Martin Luther King's name removed from Kansas city street - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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BBC wrote:Voters in Kansas City overwhelmingly approved the removal of Martin Luther King's name from a historic road, just months after it was renamed.

The proposal to remove Dr King's name claimed almost 70% of the vote, preliminary results show.

The council voted in January to rename The Paseo, a 10 mile (16km) boulevard in the city's mostly black east side.

The change sparked a fierce battle in the city, with opponents arguing that it had not been carried out properly.

More than 1,000 streets worldwide are said to bear the name of Dr King, with at least 955 found in the US. Kansas City is one of the only major US cities without a street named after the civil rights icon.

Those who wanted Dr King's name removed said they respect his legacy, but criticised the council's decision to push the change through by waiving a requirement that 75% of property owners on the boulevard should approve it.

"I overwhelmingly heard from my constituents that they did not want it," Alissia Canady, who served as councilwoman for the district that encompasses The Paseo, told the BBC. "There were African American property owners that did not agree with this way of honouring Dr King."

Ms Canady, who is black, said the council had been aware that "the political will was not there".

"They rushed to put the signs up with the hope that once the signs were up people would be afraid to take them down. That was the rhetoric: Kansas City can't be the city that takes Dr King's name down," Ms Canady says.

The Kansas City Chapter of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) - an organisation founded by Dr King - led efforts to keep the street's name in his honour. They did not respond to a request for comment.

Rev Vernon Howard, president of Kansas City's SCLC, told The Associated Press news agency that renaming the street Dr Martin Luther King Jr Boulevard was meant to be a symbol for the city's black children.

"Only if you are a black child growing up in the inner city lacking the kind of resources, lacking the kinds of images and models for mentoring, modelling, vocation and career, can you actually understand what that name on that sign can mean to a child in this community," Mr Howard said.

If the sign is taken down "the reverse will be true", he added.

Opponents of the name change set up the Save The Paseo group earlier this year. In April, it gathered enough signatures to put the removal to a vote.

Tensions between the SCLU and Save The Paseo reached a high point last Sunday, when a silent protest was staged at a church rally held by those pushing to keep Dr King's name. Protesters refused requests by pastors to sit down, fuelling accusations of racism.

But Ms Canady, who worked with Save The Paseo, says the charges are "a deflection of what the real issue was".

She continued: "Residents should not be silenced by special interest groups."

"We pushed a reset button," Ms Canady said. "Now everyone has to go back to the drawing board to find a way where we can all celebrate Dr King, and that's a huge opportunity for Kansas City."

This is a brazen attempt to deny history and is just as tragic as the removal of statues of heroic slavers and genociders from public spaces.
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Keep in mind that the latest "woke" craze is to trash Dr. King, because he allegedly stood by and watched women get raped and was a #metoo worthy womanizer too. I never thought I'd see the left do something like that to Dr. King, but it has come to pass.
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Godstud wrote:@blackjack21 They didn't. This is pure right-wing racism at work(falsely using a left position as a cover), and you know it.

Kansas City is a Democratic city. It's mayor is black. A majority of the people voted in a black mayor. The previous mayor dating back to 2011 was also black. Your bizarro idea that right wingers elect black mayors and then conspire against naming streets after Dr. King is absurd. It's not a right wing conspiracy. The Paseo is a historic boulevard in Kansas City and named and modeled after The Paseo de la Reforma in Mexico City. God you're weird. Kansas City is only 60% white, which means some blacks voted against it too. Maybe they just want to use a different street Godstud. Have you ever thought of that?
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For a perspective of why one might wish to change such things as street names and statues and why they are contentious. Changing statues and such is insufficient to create the rupture against a hegemony but it is a useful part for its continuity over time.
https://www.academia.edu/37331686/Lenin_Reloaded_Again_A_Critical_Book_Review_of_Tamas_Krauszs_Reconstructing_Lenin_An_Intellectual_Biography_
THE REVOLUTIONARY OBJECTIVES:THE TRANSFORMATION OF EVERYDAY LIFE

It is one of Krausz’s strongest virtues, that his book clarifies the overarching focus of Lenin's politics: the need to change the patterns of everyday life,combined with the ability to project political force on all levels of the class struggle, but especially on the level most directly shaping ideological space(what I am calling a general descriptor of the patterns of everyday life shaped by the effects of hegemony).

