Kenneth Rexroth

Five Columns from San Francisco Magazine

America the Ugly

It is a profoundly shocking experience to return to America after a year abroad living amongst the “natives” and deliberately avoiding other Americans. Some months ago Gunnar Myrdal pointed out in a speech and subsequently in an article that America had become a closed society like Russia, and that Americans no longer knew what the rest of the world thought of them, much less why.

I think the American situation is worse, because the Iron Curtain countries are full of people who listen to the Western radio and in border regions, like East Berlin, East Germany and parts of Hungary and Czechoslovakia, they can even get Western television. Also, most Europeans speak more than one language and read newspapers and magazines from other countries. It is hardly believable that the leading foreign newspapers do not come to the editorial offices of any major American newspaper, except the New York Times and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. (There is one notable exception — the monthly magazine Atlas, a compendium of foreign commentary on the US, published by Malcolm Muir, former editor of Newsweek.)

The only daily newspaper in America which resembles a European one and commonly reprints from the European press is the extremely successful York (Pennsylvania) Gazette and Daily, edited by my old friend Jimmy Higgins. Due to the fact that it accurately reflects European opinion and reprints translations from Figaro, Die Welt or the Warsawa Tribuna, it is hard to find in library newspaper rooms. I guess they think it is Communist.

American journalism, even the most liberal and enlightened, is failing the American public — its job is precisely to give them the gift to see themselves as others see them. Instead, our local pseudo-liberal sheet features as a foreign service a syndicated column which concerns itself with grave matters like the poor quality of condoms in the Kabul bazaar or the popularity of halvah in Iceland. As for the other paper — they don’t believe in foreigners.

Let me say flatly that America has become the most hated and feared nation in history. Hitler had friends. They may have been nasty friends, but the State Department only has hired lackeys and adventurers kept in office by the CIA. The Nazis and Fascists had principles — bad principles, but principles they were.

America is looked upon as a land of mindless totalitarians. “The military-industrial complex” that Eisenhower long ago warned us against does not need brains; it has computers. When the plums, or lemons, all come up “genocide,” the red button is automatically pushed. They certainly don’t need principles. Those are for the rubes, who can be taken care of by the publicity organizations that successfully run Rin Tin Tin for governor even though he shows signs of hydrophobia.

This hatred and fear is not some kind of Communist delusion. As a matter of fact, the European Communists and especially the Russians understand America. They’re the same kind of people. It’s the European Social Democrats, the Center and Moderate Right, the whole body of opinion that represents the conservation of Western Civilization, that is terrified of the two monsters than hem Europe in. If you want a reasoned, dispassionate and bone-chilling exposé of the folly of the Vietnam War, talk to a German aristocrat from an old army family, with sympathies with the Roman Catholic Left, such a man as was von Stauffenberg, who was executed for trying to assassinate Hitler.

I never met a person anywhere in the world who was in favor of American policy in Vietnam (except those in paid positions dependent on the Americans) and this includes bankers in India, stockbrokers in England and editors of conservative newspapers in Sweden. The degree to which America is distrusted is shown by the fact that almost everyone I have questioned, including mature people in highly responsible positions, believe that Lyndon Johnson is an accessory before or after the fact, or at least had guilty knowledge of the assassination of Kennedy. I think this is unlikely myself, but it is a measure of the almost paranoid distrust of America.

It’s not just politics and geopolitics — the endless succession of mass murders, riots, senseless killings and bad movie actors in public office has convinced Europeans that America is a nation of madmen. There must be something in the air or water that has driven us all crazy. Another thing is the relentless flood of debauchery that we export — nudie magazines, two-murders-for-every-commercial television.

The former president of India, Dr. Radakrishnan, once said to me, “It is incredible, the sorts of things the State Department chooses to show me when I visit America, or the entertainments and sightseeing they provided for Pandit Nehru.” Minoo Masani, the leading conservative member of the Indian Parliament, when I repeated this to him said, “Yes, I know. They will never understand that what we object to is not that they are capitalists, it’s that they are immoral. We are not afraid of Wall Street; we are afraid of Hollywood.”

Two of the top-ranking American Cardinals passionately supporting, even advocating, genocide at the Second Vatican Council filled the hearts of the Princes of the Church with amazed horror.

