Nothing ever changes

The internet, social media, the passage of time…none of that matters. When you read Martin Luther King’s hate mail, it all sounds exactly the same. White people complaining about black people disrupting their comfortable lives by getting demanding, and using their discomfort to justify slapping them down.

What is this Black Power business? If it is a threat to Whites– why should Whites not retaliate? Why should Whites hire Blacks?

And who is at fault? The people who are most oppressed.

You are responsible for all of these riots and havoc in this country today.

I want that person to get together with this person:

You don’t point out any FAULTS at all of your own people, just the whites.

I’m sure they’d then agree that it’s unfair to single out one group. Or perhaps a third person would chime in with an accusation of black criminality.

The hatred between the race is now at an all time peak and will get worse as the niggers continue to beat, rape and murder white women and girls.

No round of complaints is complete without someone chiming in with a ‘Dear Muslima’ — it’s much worse elsewhere, so shut up and accept a lesser inequality here.

It would be well if every American Negro compared his position and opportunity with that of his race in other countries. He would find that in none does the Negro have the advantages the United States gives him. As justified as may be many of the demands Negroes make, they are not the only matter of importance in the world.

And of course, the people telling a black civil rights leader to sit down and shut up are the true egalitarians.

It certainly must take unmititgated gall to ask the public, particularly “WHITEY” for funds to keep you and your ilk rolling along in the manner to which you have become to visibly accustomed.

Your false image is beginning to catch up with your as well as others.

I believe and contribute to any cause for advancing human dignity.

But this letter is my very favorite.

Do return that ‘Nobel-peace-prize’ that we bestowed upon you, (as a great honor) so we can give it to some one who really deserves it.

“We”? Don’t you just love the casual assumption that all the white people get together and decide who gets to have a Nobel prize?

But yeah, this person would sort of get their wish. The prize wasn’t retracted, but the Nobel committee did award one to a deserving white man: Henry Kissinger.

It’s a collection of old letters, ink on paper, that does provide some perspective on the electronic deluge of anonymous hatred we get now. It’s nothing new. Different medium, same old bigots.


  1. Siobhan says

    Different medium, same old bigots.

    Hence the bingo cards. Bigots haven’t had an original thought on minority issues for decades; meanwhile racism has advanced under the development of intersectionality in the noughties. Our understanding of prejudice and power systems continues to grow while those defending it use the same, tired old tactics.

  2. davidrichardson says

    The Nobel-peace-prize ‘we’ bestowed upon you? Was this bit of hate mail written by a Norwegian?

  3. says

    I had this thought, unbidden, pop into my head that “Wait… they didn’t have email when MLK was alive!”

    Then I remembered we used to use this thing called “paper” to record and transmit messages, albeit slowly…

  4. komarov says

    Why hasn’t the process been automated yet? Clearly the material is standard issue, so it should be simple to create a generator that matches and mixes text blocks according to user-selected ‘issues’, and e-mails them to a recipient list in a pre-set interval (anything from months to microseconds).
    The recipients would have a much easier time setting up suitable filters and the senders could free a subjective 95% of their time to do something, anything or nothing at all, each of which is more productive than what they’re doing now.
    A company offering this service (software and servers or other platforms to run it for you) could probably make some money with this. It’s an opportunity for the purveyors of spambots, fake invoices and counterfeit medical supplies to diversify. Not that they need to. Or should.

  5. ck, the Irate Lump says

    One thing has changed: Plenty of those people who post modern versions of those same racist rants will claim to be supporters of what MLK jr stood for because of that one section of that one speech that gets played on TV all the time. In fact, it’s become one of their favorite weapons to use against black activists.

  6. mnb0 says

    “You don’t point out any FAULTS at all of your own people, just the whites.”
    This is simply a lie. No black anti-racist activist ever said something was a fault just because I’m white. From this quote there is no need to read on.

  7. antigone10 says

    “It would be well if every American Negro disempowered group compared zir position and opportunity with that of his race the same disempowered group in other countries. Zee would find that in none does the Negro have the advantages the United States gives him disempowered group have some, but not all of the rights, due to them as a human. As justified as may be many of the demands Negroes make, they are not the only matter of importance in the world they make me uncomfortable to realize I have privilege when my cognitive dissonance makes me think they should be grateful for some reason.”

    Fixed that for you. Hey people- the appropriate comparison is not Disempowered Group X here compared to Diesmpowered Group somewhere else, the appropriate comparison is Disempowered Group X compared to Privileged Group Y here.

  8. John Thimakis says

    I guess Martin Luther King’s dream was just that. The promised land over the top of the mountain was just wishful thinking.