In the third installment of America’s Drug War, Richard Nixon makes good on his second chance at becoming president of the United States in 1968, instituting his “law and order” policies during his president, chief among them sweeping anti-drug policy. These policies concentrated mostly on cannabis and opiates such as heroin, but also overhauled the way the federal government addressed drugs. Jaye provides context to the America of the 1960s, and discusses Nixon’s War on Drugs as key to his crusade to end the social and political change the 1960s represented.

CONTENT WARNING – This episode discusses mature themes, including illicit drug use and political assassinations. Listener discretion is advised.

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This Patreon bonus episode, originally released March 2019, is being released free this month as part of Flying Machine’s Flyer Drive! To learn more and become a Patron, go to http://flyingmachine.network/support. Enjoy this episode!

Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” is famous for several iconic statements, including the admonishment of “white moderates.” But did you know that the “white moderates” Dr. King was referring to were specific local clergymen in Birmingham who had written an open letter opposing the protests he helped to organize? These clergy are dubbed “The Birmingham Eight.” Who were these men? What did it mean for them to be “moderate,” and how did they respond to Dr. King’s letter? And what can this incident in American history teach us about allyship?

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When most Americans think of late civil rights icon Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., we often picture a unifying Christian minister who used non-violence to advance his dream of racial equality in the United States. But in death, has Dr. King been whitewashed?

In the final installment of this two-part series, Jaye provides an overview of Dr. King’s transformation – from “outside agitator” to “colorblind civil rights icon.” She examines the making of a hero in the American consciousness, and how willful distortion of Dr. King’s legacy served a political and social purpose. Is our society that different today than the society of the 1960s? And how has the “rehabilitated” King given the United States an easy out from its original sin of racism?

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When most Americans think of late civil rights icon Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., we often picture a unifying Christian minister who used non-violence to advance his dream of racial equality in the United States. King would have been 90 years old this year, had he not been assassinated. We observe his birthday every January, and often hear his name invoked, as well as that of other civil rights leaders, in February during Black History Month.

But in death, has Dr. King been whitewashed?

In the first installment of a two-part series, Jaye discusses some widely-held beliefs regarding Dr. King and the world in which he lived. She provides context for Dr. King’s life, and sets the record straight on a respected, but misunderstood historical figure.

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Several US Supreme Court rulings in June that have emboldened Donald Trump and the GOP, and have left Democrats reeling. In addition, US Supreme Court justice Anthony Kennedy is retiring, which means the Trump administration has another opening they can fill on the court. Jaye discusses these and related developments, and seeks to place them into their proper perspective. In the wake of these events, she aims to provide messages of admonishment, motivation, and hope. Resisters – be encouraged!

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When I taught political science courses, one of my favorite lessons would be on Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. That would usually come up in the civil rights chapter of the American government intro courses, or I would include it in my courses on race, gender and politics. The reason why it was my favorite was because it gave me an opportunity to share with my students the real Dr. King, and see them wrestle with it.

Each year in the United States, we take a day in January to observe Dr. King’s birthday. He is lauded as a great, non-violent civil rights leader who gave the “I Have a Dream” speech.

And he was. But understanding Dr. King, and why his message was so controversial and challenging to white America despite his philosophy of non-violence, we have to go beyond the Dream.

Much of what Dr. King said was not only controversial in his time, but also in this time.

The speech I would have my students read was this one. You should read it too.

Remaining Awake Through a Great Revolution

In it, Dr. King speaks to issues and solutions that are still difficult for many Americans to process, such as systematic discrimination, white guilt, the responsibility of the white church, affirmative action, and reparations.

For many of us who are only familiar with a sanitized Dr. King, it’s hard to reconcile the Dream with King’s views on these issues. But the history of race and race relations in the United States, like Dr. King’s views on racism and racial progress, are complex. And we should treat these issues with the seriousness and nuance they deserve.

In the age of Trump, Dr. King’s words – all of them – are just as important and timely as ever. Going beyond the Dream and understanding the hard things can help us to grow as a society and nation.