Texas Longhorns with newborn calf in Bluebonnets

Texas Longhorns with newborn calf in Bluebonnets

Please note I have a new phone number...


Alan Maki

Alan Maki
Doing research at the LBJ Library in Austin, Texas

It's time to claim our Peace Dividend

It's time to claim our Peace Dividend

We need to beat swords into plowshares.

We need to beat swords into plowshares.

A program for real change...


What we need is a "21st Century Full Employment Act for Peace and Prosperity" which would make it a mandatory requirement that the president and Congress attain and maintain full employment.

"Voting is easy and marginally useful, but it is a poor substitute for democracy, which requires direct action by concerned citizens"

- Ben Franklin

Let's talk...

Let's talk...

Monday, January 21, 2008

Martin Luther King Day in Minnesota

St. Paul Ford Twin Cities Assembly Plant worker outside of UAW Lcal 879 Union Hall...

Martin Luther King Day in Minnesota is characterized by assaults and attacks on people of color, and the working class as a whole. These attacks come from employers, the banks and financial institutions as politicians of all parties sit in silence.

The military-financial-industrial complex of state-monopoly capitalism has spun a massive web of racism, exploitation, unemployment, poverty and war.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was cut down by an assassin's bullet as he was articulating the need for organized labor and the civil rights movement to begin the march to real freedom from a system which places corporate greed before human need.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. called for full implementation of human rights as articulated by the United Nations' Universal Declaration of Human Rights and understood within this concept words on a piece of paper meant nothing unless aggressively enforced by government mandate.

Martin Luther King Day 2008 finds working class Minnesotans of all races and nationalities searching for solutions to the social and economic mess we find ourselves entangled in as big-business dominated politicians of the Republican and Democratic parties cover their ears and close their eyes to these injustices which are the creation of a corrupt, parasitic, barbaric capitalist system which has turned into an cannibalistic imperialist beast and monster. The only thing of importance is the profits of the Wall Street coupon clippers.

Working people are being foreclosed on and evicted from their homes; people of color suffer the worst as they are now being evicted from the homes in areas where just thirty years ago they were not able to live in because the color of their skin. Where will these people of color find "new" homes? We all know the answer.

Working people are losing their jobs as plants close and the Wall Street coupon clippers pack up and move to areas of the world where they can exploit labor more intensely for greater profits; again, people of color are the first victims as they lose jobs which just thirty years ago were "off-limits" to everyone whose skin was not white.

Here in Minnesota we see politicians and the leaders of big-business piously proclaiming recognition and "respect" for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. as these same greedy corporate CEO's and the politicians who are at their every beck and call scheme together to close the St. Paul Ford Twin Cities Assembly Plant, ignore tens of thousands of people being foreclosed on and evicted from their homes, draft phony health care reform measures like the Minnesota Health Act, sit in silence as over thirty-thousand Minnesotans go to jobs in smoke-filled casinos without any rights at poverty wages at the complete mercy of the mobsters who operate these casinos, fresh water supplies are contaminated as corporations profit by selling bottled water poor people can not afford, the poorest people live in areas with the most polluted air, the economy has a myriad of bubbles ready to burst: who will suffer the most? We all know the answer.

The racist Congresswoman Michelle Bachman tells the most impoverished suffering the worst to get second jobs; demonstrating how far out of touch from reality this rich, uncaring and insensitive Republican Bush loving politician is because those suffering the most are already working second--- and third--- jobs and now have to get third and fourth jobs just to pay for the gas to get to their other jobs as the politicians sit on their hands as the robbery at the pumps continue. All working people suffer--- but, who suffers the most? We all know the answer: people of color.

Who are the primary victims of this police violence which is beginning to take on characteristics of pogroms? Again, we all know the answer. The big-business politicians don't want to acknowledge where all of this institutionalized racism is headed because the truth leads any thinking person to conclude that it is only a matter of time before we will all be living under the black-booted heel of the fascist jackals... it can happen here... it is happening here as our Constitutional Rights supposedly protected by the United States Constitution and Bill of Rights are being systematically eliminated by Bush and the Republicans with either full complicity and/or acquiescence from most Democrats.

To each and everyone of these problems there is a clear, sharp racist edge where people of color are injured first; we know people of color will be helped last--- as can be seen from what is going on in New Orleans.

This is the way this rotten "system" works; the "system" is racist to its rotten exploiting core.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was accused of being a Communist. The racist and anti-Semitic John Birch Society was allowed to plaster our highways with huge billboards picturing Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. sitting beside his Communist friends at the Highlander School where some of our leading civil rights and trade union leaders were educated and trained. These billboards were in fact advertisements in search of someone to murder Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. These kinds of campaigns of racist and anti-communist political hate have a way of taking on a life of their own like a snow-ball rolling down a long steep hill on a warm spring day.

We see such campaigns of hate being whipped up today in our country; again these campaigns of bigotry and hate are taking aim at those, like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. who stood up without fear using his strong clear voice in the cause of freedom, peace and social and economic justice.