When Americans travel abroad they practically never make any contact with genuine foreign public opinion. Ninety-nine percent of them live entirely in the world of organized tourism with its violently aggressive sycophancy. The other one percent are mostly scholars, writers and other cultural workers who are sponsored through one of its many covers by the CIA and who never meet anybody who has not been processed by the foreign cultural organizations of the CIA, the Congress for Cultural Freedom and such like. Foreign correspondents of American newspapers by and large are perfect embodiments of the cynical adage of that cynical Hearst foreign correspondent of years ago, Karl von Wiegland, “Public opinion is what other American newspapermen talk about in the Ritz Bar.” A few speak the language of the country and know the score and write their stories with their tongues firmly planted in both cheeks.

Of course you can say that if you spend a year outside the country you become corrupted with anti-American sentiment. That doesn’t happen to be true of me. Emotional anti-Americanism is largely confined to middle-class and professional people, especially French, who envy Americans for the so-called American Way of Life — for which I have nothing but contempt, whether it’s practiced in Tokyo, Düsseldorf or San Francisco. I spend my time abroad amongst very common people who always seem to like me and my family very much. So this year I returned with my mind pretty much of a clean slate as far as any opinion about the state of American culture in 1967.

I feel that I have returned to the dangerous ward of the lunatic asylum, a place where homo homine lupus is the first and greatest commandment, and the second is like unto it: “Everybody does it, why shouldn’t I?” Otto Rank once said that this was the diagnostic sign of the psychopathic personality. Arsonists, kleptomaniacs, exhibitionists, snarfs, psychopathic liars — all devoutly believe that everybody does what they do; they just get caught.

Perhaps when the Great Credibility Gapper in the White House has sufficiently depreciated the money he will substitute these two commandments for Annuit Coeptis Novus Ordo Saeclorum, that ancient and honorable slogan of the 18th-century Freemasons, that perfect symbol of the Age of Reason and Enlightenment when a great nation was founded on the principles of a humane, humanistic and humanitarian philosophy and run for over a generation by revolutionary intellectuals, the equals of the most civilized men in Western European civilization.

What raises gooseflesh on my body and makes my hair stand on end is the incredible acceleration of decay — escalation, to use the term of the people most responsible for it. The United States is falling apart at about the degree in ten years that took the Roman Empire a century. When some future Gibbon in Nigeria writes The Decline and Fall of the American Empire, it will be a short book.

Just think, 20 years ago the United States was all powerful and absolutely unchallenged, and its dead president, rightly or wrongly, was the most respected man in the world. Every bit of that power and opportunity has been thrown away. Every positive has been turned into a negative. Where once all was plus, the signs have been changed to a terrible minus.
[November 1967]

General Breakdown

The other evening at a concert of the Chamber Music Society an old friend asked me why I did not write a “City column” exposing the manifest evil, corruption and folly of the local Establishment and its kept politicians. Why Athens? Why not San Francisco? The answer is obvious. The most serious evils in San Francisco are only reflections in a reducing glass of the spread of the murderous empire of the American military and industrial complex across the world.

Is our education system breaking down because young people reject its values? Our universities and medical schools are dependent on the war machine. Without the money poured into them by the Federal government for programs connected with war they would have to be totally reorganized in curriculum, faculty, administration and financing. Therefore they are being taken over, one after another, by the military-industrial complex — directly. The University of California is now run by a man who is in the most literal sense of the word a war monger. When the papers call him a “scholar” they are debasing the word. His scholarship has been, except for one inconsequential publication, entirely devoted to death. If parents cheerfully entrust the young to a man from the Rand Corporation — the WPA Project of Death And Destruction, and the greatest lethal boondoggle in history — to act in loco parentis, then they shouldn’t complain if their children riot.

Will West Oakland, Hunters Point and the Fillmore be burned down this summer, accompanied by pitched battles between black people and police? Almost certainly. And why? Because the money necessary to correct conditions unparalleled today anywhere in Europe north and west of the Tiber is being spent to kill colored people — not just in Vietnam, but by proxy in dozens of African and Asian countries, and of course in most of Latin America. What in fact has been done since the riots last summer? The funds not to correct, but to ameliorate slightly the conditions responsible have been cut drastically, accompanied by a barrage of spellbinder’s fraud from the White House. Meanwhile, the police and the National Guard have been trained and armed for outright civil war in every major city in America. Instructions have been issued to cordon off the ghettos and let the damn - - - - - burn themselves up. Incidentally, who sets these fires? Why do the borders of mass arson coincide so coincidentally with the borders of disputed Negro Removal districts desired by the real estate speculators? Just coincidence?

