So, MLK, When Did You Stop Beating Your Mistress?
After writing about how the #MeToo movement might be the thing that finally takes down the MLK myth, I decided to revisit the book which first let the world know that King sometimes got physically abusive with his mistresses.
I didn’t have to read much of “And The Walls Came Tumbling Down”, the autobiography by Reverend Ralph Abernathy, to realize that had King not been assassinated, he most likely would have eventually been regarded as a womanizing and race-hustling joke similar to Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton.
On page 434, Abernathy begins to casually describes King engaging in an extramarital affair. It seems odd that Abernathy waited so long in the book to bring up this long-rumored but little publicized detail about King and even odder that he addressed it in such a nonchalant fashion. In a 1989 CSPAN interview about the book and its controversial claims, Abernathy hilariously said “most people that read a book and buy a book, especially in the black community, they stop long before 435 pages.”
But Abernathy openly acknowledges that King had an affair that night with not one but two women, the latter of which he identifies only as a black woman from the Kentucky legislature even though he doesn’t specify her name. This again is comical considering that there was only one black woman in the Kentucky legislature at the time so there was no doubt who Abernathy was talking about. This woman would later come forth to admit that she did have a year-long affair with King. [Kentucky Woman Says She Had Affair With King, The Seattle Times, 1995]
Things really get juicy on page 435 when Abernathy recounts how a desperate King came running into his room pleading for Abernathy to help King with a third woman.
“She’s mad at me.” he said. “She came in this morning and found my bed empty.” … “Ralph, do something! I need you to help me. Call her and straighten things out!”
It’s hard not to laugh when reading this and envisioning the man who was universally praised yesterday by politicians of both political parties asking his right hand man to patch things up with a jaded lover.
Abernathy goes on to tell about his failed attempt to “straighten things out” and how the situation deteriorated so quickly that King and the scorned lover eventually got into a shouting match.
Suddenly Martin lost his temper. “Don’t you say a Goddamn thing about Ralph,” he shouted and knocked her across the bed… She leapt up to fight back, and for a moment they were engaged in a full-blown fight, with Martin clearly winning.”
After the woman had been roughed up by King, she got back to her feet and left in a huff as King cried out ” Don’t go! Don’t go!”
I wonder if any prominent figure from the #MeToo movement will say anything about this ordeal considering that it appears King both initiated the physicality and then continued the fight until he was the clear winner? Doesn’t that qualify as violence against a woman?