Was Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. a Communist like the men he most admired: W.E.B. DuBois and Paul Robeson? I don't know, he never got around to telling us because he was murdered. Whether King was brought down by an assassin hired by the FBI or the CIA as many suggest we will perhaps never know... We do know one thing: The FBI and CIA initiated and participated in a racist, anti-communist campaign of hate against Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. which made the assassin think he could murder King and get away with this dirty deed. When you have J. Edgar Hoover, the top cop along with the United States Attorney General and every state and local law enforcement agency involved in tapping telephones, opening mail and conducting around the clock surveillance as they concoct a pile of lies trying to discredit a man like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. it is no surprise when an assassin pulls the trigger thinking they can get away with murder. J. Edgar Hoover knew he was issuing a death sentence for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. as he ordered his "special" agents to go after King.

Today in Minnesota we see the same kinds of campaign of hate being spun against those who speak out against the closing of the St. Paul Ford Twin Cities Assembly Plant, we see similar campaigns of hate against those who oppose the war in Iraq (who can ever forget the hateful insults hurled by those waving American flags as hundreds of people marched down the street in Detroit Lakes, Minnesota as United States Congressman Colin Peterson sat in silence and the police tolerated the spewing of hate in the name of "freedom of speech" as these thugs attacked people and tore up their signs? Nazi Germany? Not yet... but it is on the way if not stopped.

Consider the closing of the St. Paul Ford Twin Cities Assembly Plant. Where will a worker of color ever be able to go in the Twin Cities to get a job as good as that at this plant? It took decades of struggle to get the Ford Motor Company to end their racist hiring practices... then it took more decades of struggle fighting for full equality on the job once workers of color got through the back door. Now that full equality has been achieved the politicians sit and watch as they give the Ford Motor Company free reign to close this plant. There are many other issues involved; but, what sense does it make to close a plant just when full equality has been achieved; what was the struggle against racism for at the St. Paul Ford Twin Cities Assembly Plant? Just so Ford could pack up and move Ranger production to Thailand? Workers of color--- last hired, first fired; Not at the St. Paul Ford Twin Cities Assembly Plant. For once in the Twin Cities last hired--- because of the struggle against racism and for equality; for once, not first fired. But, what happens to the workers of color when the wrecking ball hits? Again, New Orleans provides us with the answer. .. as does the racism of the Ford Site Planning Committee and Task Force. One only need look at the St. Paul City Council and the St. Paul Board of education to see who is calling the shots.

The racist Ford Site Planning Committee and Task Force is hard at work paving the way for a "green," yuppie, upscale, racially segregated community to be created where the St. Paul Ford Twin Cities Assembly Plant now stands; Ford Motor Company, forced by the peoples' struggles, is now forced to hire without racial discrimination. One would think listening to Ford CEO's that racist hiring was never part of its corporate agenda.

Will the workers of color employed at poverty wages by Lund's Supermarket find homes in this new "green" upscale community the Ford Site Planning Committee and Task Force wants to create when the rubble from the Ford Plant is cleared find affordable homes here? Again, New Orleans provides the answer.

It is ironic that one of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s most important issues was that all people have access to health care... yet today, there are those who are using this occasion of celebrating the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to push something they call the Minnesota Health Act under the guise of single-payer universal health care when all that it really is, is a scam to dump the full cost of health care directly onto the backs of the working class when the burden of health care costs should fall most heavily on the employers. How many people of color were consulted in drafting this mis-named Minnesota Health Act?

What is State Senator John Marty thinking when he brings forward a health care program which creates huge premiums for people to pay who are now losing their homes and can't even pay to heat their homes and probably won't be able to afford the price of gas to get to work much longer?

Here we are; living in the richest country in the world... living in Minnesota one of the richest places on earth with vast forest and iron ore deposits which the robber barons have been allowed to steal for years as trillions upon trillions of dollars are squandered on war after war while this present dirty imperialist war for oil and regional domination is costing us trillions of dollars more and the politicians tell us we can't have free health care because there is no such thing as a "free lunch." They never tell United States Steel, the Ford Motor Company, casino managements or 3M there is no such thing as a "free lunch" as they are doling out our tax-dollars to these corporations to fully subsidize their operations.

Imagine, the Ford Motor Company was given free electricity to power its St. Paul Ford Twin Cities Assembly Plant while people shiver through this cold without heat?

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.--- he taught us nothing comes to working people--- black, brown, red, yellow or white--- unless we unite and fight.

On this day we are celebrating the life and struggles of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. there are those still trying to figure out if Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was a "Communist."

Does it make any difference if he was a Communist, or not... Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. locked arms with his Communist friends as he led the march to freedom for an end to racism and for full equality, for a world of peace where working people could live with dignity and respect... providing us with the real lesson of how to win our struggles.

Today leaders like Cynthia McKinney heroically take up the struggle where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. left off, just as Dr. King picked up the struggle from W.E.B. DuBois and Paul Robeson, who before them picked up from where Nat Tuner and Frederick Douglas left off.

Here Cynthia McKinney campaigns for the Presidency meets with a St. Paul Ford Twin Cities Assembly Plant worker discussing the plant's closing and her support for the struggle for Public Ownership as the solution to the Ford Motor Company's abandonment of the Twin Cities.

Something to discuss and think about around the dinner table...