Why are thousands and thousands of the upper middle class, as they enter upon their majority, committing suicide? For that is what the hippie phenomenon represents. Why do all these dropouts from Sweetbriar, Harvard, Vassar, Princeton, born and raised in the most expensive suburbs, show up at the Haight-Ashbury Free Medical Center, crawling with three varieties of lice, infected with all three venereal diseases and/or hepatitis, poisoned with drugs and weak with malnutrition? They will tell you why. Because their homes stand for them as outposts of an immense organization devoted to no other purpose than to murder them. If you believe that your parents are part of a conspiracy to kill you and then blow up the planet, what are you supposed to do, drink Coca-Cola and dance to Benny Goodman records, just like dear old mom and dad?

Mom and dad had options, or thought they did; the labor movement — now the largest and richest Pro-War Anti-Negro organization in the land; or the Communist Party — now orthodox Communists are only tiny squeaking echoes of the Russian Foreign Office, and the Russian policy is “divide and rule” (divide up the world and rule, share and share alike with the USA).

What about the unorthodox Communists, the Maoists and Fidelistas. They make no bones of the fact they want not peace but the victory of Peking, with or without Hanoi. How about religion? The Pope characterizes pacifism as “cowardly and slothful” — you know, like William Penn, Tolstoy and Gandhi, those sloths and cowards. The Anglican Bishop, styling himself a dove, deplores “extremism,” by which he means any serious challenge to organized murder. Organized religion today speaks as it has spoken in every war. It has just learned to be a little slicker.

The only people who make sense today are the Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Black Muslims. Behind their highly colored symbolism, they state only the obvious. We are living in the midst of the Apocalypse. There is not a single major problem confronting humanity which can be solved by anything resembling present methods anywhere in the world. There is not the slightest indication that men will make any drastic changes in the bankrupt methods to which they cling. There is every indication that, this being the case, the human race will not survive this century.

Meanwhile, in the midst of an immensely profitable war, the economic system of the United States, dragging with it all the Western world, sinks deeper and deeper into a state of permanent crisis. Meanwhile, the utterly discredited President knows that he can never be re-elected unless he has first either made peace or declared a major war. All he has ever been interested in is politics-as-usual. He has even tried to manipulate the Pope as though he was an Italian ward politician in the slums of San Antonio. What is he most likely to do? Of course, when push comes to shove, there is always Dr. Teller’s Doomsday machine over there in Livermore, and we can take the planet with us when we go.
[February 1968]

Destruction for Profit

Every Sunday I walk home from Mass through Buena Vista Park. Every Sunday it is a little more ill kempt and neglected. I cross on the lower paths, and in good weather the hippies are coming out of their sleeping bags to see if they can see their shadows. The early ones are up already and breakfasting on candy bars and packaged cakes and other Mezzrobiotic food or they are playing guitars, making love or meditating. Up at the top, just below the parking place, is the City’s most congested cruising ground for homosexuals. Once in a while a “skunk car,” a black and white police car, prowls the paths and the fuzz glare at the deliquents and the delinquents smile back. I have no objection to love children or flower children of any and all sexes. I do think the citizenry should know why this beautiful park, strategically located in an area that certainly needs it, is so badly cared for by the authorities, or rather, not cared for at all.

Some years ago the Zellerbach Commission recommended that several of the City’s parks be sold off to real estate developers, in obedience to what the Bolsheviks call the “control slogan” of the Hearst interests: “Get it on the tax rate.” Since then every one of these parks has been deliberately neglected and allowed to become a neighborhood hazard rather than a badly needed asset. Worst of all of course is McLaren Park, a marvelous tract with an unlimited potential, right in the heart of the City’s problem area. The manifest evils of San Francisco’s urban deterioration cannot be understood until you realize that for generations the Board of Supervisors has been, in part or whole, a private club of real estate speculators which initiates into its curious folkways every new member, except for the most recalcitrant. This is true of most other politicians down the years as well.

