In which America’s nuclear warriors bask in the radioactive glow of imagined admiration from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Many people are wont to wrap themselves in Martin Luther King’s mantle now that he’s safely dead these two score and five. Until yesterday, the most ludicrous example was the gun fetishist who argued that non-violence be damned, King would have agreed that slavery would have never been an issue had the prospective slaves been armed. That was in the days before the US became the greatest arms merchant of all time, so it’s unclear where the Africans would have got their weapons and the credit to buy them. Possibly they could have traded themselves.

Hard to think how anybody could top celebrating the MLK legacy with a day devoted to fondling guns, but where there’s a will. Yesterday, somebody at the Air Force Global Strike Command decided to commemorate King’s birthday with a meditation on how proud the legendary pacifist would be of the degree to which the organization charged with inflicting nuclear annihilation upon America’s enemies is integrated.

Dr. King would be proud to see our Global Strike team – comprised of Airmen, civilians and contractors from every race, creed, background and religion – standing side-by-side ensuring the most powerful weapons in the U.S. arsenal remain the credible bedrock of our national defense. . . Our team must overlook our differences to ensure perfection as we maintain and operate our weapon systems. . . Maintaining our commitment to our Global Strike team, our families and our nation is a fitting tribute to Dr. King as we celebrate his legacy.

While it’s true that some notable recent African-American Nobel peace prize winners are enthusiastic destroyers of human flesh and human endeavors, King was not among them. He did not acknowledge the beautiful necessity of the nuclear deterrent in his Nobel acceptance speech, or make a proud defense of abandoning the principles he learned from Gandhi and the saints. He did not acknowledge that nonviolence was a luxury available only to the weak. He went on about his ways. He would not be proud to see anyone holding a cocked warhead aimed at the world. This is the most perfectly crass appropriation of his memory yet. Duck and cover, Dr. King; it’s your birthday.

10 thoughts on “In which America’s nuclear warriors bask in the radioactive glow of imagined admiration from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.”

  1. Heck, Gandhi’s signature failure brought us the nuclear brinksmanship between Pakistan and India. Advanced weapons systems seem like a pretty good reminder of the deadly cost of undue deference to the doe-eyed platitudes of influential pacifists and others who lead folks into dangerous reliance upon fundamental if temporarily comforting misapprehensions of human nature.

    “An eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind” is a nostrum almost as silly and overrated as “we have nothing to fear but fear itself”. The fellow how manages to blind his last opponent isn’t blind, and will be likely to avoid the revenge of the blind going forward, assuming they’re left alive. Larry Ward’s ahistorical buffoonery still takes the cake in my book.

  2. A recent post somewhere (isn’t that always the case?) pointed out that the 2d Amendment was enacted to ensure that the southern states would always be able to raise a militia to put down slave uprisings. Not to likely they’d give them guns first just to give the militia some (dangerous) exercise.

  3. Thom Hartmann recently suggested that was “the” reason for the 2A. Sort of wrong. It was a use of guns, but it wasn’t “the” reason. MA wanted it too and ended slavery in the 1780s. MLK did once get a gun for self-defense and many blacks would cite an integrated military as the fulfillment of the civil rights movement. Truman’s desegregation of the armed forces was a big move there. But, yes, this use of MLK is a tad off-putting. Just a tad.

  4. Joe–

    I’d add those famous Black Panther shotguns to the context you’re providing as well.

    But I’m still stuck on the idea of Larry Ward retroactively supporting gun sales without background checks to Nat Turner and his crew.

  5. Good grief, that’s ahistorical idiocy on an unprecedented scale. Ward’s social and ideological forebears would sooner have armed Apaches and Comanches in their own backyards than any African-Americans. Still, maybe there’s room for a whole new genre of re-revisionist books and films. “Uncle Tom’s Rampage”? Maybe Stepin Fetchit as a mild-mannered, drooling caricature by day, and armed avenger by night….

  6. Was it Bill Cosby whose routine included: “Jesus came back and he’s twelve feet tall and he’s black and he’s pissed!”?

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