are peddling clever lies to look good while more subtly working to increase the money and media powers that continue to throttle the noble ideals of the American Way.
Notice: in the related reports, there are links to items that connect the dots in the history of housing policy, the evolution of mobile homes to manufactured housing, and how that played into federal policies in both Democratic and Republican administrations.
Notice 2: a traditional role for journalism is to hold the powerful to account. The case can be made that only MHProNews and MHLivingNews among other ‘professional’ bloggers and publishers makes the effort. For those seeking mere pabulum, paltering, BS, or the head fakes that confirm the status quo of those in power, this is absolutely not the best resource. But for those who seek to understand why manufactured housing is underperforming some 16 plus years after Warren Buffett-led Berkshire Hathaway’s move into the manufactured home industry, you will find the evidence, reasoning, and unchallenged logic that points to both the causes of those problems as well as possible legal solutions. Perhaps is why those who both jeer and cheer MHProNews have made us the largest and runaway most read trade media in manufactured housing. Serious thinker’s reader here, even if they do not always like what they read.
Notice 3: New and resumed periodic series of articles found only on MHProNews and our MHLivingNews sister site are coming soon.
As the Dispatch says, “Good journalism often makes people uncomfortable…” Or as Canadian J-source framed it, “If as a journalist you’re feeling comfortable all the time, you’re not doing good journalism.” The runaway best insights into manufactured housing are found right here at MHProNews.
Despair or frustration are not solutions. Hope without action, or ignoring reality, are not a solutions either.
Sound information, understanding, repair of the Republic, and prayer are the ‘intellectual and spiritual weapons’ that can prevail.
That’s a wrap on this installment of the runaway number one source for authentic “News through the lens of manufactured homes and factory-built housing” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (Affordable housing, manufactured homes, reports, fact-checks, analysis, and commentary. Third-party images or content are provided under fair use guidelines for media.) (See Related Reports, further below. Text/image boxes often are hot-linked to other reports that can be access by clicking on them.)
By L.A. “Tony” Kovach – for MHProNews.com.
Tony earned a journalism scholarship and earned numerous awards in history and in manufactured housing.
For example, he earned the prestigious Lottinville Award in history from the University of Oklahoma, where he studied history and business management. He’s a managing member and co-founder of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and MHLivingNews.com.
This article reflects the LLC’s and/or the writer’s position, and may or may not reflect the views of sponsors or supporters.
Connect on LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/latonykovach
The text/image boxes below are linked to other reports, which can be accessed by clicking on them.