Forty years ago immense tracts of the County of San Francisco had been left to the people by the old-time power elite, the Sutros and Spreckels and others. It would have been possible to develop the City into an ideally beautiful planned metropolis of sheltered, tree-shaded residential sections, interspersed with parks, lagoons, playgrounds, as bosky as West Berlin. Like West Berlin, fifty percent of the City was still green on the map in 1928. What has happened instead is the systematic, planned destruction of our urban assets by vulgar and ignorant greed, under the leadership of the very people who consider themselves the cultural elite, and who are under the impression that what they are doing to our museums, symphony, opera, and repertory theaters is “supporting” them. The multimillionaire cultural commissars of San Francisco support culture, in the words of Lenin (speaking of the British Reds’ support of the British Labour Party), “as a rope supports a hanged man.”

A couple of years ago another special commission, hired by the same highly cultivated gentleman I mentioned before, was set up to make a general survey of the cultural needs of the City, under the chairmanship of our highly cultured mayor. The two men who were imported as experts happened to be friends of mine. I was on the committee. Let me assure you, it was a complete fraud. It was designed for no other purpose than to give expert backing to the edifice complex the power elite want built at the taxpayers’ expense in and around the present Opera House. When the experts did not come up with any very enthusiastic endorsement of that scheme, all the other, vitally needed, suggestions were shelved. Why do these people want all this money thrown away on a cheap imitation of Lincoln Center, Los Angeles’s Culture Complex, or Sydney’s monstrosity? Because they want the taxpayers to pay for their upper-class entertainment? Only partly. The region around the Civic Center is the deadest part of the City, a rundown land of lost souls, where, if a spark could just be found, immense sums of money could be made, but fast, in real estate speculation.

This is the reason for the planned destruction of Golden Gate Park by a freeway which is pretended to be needed to link up the bridges, but which actually is planned to open up to far heavier traffic the underdeveloped central and western parts of the peninsula. The most vociferous and unscrupulous advocates of the Golden Gate Park freeway are a family which still owns one of California’s old-time, outsized ranches, right in the way. Oh, I know, the peninsula freeway to connect with the Golden Gate one has been rejected time and again by the voters. So what? The destroyers of the environment never tire. Furthermore, they can always hire new urbanists, conservationists and ecologists, with all sorts of degrees, to prove that smog is good for you, parks are only used by a minority of the people, freeways relieve congestion, and obliterative logging (with the resultant erosion) is good for redwoods.

You think I am kidding? In the last few years I have received not one, but many, pamphlets on each of these subjects. They total up to a complete ideology of profitable devastation. That is why, of course, I quoted Communist jargon. We are currently witnessing the growth of a kind of socialism of the rich — the planned destruction of public property for profit, accompanied with a specious mimicry of liberal, even radical talk.
[March 1968]

Humanity at the End of Its Tether

Toward the end of his life, H.G. Wells wrote a small book, Mind at the End of Its Tether. Contrary to popular belief, he had always been pessimistic about the future of mankind. His first book, The Time Machine, pictures a world of flower children descended from the ruling class, who live above ground and play all day and night, and human black panthers who live underground, do all the work, and incidentally, eat the flower children. This of course has already come partly true for what was once the creative, growing point of society. But the later book seriously advances the idea that the human race is going insane. Philip Wylie, who some people dismiss as a lower-middle-brow Jeremiah, has just published a book, The Magic Animal, in which he says, substantially, that if we were studying any other animal, the present behavior of mankind would be diagnosed as symptomatic of imminent death of the species. Hans Magnus Enzenberger, West Germany’s most ambitious younger poet, and only recently the darling of the League for Cultural Freedom (the CIA “cultural front”), writes a vitriolic statement for the New York Review of Books, resigning his prestigious job at Wesleyan University and leaving America as a nation of dangerous madmen. Eldridge Cleaver, local Black Panther leader, in his new book warns Black people that they must dissociate themselves from a dangerously insane white race or go down to doom with it. The old guard of the left-liberal press — I.F. Stone’s Weekly, The Minority of One, the last issue of Ralph Ginzburg’s Fact — all say the same thing. If not the whole human race, at least America is patently insane. But these are all intellectuals and therefore, QED, dirty Communists, homosexuals, deviants, dope fiends, and they are just sore because the American Way of Life has soared to new heights of Health, Education, and Welfare, and Prosperity. The Great Red Neck in the White House told us so just last Christmas. He said we were on the brink of achieving the fulfillment of twenty centuries of the dreams of Christianity. Yassuh, that’s what The Man said. He’d ought to know.

