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Dr. King’s last speech and why he was assassinated: The untold story!

Letters to Editor
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I WAS only ten minutes from being at the Loraine Motel when Dr. King was killed and having marched with Dr. King and being at the Mason Temple when Dr. King made his last speech, I was wondering why was Dr. King was crying as he finished his speech.

It was only later that I learned about the threats and how Dr. King really believed he might be killed — he was assassinated the next day. He literally stared death in the face and gave his life to help the sanitation workers (garbage-collectors) of Memphis. (For full text of the speech, go to https://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/mlkivebeentothemountaintop.htm/)

Many people, especially if you didn’t live in Memphis, don’t know what many Blacks in Memphis see as the REAL reason Dr. King was killed. I was a member of the(Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee of college students under the leadership of now Congressman John Lewis. In our last meeting with Dr. King in Memphis he offered up a “new strategy” for marching and protesting which was we would stop marching downtown and that we were going to march in Chickasaw Garden area of Memphis on the following night but he never left the Loraine Motel to conduct the march. FYI about Memphis, at that point in time most of the rich and elite white people of Memphis lived in Chickasaw Gardens and the thought that Dr. King was bringing a Civil Rights march to their residential neighborhood was absolutely horrifying by the white community of Chickasaw Gardens. The mayor and many of the City Council Members also live in this elite neighborhood so needless to say something had to be done to stop that march and we all know what happened! While this is not an official account for why Dr. King was killed, it is the strong belief of most of us who were there that it was the planned Chickasaw Garden march that was the last straw of tolerance that broke the camel’s back figuratively leading to the death of a great man — Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Let us keep Dr. King’s DREAM and HOPE alive in the CNMI as we are still fighting pockets of resistance to “all men being created equal” in the CNMI so we still have some work to do. I hope everyone can appreciate Dr. King for what he did to change not only America for the better but also for the fact that he gave birth to the ideology and establishment of the Institutionalism of Human Rights for our entire WORLD!

AMBROSE M. BENNETT
Kagman, Saipan

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