To think of the patterns of daily life means to think politics in terms of the flows of time and space, and their connection to political force(power). In terms of the everyday, Henri Lefebvre very incisively wrote that, to not have power means to live "inside a narrow time scale, with no understanding of what time is, not because they (the proletariat)are stupid, but because they are unaware. They do not understand time(because they are immersed in it)”. 13

Political oppression extends over social space and time, and thus actualized across class lines, casting profound effects on the temporal dimension of our lives.

his narrowing of time can be experienced in different ways, but the common thread is the general limiting of the temporal horizon of the imaginary : less time and emphasis in abstract concept formation, less formed knowledge on daily events in their political totality (due to lack of ability and practice for/in abstract thought), less thinking about the future, a narrowing of historical sense to that which is now immediately in front of me. The reduction of life,in other words, to its bare, most immediate functions necessary for physical reproduction. The reduction of thinking from the rich complexities inherent in our abilities as humans, to simplistic, mechanical mutterings, internalized from the oppressor and its technologies of subject-formation. To think requires time, as many have written since Aristotle, and this specific use of time is what is most restricted for the proletariat. 1

Here, Krausz excels in his clarification of Lenin’s often-discussed and criticized emphasis on the practical need to expand the political horizon of the proletariat "from without”. Contrary to worn-out critiques, “from without”does not mean the importing of revolutionary politics “from outside the proletariat”, as an expression of snobbish political elitism by a self-chosen“few”, but an intervention aiming to disrupt the closed loop of narrow time as the temporal experience of everyday life on the level of thought. Lenin'semphasis on “from without” means from outside the narrow time and space of internalized bourgeois ideology, optimized (i.e. simplified and dumbed down) for the proletariat, and consigning it to living with less knowledge of the present (to follow Lefebvre again), and less thinking about the future. 15

PARALLEL TO THIS IS KRAUSZ’S PARAPHRASE OF LENIN:

the working class is subject to bourgeois society not only in its generality, but also concretely, since all preconceived notions associated with the capitalist system find their way into the deepest consciousness of workers. The working class is unable to spontaneously rid itself of these preconceived notions. 16

What do “exits” have to do with the ability to influence historical (social)memory, a key factor for the temporal reproduction (continuity) on the strategic level of the political struggle? Here Krausz makes a crucial observation,noting how much emphasis Lenin placed on the need to build monuments to revolutionary heroes and events (from Marx and Engels, through figureslike Gogol, Dostoyevsky and the like). 17 We can extend Krausz by noting that this practice of Lenin’s extended beyond Marx, Engels and the pantheon of revolutionary writers in the Russian Empire, to include the renaming of streets after revolutionary events and heroes, as well as cities. The goal was to redraw the geography of ideological space , with the aim of preventing the origins of the revolutionary movement from being lost “in the fog” of continuousl ong-term class struggle. Or to put it differently, to prevent the temporal and spatial decay from within the patterns of ideological space of those who are subject to the narrow time scale of daily life.

Antithetically one can sense the "wide", long, temporal sense of the bourgeoisie: their monuments to themselves and to their class via statues,philanthropic efforts, the naming of buildings. A recent example of this is the Steven A. Schwartzman Building of the New York City Public Library, or(a century or so prior) Carnegie Mellon University, or the constant presence of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation across media, social or otherwise.In this sense, Lenin's call to build monuments to revolutions past (1917and the Paris Commune, etc.) and their participants, should be seen as part of this operational 18 struggle to widen the time horizon of the proletariatspecifically, and revolutionary forces in general, as an attempt to redefine the social perception (to shape ideological space) of daily life on the level of time and space. It is about meaning transferred via generations, and about space,of daily routines, that are controlled (symbolically and physically) by the proletariat (and the revolutionary power bloc in general).

nd also, in this sense, the destruction of Lenin statues in the Ukraine today is a crucial and necessary act of operational planning on part of the capitalist power bloc, aiming to once again narrow the time and space horizons of the proletariat. Today in the Ukraine of fast-purged Soviet imagery, as before 1917, most time-space inhabited by the proletariat is either filled by bourgeois abstractions (ads, street names, statues and monuments glorifying capitalists and their corporations), or will be replaced by a short-time focus on primary survival, minimization of abstract thought, of ghettos devoid of any symbolic presence, just post-Soviet ruins existing in a state of slow collapse and disappearance.

An important series of questions arises from destructions of monuments and what they signify. How is “Leninopad” in the Ukraine of today akin to the ongoing struggles in the southern United States centered on calls for removal of Confederate monuments? What is the difference between keeping the monuments of the victors, versus that of the defeated? One suggestive answer is that history belongs to the victors, and it is their prerogative to maintain hegemony over historical (political) memory, over what is visible (and invisible)in the everyday. But here again, Lenin’s ghost unveils deep contradictions. In the Ukraine, the removal of Soviet memory is (at least) partially filled with Nazisymbology. There are night-time torch marches down the central boulevard inKiev. A number of volunteer battalions active in the civil war in the DonbassRegion openly proclaim their allegiance to memory of the Third Reich and its various state formations. This rings odd in the Europe of 2017; there are no Naziregalia publicly and officially displayed in the center of Berlin. The Nazi are (sofar) a part of the vanquished past, its politics subject to state suppression. Yet,when it comes to confronting Lenin and the state he helped create, the Nazi past is allowed to be re-activated precisely in the political spaces of Nazism’sgreatest crimes (and possibly its most decisive defeat).
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