On the other hand, the country’s leading headshrinkers say the same thing as the Black Panthers: America is going crazy and destroying itself. Not the least symptom of insanity is the megalomania of such remarks as that, and many others, of the elected and, I suspect, still-majority-supported, Leader of the People.

Certainly the papers are full of stark raving madness. The very day the Riot Committee lays the blame for last summer’s riots at the door of the White Establishment, Dirkson, Senator from race-crazy Illinois, torpedoes what is nothing but a token civil rights bill. Peaceful demonstrators protesting the presence, at a Fairmont Hotel banquet of the Establishment, of a nototious genocidist, are mercilessly clubbed into insensibility by the police, then called Neo-Fascists by the head of the Rice Growers Association. (The same gentleman who proposes to solve the problems of Hunters Point by inviting a movie company to engage in a cheap publicity stunt.) The Police Chief asks for more arms, more men, less “respect for the so-called rights of the individual.” Only at the urging of his PR man does he insert in his report a hasty mention of his now-dissolved Community Relations Division. Remember? He dumped the wise and concerned Lt. Andreotti and replaced him with a good old Bull of the Streets who proposes to solve the Black Revolution by getting them kids into the Little League. Meanwhile the Chief has a dry run for massacre in Haight-Ashbury, and tries out the new techniques of his new weapons systems on the hippies. Again, the head of the Rice Growers Association comes up with “Neo-Fascist punks.” No, no, not for them, for the hippies. You just don’t understand the language of terminal social schizophrenia.

What is breaking down in the human race is community. If each small very local community, for instance, assumed responsibility for as many of its own problems as it could, the breakdown might be slowed. For instance, I live in the Black Ghetto. Within a block in every direction from my corner home are fourteen businesses. Three are owned by Black people. The rest employ whites or Chinese who take the money out of the neighborhood. If each one of these fourteen businesses gave part-time employment to Black adolescents, four square blocks would move a long way towards a peaceful summer. Is this likely to happen? No. Men prefer the war of each against all.

Notice the profound difference between the newspapermen’s and teachers’ strikes. The teachers’ demands were all designed to produce better community service and higher professional standards. What would happen if the Newspaper Guild suddenly decided all over the country to include the ninth Commandment, “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor,” in its next bill of strike demands? How often have newspapermen struck to improve their own community responsibility and professional ethics? Do they refuse to write lying editorials about the Greek junta? The pollution of San Francisco’s water supply? The destruction of historical buildings and public parks? Social butchery by freeway? If a newsman did so refuse, would the Guild defend him? Did the Guild defend the two Vietnam correspondents Time magazine repudiated? Why is it that Youth and Blacks, both in total revolt, look on the press and the trade unions as enemies? On the other hand, nothing but absolutely nothing has done so much for student-teacher community as the one-day teachers’ strike. Poly High bridged the age gap and the race gap in one jump. The lesson here should be obvious.
[April 1968]

America the Sick

A professor in a leading school of journalism in the United States once said to me that it would be a good idea to make Swedish a required language for all journalism majors so that they could study Stockholm’s Dagens Nyheter every day and learn what a newspaper could be. It is certainly the world’s best. Its political position is really neither Left nor Right, but conservative in the sense that the Sierra Club is conservative. It speaks to Scandinavia for the conservation of human and humane values. It is the only newspaper I am thoroughly proud to write for. The editor is a good friend of mine and I visit him when I am there, just as he visits me in the States. He is one of the most cultivated and temperate men I know, an extraordinary contrast to the typical semi-literate, vulgar and venal American editors. Alas, these lads are no longer even cynical. The days when the managing editor of the Chicago Herald and Examiner carried an IWW card and stilled his conscience with alcohol are gone. Today, everywhere, the boys believe their own foolish lies, whether it’s the nonsense they write for Pravda or the mirror image they write in the United States.

I always enjoy a visit with my friend on Dagens Nyheter. It’s one of the more civilized moments of the year. This trip he came to dinner a badly shaken man. He had been touring the United States and discovered what I had been saying since I came back a year ago. This is a nation gone mad.

