The California Endowment — a private health foundation with $3.3 billion in assets — has teamed up with the Sacramento chapter of Black Lives Matter and other anti-police activist groups, co-sponsoring a march next Monday to “commemorate the radical sentiment of Martin Luther King, Jr.” and “eliminate” capitalism.
Advertisements for the third annual “Reclaim MLK March” feature a mugshot of Dr. King taken after a 1963 arrest in Birmingham, Alabama, for leading a nonviolent demonstration. It reads: “Join us to march to eliminate racism and white supremacy, capitalism, patriarchy, heteronormativity, homelessness, poverty, fascism.”
The event is billed as a non-corporate alternative to another march taking place in Sacramento on the same morning, deemed to be too cop-friendly by many of the groups allied with Reclaim MLK, which is organized by local Black Lives Matter activists.
Black Lives Matter’s anti-police procession will go head-to-head with “March for the Dream,” organized by a nonprofit called MLK365 which has an online store that showcases a diverse selection of models donning its promotional apparel. Co-sponsors include big business, several commercial media outlets, and various law enforcement agencies — including the Sacramento Police Department, Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department, and the California Highway Patrol.
Reclaim MLK’s lead organizer, Tanya Faison, recently called for “the abolition of police” by “any means necessary.” She is also the founder of Black Lives Matter-Sacramento.
On an interactive social media site promoting its march, Reclaim MLK planners wrote, “We will not be aligned with an event tainted in capitalism or sponsored by the very law enforcement entities that are killing us in the street,” and:
Let us join together to commemorate the radical sentiment of Martin Luther King Jr.
The MLK Jr that no one speaks of.
The MLK Jr that doesn’t accommodate the legitimacy of white supremacy, but instead the MLK Jr that tells us that “A Riot is the Language of the Unheard,” that “I’m Black and I’m Beautiful.”
The announcement lists the California Endowment, which describes itself as a health foundation, as a co-sponsor, along with several anti-capitalist groups actively working to blur the state’s southern border, such as the Democratic Socialists of America-Sacramento, Party for Socialism and Liberation, and the Brown Berets de SacrAztlan.
Coincidentally, the Endowment’s current Facebook profile picture comes from a campaign it funds promoting health benefits for unlawfully present immigrants. Joseph F. Mailander, who has been writing about cultural issues in the so-called “Golden State” for more than 35 years, once described the visual as the “California flag bunched to suggest Mexico’s; even eked an eagle out of the bear.”
While delivering a keynote address at a grant-making conference last year, Dr. Robert K. Ross, President and CEO of the California Endowment, said, “communism gives equality without freedom, but capitalism gives us freedom without equality.”
Next Monday’s Reclaim MLK March against capitalism will begin at a Safeway, a Fortune 500 grocery chain, and end at the State Capitol.
Follow Jeffrey Cawood on Twitter @Near_Chaos.