Remembering Martin Luther King, Jr. and When the Orange County Board of Education Wanted to Ban His Bio

martinlutherking.JPG
King's bust at Chapman
This year marks the 50th anniversary of civil-rights martyr Martin Luther King Jr. visiting Orange County, when he spoke at Chapman's Memorial Hall back in the days when it was a college and a progressive-liberal-arts institution instead of the finishing school it has become for the county's GOP spawn. I'll wait until the actual anniversary of King's speech (in December) to unearth his remarks and the controversy surrounding them; for this post, we'll remember when the Orange County Board of Education tried to keep his biography away from county schools.

In 1971, not even three years after King's assassination, the board deleted from its purchase list a bio written about him at the request of trustee Dale E. Rallison. The trustee's reasoning? King was a commie.

Rallison was a member of the John Birch Society, and he told the Los Angeles Times that King was "a conscious supporter of Communism" without offering any proof. His actions spurred vigorous community opposition to the proposed censorship, and a sheepish board voted two weeks after Rallison's move to place King's bio in county libraries by a 3-1 vote, with Rallison voting against the proposal and another trustee abstaining.

But the Bircher didn't stop. At the meeting, according to a Times account, he "passed out pamphlets titled, 'Please Don't Help Glorify Martin Luther King.'" I'm sure Rallison insisted he wasn't racist, too, because the author of the pamphlet was--and I quote from the propaganda--"An Anti-Communist Negro."

Only in Orange County . . .

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7 comments
briansays
briansays

1/23 is the 40th anniversary of lbj’s death

some say it was vietnam and not the heart attack that killed him
but for…
medicare, civil rights, and….???

found these words on line
something we won’t hear
from one of the greatest speeches ever given to congress, Johnson’s “we shall overcome” speech

“My first job after college was as a teacher in Cotulla, Texas, in a small Mexican-American school. Few of them could speak English and I couldn’t speak much Spanish. My students were poor and they often came to class without breakfast and hungry. And they knew even in their youth the pain of prejudice. They never seemed to know why people disliked them, but they knew it was so because I saw it in their eyes.

I often walked home late in the afternoon after the classes were finished wishing there was more that I could do. But all I knew was to teach them the little that I knew, hoping that I might help them against the hardships that lay ahead. And somehow you never forget what poverty and hatred can do when you see its scars on the hopeful face of a young child.

I never thought then, in 1928, that I would be standing here in 1965. It never even occurred to me in my fondest dreams that I might have the chance to help the sons and daughters of those students, and to help people like them all over this country. But now I do have that chance.

And I’ll let you in on a secret–I mean to use it. And I hope that you will use it with me.”



BobLoblawsLawBlog
BobLoblawsLawBlog

...and I quote from the propaganda--"An Anti-Communist Negro."

Maybe Rallison was black(vitiligo?) and anti-communist? Always a pessimist...

Jesse La Tour
Jesse La Tour

Fullerton politician John Schmitz, another Bircher, called King "a notorious liar" and also said that, "I would have voted for a three-tier system—have one school that the blacks could go to, one school that all the whites could go to, and those who want to mix go to a third school." I suspect Dr. King had quite a few haters in conservative OC.

nun of that
nun of that

gustavo, look up eighth grade history text adopted by anaheim unified and buena park school district in the late 1960's maybe right before or after MLK assassination titled "Land of the Free", It predominantly focused on African-American history. now you have something positive to research and write about except you can't do that cause ub just writing "the revolution of shuck and jive" screenplay with its predictable theme of victim who are rescued from oppression by your mighty pen

gustavoarellano
gustavoarellano

You mean the same Anaheim Union High School District that banned sex-ed classes? Nice to see you follow me from blog to blog!

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