I’m Tony Brown and I don’t know who killed Martin Luther King, Jr., or what it all meant, but these questions and many more will be asked and answered during a 5-part series on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on TonyBrownJournal.com – April 3 – April 7.
We honor Martin Luther King, Jr., with a national holiday, but back in the day, he was considered a societal pest by many in power. He irritated almost every ruler. As a Black person, he dared to comment on international affairs -- including the Vietnam War long before it became unpopular. Black leaders were relegated to commentary on “Negro affairs” during his era. King was Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice long before Blacks could be the Secretary of State and the nation’s National Security Advisor. Therefore, Martin Luther King, Jr., was a Black leader only in the sense that his ethnicity was African.
In the Christian Bible, MLK’s Savior, Jesus Christ, challenges all humans to remember, “He who is without sin, let him cast the first stone.” His dignified and principled nature and his intellect were also a bit much for many in the Black elite leadership. However, they saw a man who although uncompromising in his politics, was vulnerable in his private life. His critics, Black and White, used both against him.
But King’s imperfections made him vulnerable and a victim of sorts -- like the masses among Blacks who forgave his shortcomings because they felt he was a powerful force against high rent, unemployment, poor education and police brutality. The Memphis sanitation workers, for example, knew that he was trying to do something about the plight of the common person. Among the Black middle class, his achievements in education and his quick mind were strong attractions -- enough to make them give him the benefit of the doubt. But even that asset was not enough to satisfy the blood thirsty-haters.
On April 4, 1968 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. stepped out onto the Lorraine Motel balcony in Memphis, Tennessee and precisely at 6:01 PM he was killed by one shot through his jaw and neck from an assassin’s gun. King died, but the belief in a conspiracy of official coverup was born. Subsequently, the conspiracy theorists, including King’s own family, embraced the innocence of James Earl Ray, who they believed was a patsy for a cabal of conspirators.
The masterminds of this alleged conspiracy were identified as a “cabal of government leaders and organized crime figures” by William Pepper. In his book, “Orders To Kill,” William Pepper resurrects the mysterious Raul. The existence of a conspiracy and the existence of Raul are debunked as imaginary by the mainstream press that believes conspiracy theorists only succeed in persuading those who are already convinced.
Among the most outspoken critics of this conspiracy theory is David Garrow, author of “Bearing The Cross,” who accused the King family of being “irresponsible and misinformed” and is certain that James Earl Ray pulled the trigger. Then there is Ray himself, a petty crook, whose testimony is in part in conflict with witnesses and who is widely suspected of knowing more than he told.
Citing my first book, “Black Lies, White Lies,” as the source, a syndicated columnist in the Miami Herald reported that the Army Intelligence was conducting surveillance on King on April 4, the day he was murdered. The report dismissed that fact as irrelevant and said that watching King and killing King are world’s apart. He is absolutely correct – if you are being shadowed by The Boys Scouts. But as I explained in “Black Lies, White Lies,” King’s surveillance team was composed of members of the 20th Special Forces Group, a unit of 12 Green Berets that was notorious for allegedly being the dumping ground of “crazy guys” from Vietnam Special Forces who had worked in murky, clandestine operations with the CIA and similar groups such as The Special Operations Group. I also reported that the day before King was killed, he was monitored by Army agents from the 111th Military Intelligence Group from a sedan filled with electronic equipment. My source was Stephen Tompkins, a former reporter for the Memphis Commercial Appeal.
Was or is there a man who was or is a shadowy gunrunner who was James Earl Ray’s control in an alleged conspiracy to murder Martin Luther King, Jr.? Is there a man described as a Latin accented native of Portugal who lived in the north eastern part of the United States? Was there a Black informant named Copper Head close to Martin Luther King who was a popular Democrat legislator?
What evidence moved a congressional body – The House Select Committee on Assassinations – in 1978 to conclude that indeed a conspiracy had been behind King’s death? Was James Earl Ray working for a St. Louis area group of White supremacists who offered $50,000 to have King assassinated?
April 3 – TBJ #1002 – Martin Luther King’s Torment – In his book, “Bearing The Cross,” Dr. David Garrow has explained what The New York Times calls the sacred and the profane aspects of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s life. Did Dr. King have a death wish?
April 4 – TBJ #2702– “TONY BROWN’S ESSAY ON MARTIN LUTHER KING” – In an innovative program celebrating Dr. Martin Luther King’s legacy, Tony Brown personally shares his historic and intimate experience as the coordinator of the “Walk To Freedom” civil rights march in Detroit on June 23, 1963, the largest civil rights march in history. Brown’s essay is a story of truth, vision, courage and transformation as well as his personal friendship with Dr. King.
April 5 – TBJ #2301 – “REFLECTIONS ON MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR.” – In commemoration of Martin Luther King, Jr., this program highlights Dr. King’s contributions through archival footage and interviews with some of his closest associates.
April 6 – TBJ #2006 – Did Carlos Kill Martin Luther King? – Part 1 – Was or is there a man who was or is a shadowy gunrunner who was James Earl Ray’s control in an alleged conspiracy to murder Martin Luther King, Jr.? Is there a man described as a Latin accented native of Portugal who lived in the north eastern part of the United States? Was there a Black informant named Copper Head close to Martin Luther King who was a popular Democratic legislator? These and many more questions will be asked and answered by my guest William Pepper, author of “Orders To Kill.”
April 7 – TBJ #2007 – Did Carlos Kill Martin Luther King? – Part 2 -- What evidence moved a congressional body – The House Select Committee on Assassinations – in 1978 to conclude that indeed a conspiracy had been behind King’s death? Was James Earl Ray working for a St. Louis area group of White supremacists who offered $50,000 to have King assassinated? These and many more questions will be asked and answered by my guest William Pepper, author of “Orders To Kill.”
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