The farcical trial in Memphis, Tennessee, proved that 1) any Black man, regardless of class or fame, can be murdered by agents of the ruling 60 families, and 2) that there was a conspiracy to murder Reverend (Martin Luther) King.
Immediately prior to Reverend King's murder, President Johnson publicly supported the white-supremacist, Klan-ridden Memphis police force. Large numbers of F. B. I. men were working with the Memphis police; Reverend King was surrounded by Memphis police and F. B. I. men when shot.
James Reston, the "NEW YORK TIMES" Washington editor, played a leading role in hunting up Johnson's and J. Edgar Hoover's role in the murder of Reverend King. Now the "NEW YORK TIMES" "regrets" the farcical court actions in Memphis while still covering up the role of Johnson and Hoover. The "TIMES" wants those who urged attacks on Reverend King to determine if there was a conspiracy. This is the "free" press in action.
In our newsletter of May, 1968, we reported the lynching of a Black man in South Boston. Three white men were arrested. The "prosecution" first reduced the charge to second-degree murder. Then an all-white jury could not agree -- mistrial. The next step will be, if the usual system of white supremacy prevails, either a suspended sentence or complete freedom for the lynchers.
With the above events in mind, consider Progressive Labor's attack on Eldridge Cleaver, Black Panther leader. The PL magazine, page 33 of the February, 1969 edition, says, "Some of the reasons he (Cleaver) gave for not returning to jail were that prison would be too rough for him, because he is an intellectual or because he can't take it any more. We state that every Black man has the right and duty to stay out of imperialist jails. This, like all other questions, is a political question. But to see jail only in personal terms without any relationship to the entire movement and to run to save one's own skin, is giving no political leadership."
PL, with Mao's support, has done everything possible to slander, expose and jail every Black nationalist leader. PL used the prestige of Chinese support and urged Malcolm X to work openly. PL attacked Reverend King's support to Black garbage workers in Memphis, thus covering up the conspirators against Reverend King. Note that PL claims it opposes the jailing of Black men in general. But Black leaders should surrender! If PL leaders feel it is so wrong for a Black leader such as Robert Williams or Cleaver to avoid jail, "to run away," then what is their practice? To keep them from running away, to help the F. B. I. find them, is the only conclusion that can be drawn from PL's position.
[MIM comments: This is the only negative reference to Mao we found in the Black Panther Party literature, and we believe it is appropriate, because Mao did originally recognize PL (Progressive Labor) as a fraternal communist party. PL split from Mao in 1969 and thereafter pioneered crypto-Trotskyism and integrationism on imperialist terms.]