Anyway, I was trying to watch the Democracy Now headlines on YouTube this morning when I was greeted with an ad by the Koch Brothers. My partner actually had the PS4 controller and for whatever reason wanted to see what bullshit they were peddling today, and suffice it to say it enraged me enough to write a blog post on.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is this coming Monday, the 21st, and already my fellow white people are spreading the great man's words without context or to promote what they might think is peace but it really only submission by the oppressed. It's no surprise to see the Koch Brothers hop on board, seeing as they've exploited his image and legacy in the past and one of them even compared himself to MLK, which...
Now, I'm having trouble finding a video of the ad or any commentary on it, which makes me think it must be very new. Trust me when I say that it's gross as fuck.
The ad uses MLK's words in order to try and convince black people that they shouldn't protest. It declared that the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s was a complete success, total victory, and so now black people should just sit back and shut up! Everything's fine! Don't march, don't conduct sit-ins. MLK wouldn't want you to do all those thinGS THAT HE ABSOLUTELY DID HIMSELF AND ALSO ORGANIZED AND THAT IS HOW WE HAVE ANY CIVIL RIGHTS LAWS AT ALL RIGHT NOW.
It's infuriating and it's more than out of touch - obviously we still have massive levels of systemic racism in this country and it can be argued that very little of substance has actually changed since MLK's time. The Koch Brothers almost certainly know this. The ad is a straight up propaganda piece. Peddling clear lies to try and convince black people to accept their oppression.
The good news is that this must mean the Koch Bros are terrified. I personally am up for a nationwide protest specifically against the Koch Brothers in response to this.
Okay, I just found it. It's a video by Jason Riley, Senior Fellow at the Manhattan Institute, which is a think tank largely funded by the Koch Brothers. I knew it was a Koch thing because all their recent propaganda videos look and sound like this:
So not only does it urge black people to stop resisting, it blames all the current problems black people have on *checks notes* black people.
"The black Civil Rights battles in America are now over, and King's side won," says Riley. "The best indication of that may be that King has had no real successor."
I need to pause and take a breath here because the reason King had no successor is because the U.S. government fucking killed them all. They destroyed the Civil Rights movement, they destroyed the Black Panthers, they destroyed every bastion of black resistance in the country AND THEY FUCKING MURDERED MLK HIMSELF.
Riley then claims that if black people in the U.S. had any REAL problems like legal discrimination and voter disenfranchisement (he literally names these two issues), then a leader "of his calliber" would have appeared.
I don't even know where to begin. DeRay Mckesson, anybody? Patrisse Cullors? Obama? The fact that Black Lives Matter activists have mysteriously been murdered time and time again? The concerted efforts by the government to flood black communities with illicit drugs and everything else they've done to keep them in a state of poverty in desperation so that black leaders don't emerge?
This video is FIVE MINUTES LONG.
Riley goes on to call today's black community leaders "pretenders" and blame Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson for the widening gap between white and black Americans in education, income, and home ownership. Surely it doesn't have anything to do with all the white racists who have been in charge of this country the whole time.
It gets worse. Riley then points squarely at what he calls "black culture" for all of black people's problems. This is the most rank victim blaming and I feel really sorry for Riley because he is a black man and has internalized all this rank racism and it's just so, so sad.
And so he says that protests and sit-ins won't fix anything anymore, because racial gaps aren't white people's fault, it's black people's fault.
That's like halfway through the video but you know what, I'm going to stop there. There are black writers who will deconstruct this video way better than I ever could. What I am going to do is place the blame for this propaganda video squarely at the feet of the Koch Brothers, who are clearly so so afraid of the BLM movement and other current young black leaders who threaten their wealth and power. Because they know that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was anti-capitalist and anti-imperialist and would have been a force against Koch Industries if he hadn't been assassinated by the FBI.
Dear Koch Brothers. Your time is coming, and no cheesy YouTube videos can change that. You'd do better to disappear and lock yourself in your doomsday bunkers now because life comes at you fast.