Your Blogmeister’s Hotel Room
After being presented incredulity on AR over my contention that MLK and Gandhi were overrated, I wrote this comment, which seems appropriate for the day:
What you’re really saying is that everyone here deserves for there to be more meat on the bone of my contention.
Gandhi and MLK were well-timed (in terms of the years of their birth) and relatively accidental beneficiaries of the sea change of the politics of white and also (((white))) people. If either man had been born 50 years before when they were actually, and had the same political proclivities, then the British and the Jim Crow South (respectively) would have crushed them to the point of bone pulverization. If either man was born 20 years after they were actually, and again, had the same political proclivities, they would have been considered gadflies, trying fight and win an already won cause.
India didn’t gain its independence because of Gandhi. It gained its independence because the British gave up on their empire, because of the blatant moral contradiction between its own empire and the way it won it on the one hand, and helping to fete a successful world war against expansionist-nationalist Germany on the other hand. On some level, Winston Churchill knew he was signing away the rights to the Empire when he signed the Atlantic Charter. It’s just that at the time the British were packing up and leaving India, Gandhi was a local loudmouth. When it was all over, he got the undeserved credit.
Likewise, it was the same anti-nationalist and anti-racist mania that got a shot in the arm after the outcome of WWII that compelled victorious white countries into dismantling pro-white and separatist-based public policies domestically. The same United States of America that helped beat Hitler in Germany couldn’t well tolerate segregation in Dixie. It was only a matter of time. And when the iron was hot, there was a semi-charismatic half wit preacher in Atlanta armed with a Boston University doctorate gotten off a plagiarized doctoral thesis by the name of Martin Luther King Jr (Michael King Jr, but that’s another story). A convenient colored fall guy who got stuck with the credit so that nobody would comprehend the white self-surrender and self-acquiescence that took place.
Before you start nuance-mongering with me, and make the accusation that I know you want to, I’m not insinuating that some cabal of white or (((white))) people deliberately sought out non-white figures like Gandhi and MLK. What I’m saying is that both men were smart enough and perceptive enough to understand the change in the social, political and cultural climate that was taking place, and struck while the iron was hot. Likewise, if it’s hot on Monday, a massive cold front rolls through on Tuesday, and it’s bitter cold on Wednesday, and in the process, the lemonade stand that was out on Monday packs up and goes in on Tuesday, and then the next day, a hot chocolate stand shows up where the lemonade stand was, we don’t conclude by reason that the lemonade stand going in and/or the hot chocolate stand coming out was the cause of the drastic temperature drop, they were the effects of it, and the cause is meteorological. Think of the white surrender and acquiescence as the cold front, and Gandhi and MLK as the hot chocolate stand.
However, the lack of non-white fall guys did not preclude white countries without them or with a paucity of them from dismantling segregation-ish systems. For instance, the United Kingdom had a major watershed civil rights act in 1965 (“Race Relations Act of 1965”). Australia abolished the White Australia Policy in stages between 1947 and 1975. Neither the UK nor Australia had a Martin Luther King or a Gandhi.
Anyone want to check me on the history?