The cross is a symbol of state violence used against those who are considered threats to the power of the state. In Jesus’ day, the cross was reserved for people accused (and convicted) of sedition and treason against the Roman Empire. In our day, the spirit of the cross can be seen in the harassment, threats and even execution of those who stand up for worker justice. Forty-seven years ago today, Martin Luther King, Jr. traveled to Memphis, TN, to support striking sanitation workers and delivered his “I’ve Been To the Mountaintop” speech. On April 4, he was killed while standing on his motel room balcony. Questions remain about the roll of the FBI in King’s assassination. For years, the FBI had kept King under constant surveillance, secretly tapping his phone lines and following his every move. FBI Deputy Director at the time, William C. Sullivan, acknowledged in a memo that King was, “the target of an intensive campaign by the FBI to neutralize him as an effective civil rights leader.”
Read his final speech HERE.