Over on the other side of the Atlantic you read in the papers that this country is falling apart, that a gulf is opening up in the United States like the chasm that separated the upper and lower levels of French society after the genocidal slaughter of the working class in the Paris Commune. But you don’t really believe it’s that bad until you tour America and get your nose rubbed in it. I too have just come back from a swing around the country and have seen close up Harlem, Newark, Chicago, Milwaukee. And I talked with ordinary black working men, the Negro middle class and elite, and with representatives of “law and order,” the uniformed guardians of the public peace.

I discovered that black professors, physicians, writers and nearly all but the most venal politicians had given up hope in even token justice from the white race and its government. Professional men and women descended from educated freemen who had migrated northward to escape the terror of the Southern cities that preceded the Civil War talked exactly like the adolescent boys who’d come north from the cotton fields, dropped out of high school and joined the Panthers or the Muslims. My friend saw cities with blocks of fire-gutted buildings, deserted and boarded-up stores and homes, with police constantly patrolling the streets in bulletproof cars with riot guns and tear gas carapults. I saw the same thing. Parts of Detroit and Newark look like Hué. The black ghettos of the major cities have become what black people have always felt they really were: walled-in occupied towns, patrolled by an enemy army. Outside the walls in Polish Milwaukee or Italian Newark or Polish and Irish Chicago the tide of hate rises like a sea of acid. No wonder the black militants have given up integration and prefer black power for black men in the black ghetto.

Both my friend and I discovered that in the cities torn by fire nothing has been done to better conditions except to appoint commissions whose recommendations, even when fraudulent, have uniformly been shelved or repudiated. As one of the members of the Commission appointed by Johnson said to me, “What the hell does he think I am, a Communist? What does he mean, we didn’t praise him for all he’s done? What we told him was that in terms of what is needed he had done nothing.”

The schism in the soul created by the racism of white America is doubled, or squared rather, by the schism created by the war, and it stretches from the top to the bottom. The young people who refuse to become war criminals have passed over to assault and make it impossible for spokesmen of the administration to speak on most campuses and even to appear on many. International bankers inform the White House that if the war is escalated they will throw the United States government into bankruptcy. Ever since the bomb fell on Nagasaki and Hiroshima this has been a guilt-ridden country. Today many bishops and professors, businessmen and even the CIA-supported intellectuals described with Swiftian satire in Norman Podhoretz’s comic book now say, “I am ashamed to be an American.” The wives of top White House advisors demonstrate against their husbands. The inventor of the Domino Theory is knocked down at diplomatic banquets. Level-headed conservative congressmen said, “If Johnson thinks he will be defeated in the convention, he will bomb China between now and August. If he thinks he will lose the election, he will do it before November.” One of the biggest political bosses in the country tells his intimate friends that he believes that Jim Garrison has evidence of complicity in the assassination that goes all the way to the top.

True or false, all these beliefs and rumors are indicative of national moral and psychological collapse, from the Cabinet to the suicidal speed-head children of the Haight-Ashbury. It’s what seems like a century ago that Jim Baldwin said, “Who wants to be integrated into a burning house?” During Vatican II, one of the leading cardinals said to the Time correspondent, “Young man, if you think the Catholic Church plans to go to hell with the American capitalist system, you are very much mistaken.”

Now more and more people feel that the keys are turning and that the bars are sliding and they are being locked into that burning house. It’s not all draft evaders that are jumping the border; there are seven thousand young citizens of the United States in the city of Toronto alone. And everywhere in Europe and Asia you meet emigrés of all ages and occupations who say they’ll never return to madness.

The United States is now psychologically in the condition of Russia during the Moscow trials or Germany at the time of the von Stauffenberg Bomb Plot.

Since I started this piece the President has announced that he would not run for reelection and that he would call a halt to the bombing of North Vietnam. But he is still in office and the bombing, as I write, is still going on. Meanwhile, Dr. Martin Luther King has been murdered. European papers speculate that it is all part of one plot: the murders of President Kennedy, Malcolm X, and Dr. King. So too say many black people. They are right. A secret society of assassins may not be driving for power in the United States — but it amounts to the same thing. The country is in the grip of mass psychosis of which assassination and mass murder are only symptoms. The plot is the sickness of the American people. Is it incurable and fatal? Probably so. The murder of Dr. King has probably foreclosed all options. The door is locked, the house is on fire, the windows are barred.

[May 1968]

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