In the aftermath of the 1965 civil rights march from Selma to Montgomery, Ala., an Associated Press reporter caught up with former President Harry S. Truman during a morning walk in New York City and asked him his opinion.
“There are plenty of Negro leaders, and they’re good ones. Martin Luther King is a rabble-rouser. He’s not a leader. He has hurt his cause, because he hasn’t any sense.”
Remember, this is the same president who boldly desegregated the Army in 1948, so he was hardly a backward thinker. But even after King’s leadership and courage led to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and a Nobel Peace Prize, Truman held a low opinion of the man.
A lot of people did.
While complete racial harmony will never be achieved, it’s a sign of progress that King’s actions and words are almost universally praised today. It was easy for white leaders back then to call for incremental change or a “go-slow” approach. They weren’t the victims of inequality. Similarly, the pitched battles over whether King was worthy of a holiday have subsided. There are no serious efforts to turn back. Read the rest of the article at: http://bit.ly/5p05HP