Juan Cole with an excellent post on the MLK who was vehemently anti-imperial and keenly aware of the crimes of empires.
But there was another King, the critic of the whole history of European colonialism in the global South, who celebrated the independence movements that led to decolonization in the decades after World War II. The anti-imperial King is the exact opposite of the Neoconservatives who set US policy in the early twenty-first century. Barack Obama, who inherits King’s Civil Rights legacy and is also burdened with the neo-imperialism of the W. era, has some crucial choices to make about whether he will heed the other King, or whether he will get roped into the previous administration’s neocolonial project simply because it is the status quo from which he will begin his tenure as commander in chief.
Cont’d (click below or on "comments")
The US so neglects its educational system that relatively few Americans are exposed to world history in school. Few of them know that roughly from 1757 to 1971 the great European powers systematically subjugated most of the peoples of the world. tiny Britain ruled gargantuan India, along with Burma (Myanmar), what is now Malaysia, Australia, some part of China, and large swaths of Africa (Egypt, Sudan, Gambia, Rhodesia/ Zimbabwe, South Africa, Tanzania, Ghana, etc., etc.) The colonial system was one of brutal exploitation of "natives" by Europeans, who derived economic, strategic and political benefits from this domination.
Dr. King frankly saw this imperial system as unadulterated evil. In his "The Birth of a New Nation," a sermon delivered at Dexter Avenue Baptist Church, Montgomery, Alabama on 7 April 1957, King, just back from Africa, lays out his vision of the liberation of the oppressed from the failing empires.
King also saw an internal extension to this force of imperialism, and this recognition moved him to begin organizing the Poor Peopleâ€™s campaign, on which he was at work when he was shot down in Memphis. It may well could have been this campaign, which followed his opposition to Vietnam, that convinced the powers that wanted him dead to put their plan into action. (Yes, I do not believe that James Earl Way did this on his own. Way too many fishy unbelievable circumstances)