I truly appreciate the profound Raleigh News & Observer article, “King’s unfinished business,” but I question the assertion that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was “…assassinated at 39 by a convict on the run…”
Yes, James Earl Ray was an escaped convict, and possibly skilled in shooting firearms, but he was a functional illiterate. If Ray made the fatal shot, how did he know the strategic location to make it? How did a man with poor literary skills obtain not one, but two fraudulent passports? How did he fly to London England, Lisbon Portugal, and back to London before being arrested at Heathrow Airport attempting to fly to Brussels Belgium? How did he communicate in Lisbon, and how would he have communicated in Belgium, nations where English is not the common language, without the aid of people who could speak the necessary languages? Although he confessed, then later denied shooting Dr. King, how did a functionally illiterate escaped convict accomplish such a sophisticated escape, and who financed it?
Dr. King survived more than a decade of protesting legal and social injustice, but he went to Memphis Tenn. to protest economic injustice. If he had successfully achieved the goal of higher wages for sanitation workers in Memphis, what would every underpaid sanitation worker in America have wanted?
If that initiative had spread throughout our nation, what would every underpaid worker, regardless of race or type of work, have wanted? America’s privileged tolerated Dr. King’s legal/social protests, but when he challenged miniscule wages and the sacrifice of American troops on the altar of war profiteering in Vietnam, he was assassinated. Put in place by people who knew where to put him, James Earl Ray may have pulled the trigger, but could a functional illiterate engineer, finance and execute months in escape in other countries?
The article listed numerous issues Dr. King would be addressing today had he lived. Maybe, and maybe not. Considering the progress he initiated in his short life, if Dr. King had lived, might his exceptional leadership have resolved those issues by now? Had he lived, would privileged special interests boots still be “…on the necks of the poor and the middle class…?”
Isn’t that why, no matter who pulled the trigger, Dr. King was assassinated?
Think about it, please.
Robert C. Currie Jr.