The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. fought strongly for civil rights. He became the non-violent voice of people of color,and he pricked the conscious [finally!] of White America. He forced America and Americans to deal with questions of racial discrimination, Jim Crow laws, school segregation, housing restrictions, etc. He remained alive doing this.
When Dr. King moved his crusade to labor, corporations, and greed of the few, he was killed. James Earl Ray was later convicted of King's murder. But James Earl Ray was a petty criminal who barely squeezed out a living. How did he end up being found in England? Who supported him? What strings were pulled and where did his new-found money come from? Certainly not from bigots who were opposed to King's civil rights activities. The civil rights battle offered many easy opportunities to kill King. But when it came to the economics of capitalistic/fascistic America, he had to go.
This is not unprecedented in U.S history. When Franklin D. Roosevelt was elected president in 1932 he put in place some sweeping changes in America's economic system. And many of these changes restricted the power, profits, and wealth of the few corporations and still fewer individuals. The new and rising corporate powerhouse was the DuPont Corporation. And the head of the DuPont family fought against FDR's programs vehemently. And a military hero, Major General Smedley Butler, twice given the Medal of Honor, was approached by representatives of DuPont and other right-wing extremists in a plot to overthrow FDR and set up a fascist government similar to Mussolini and Hitler. Hard as this may be for you to believe, it is true...historically accurate and true.
Also, after World War II, as the power of socialism was gaining footholds in not only Eastern Europe, but in France, Germany, and Scandinavia, American corporations became paranoid that American capitalism was on the brink. The over-reactions to socialism are well documented. What is not as well popularized, is that a drunken U.S. Senator from Wisconsin was "hired" to go after socialists and social democrats in the U.S. Joseph McCarthy was a stooge for these corporate and wealthy behemoths and went after innocent people and destroyed lives in the process.
Nothing will stand in the way of empire-capitalism or fascism. Today we have in the White House a man who doesn't have a clue and failed at every honest way to make a living, but he has big oil and other big conglomerates propping him up. And in the process, they think we may have have to sacrifice a few thousand Americans and tens of thousands of Iraqis for no reason other than the greedy need for oil and military-industrial income. Their thirst for wealth and power is unquenchable.
Read American history. No newspaper or elementary textbook is going to point this fascism backdrop to American history, but with a little study on your own you can find it yourself. Check Maj. Gen. Smedley Butler. Check the Saudi-Bush money-making machine through World War II until today. Check Joseph McCarthy. Check James Earl Ray. Check how fascism survived the Second World War, how the big German corporations survived, how Prescott Bush sold to Hitler's army, how Ford suppled the German's war machine with trucks even to kill Americans, how the Chase Manhattan Bank did business in Paris with Hitler and his ilk...it is all there. Read. Study. And for goodness sake, ACT!
"The more there are riots, the more repressive action will take place, and the more we face the danger of a right-wing take-over and eventually a fascist society." -Martin Luther King, Jr. [how utterly profound were his insights]