Forget the Government Conspiracy

King deserved a better ending than one at the hand of a two-bit punk, but James Earl Ray is really the little man who killed the big dreamer.

But even though I am convinced that Ray pulled the trigger, I believe that he got help from segregationist groups before and after the shooting. The help could have come from the Klan or its racist ally, the National States Rights Party, then headed by J.B.Stoner.

Stoner, who claimed blacks were apes and that merely being a Jew should be a crime punishable by execution, became one of Ray’s lawyers. In a bitter irony, it was this virulent bigot who first promulgated the idea that Ray was an innocent dupe caught up in a vast government conspiracy that was eventually embraced by King’s family.

All that suggests to me that the shadowy network that was responsible for the death of Evers; the four little girls who died in the bombing at Birmingham’s 16th Street Baptist Church; Schwerner, Chaney and Goodman ; and a host of other heroes is also responsible for Dr. King’s martyrdom.

It pains all of us to think that a saint such as King perished at the hand of a two bit punk. A historic figure like him deserved a more glorious ending. But wishful thinking can not change the facts about James Earl Ray’s complicity in slaying the dreamer. Pinning the murder on the government is a delusion and a lie.

Jack White is a regular contributor to The Root.