The prophetic anger of MLK
After 1965, the civil rights leader grew angrier over America's unwillingness to change.
In the same year, King bitterly suggested that black folk couldn't trust America, comparing blacks to the Japanese who had been interred in concentration camps during World War II. "And you know what, a nation that put as many Japanese in a concentration camp as they did in the '40s ... will put black people in a concentration camp. And I'm not interested in being in any concentration camp. I been on the reservation too long now." Earlier, King had written that America "was born in genocide when it embraced the doctrine that the original American, the Indian, was an inferior race."
Such quotes may lead some to wrongly see King as anti-white and anti-American, a minister who allowed politics to trump religion in his pulpit, just as some see Wright now. Or they might say that King 40 years ago had better reason for bitterness than Wright in the enlightened 21st century. But that would put a fine point on arguable gains, and it would reveal a deep unfamiliarity with the history of the black Christian church.