Words Matter


In Honor of Dr. Martin Luther King - "A Letter from Birmingham Jail"

Season 4, Ep. 3

Last week would have been the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s 92nd birthday. Given all that has happened over the last year and the last few weeks, we wanted to highlight one of the most significant and consequential calls for racial equality and social justice in American History - “Letter from Birmingham Jail”

On Good Friday, April 12, 1963 - the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr and fellow civil rights leaders were arrested in Birmingham, Alabama as they lead a now famous Campaign of non-violent direct action to protest racial segregation and oppression in that Southern City.

In the early 1960s, Birmingham was one of the most racially segregated cities in the United States - enforced by both law and culture. Black citizens faced legal and economic oppression, and violent retribution when they attempted to even draw attention to these conditions

The Birmingham Campaign would become a pivotal moment in the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s. President Kennedy’s Address to the Nation on Civil Rights, the August 1963 March on Washington and many other events were a direct result of this campaign and Dr. King’s now famous letter. 

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Malcolm X - "The Ballot or the Bullet"

Season 4, Ep. 8
He was born Malcolm Little in Omaha, Nebraska- and he became one of the most celebrated, influential and misunderstood leaders of the Civil Rights movement of the 1960sMalcolm X was a Muslim Minister and human rights activist - best known as a pioneer of the Black Nationalist Movement and as an apostle for self-respect and uncompromising resistance to white oppression.By the time he was assassinated 56 years ago this week - Malcolm X had become one of the greatest and most influential African Americans in history.He is credited with raising the self-esteem of Black Americans and reconnecting them with their African heritage.He is largely responsible for the spread of Islam in the Black community in the United States.Many African Americans, especially those who lived in cities in the Northern and Western United States, felt that MalcolmX better articulated their struggle against racism and inequality than the mainstream civil rights movement did.He argued that if the U.S. government was unwilling or unable to protect Black people, Black people should protect themselves.Although he had publicly criticized the mainstream civil rights movement for its emphasis on nonviolence and racial integration- after he left the Nation of Islam in March of 1964, Malcolm Xdeclared his willingness to cooperate with that Movement.Of those civil rights leaders he said: “I've forgotten everything bad that [they] have said about me, and I pray they can also forget the many bad things I've said about them."Originally delivered in Cleveland, on April 3rd 1964 - this recorded version was delivered in April 12th in Detroit.Today, historians regard “The Ballot or the Bullet” as one of the most influential speech in American history.Far from a call to violence – Malcolm X sought educate his community as to the extent of their political power:The whites are so evenly divided that every time they vote, the race is so close they have to go back and count the votes all over again. Which means that any block, any minority that has a block of votes that stick together is in a strategic position. Either way you go, that's who gets it. You're in a position to determine who'll go to the White House and who'll stay in the doghouse.While distancing himself from the Nation of Islam - Malcolm X described his continued commitment toBlack Nationalism, which he defined as the philosophy that African Americans should control the political, economic and social destinies of their own communities.Like many of the great speeches we feature - Malcolm X tied his and his people’s struggle to American’s Founding and embraced the spirit of the American Revolution:The white man made the mistake of letting me read his history books. He made the mistake of teaching me that Patrick Henry was a patriot, and George Washington – there wasn't nothing non-violent about ol' Pat, or George Washington. "Liberty or death"- is what brought about the freedom of whites in this country from the English.This is why I say it's the ballot or the bullet. It's liberty or it's death. It's freedom for everybody or freedom for nobody.Here is Malcolm X’s historic speech - "The Ballot or the Bullet" - in its entirety.

Deep State Radio: On January 6, the Noose Was for Mike Pence...Now a Legal Noose Is Tightening Around Trump

Season 4
While Trumpists may have celebrated that the disgraced former president was not convicted by the Senate and the Senators who voted to convict have been attacked for their show of conscience, the reality is that Trump's legal prospects are not good.Mitch McConnell, his one time ally, called for his prosecution.Multiple cases in which he is a target are under way--in NY, Atlanta, and Washington DC.A commission is being called to investigate the January 6th insurgency.We discuss where these may lead and how the GOP may handle the consequences with former Trump Admin senior staffer Olivia Troye and Ryan Goodman of NYU Law School and "Just Security."Don't miss it.Each week, we’re bringing you a new episode of one of our favorite podcasts, Deep State Radio. Deep State Radio, hosted by David Rothkopf, produces newepisodes 2-3 times per week and brings together top experts, policymakers, and journalists from the national security, foreign policy, and political communities. You cansubscribe to the podcast on Apple, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts. If you become a member of the DSR Network, you’ll receive benefits such as ad-free listeningvia private feed, discounts to virtual events and Deep State Radio Swag, and access to the member-only Slack community.This is one of the most closely followedpodcasts among the people influencing the most important decisions in Washington and worldwide today.You can learn more by visitingthedsrnetwork.com. Listeners to Words Matter will receive 25% off of the regular membership price. Use code wordsmatter at checkout.