Lies about Dr. King's Assassination
Jesse Jackson Sr. clashed with Martin Luther King Jr. on a number of occasions during the Sixties, and he has often overstated the closeness of his relationship to King—even claiming to have been the last person King spoke to after he had been mortally wounded by an assassin's bullet on April 4, 1968. Specifically, Jackson claimed that he was on the balcony with King immediately after the latter had been shot, and that he had cradled the dying civil-rights leader in his arms as he took his final breaths. But in fact, at the moment King was shot, Jackson was actually in a nearby parking lot talking to a group of musicians. Kenneth Timmerman describes what happened next:
“When the shots rang out, he [Jackson] fled and hid behind the swimming pool area and reappeared 20-30 minutes later when the television cameras arrived on the scene. That’s when Jesse Jackson told other Southern Christian Leadership Conference staffers, ‘Don’t you talk to the press, whatever you do.’ ... Nobody had given him that job. He took that job. Call it ‘entrepreneurial instinct’ if you wish, but on the spot he realized that he had an opportunity to spin the events to create his own persona and create a possibility for him to become a leader in the black movement. He had no prospects at that point.”
The next morning, Jackson flew to Chicago to make a guest appearance on the NBC Today Show. In the few hours that had passed between the King assassination and Jackson’s flight to the Windy City, Jackson had already hired a public-relations agent to accompany him as he was transported from interview to interview in a chauffeur-driven car. Before a national television audience on the Today Show, Jackson donned a shirt that he claimed was smeared with the dying Dr. King’s blood. “He died in my arms,” Jackson lied.
Since then, he's disgraced himself repeatedly.
There are lots of African Americans who haven't spent the last five decades lying about their relationship with Dr. King, shaking down businesses, embezzling money to cover the costs of silencing baby mamas and otherwise disgracing themselves. If the first African American SECSTATE, the first African American female SECSTATE and the only currently seated African American in the United States Senate don't measure up, how about some of these worthies:
BTW, there's been a great deal of censorship of the original event. People forget that many of the attendees were prominent Republicans, and among the most prominent was Charlton Heston, who was putting his career in real jeopardy.
- Justice Clarence Thomas
- James Howard Meredith (yes, the first African American to attend Ole Miss is still alive, and he's a conservative Republican)
- Dr. Benjamin Carson, director of pediatric neurosurgery, Johns Hopkins Hospital
- Roy Innis, Head of the Congress of Racial Equality, and a peer of Dr. King's in the Civil Rights movement.
- Dr. Thomas Sowell
- Michael Steele (first African American to chair a major political party)
- Bill Cosby
Yes. You don't like him. What a shock.