The Brett Kimberlin Saga:

Follow this link to my BLOCKBUSTER STORY of how Brett Kimberlin, a convicted terrorist and perjurer, attempted to frame me for a crime, and then got me arrested for blogging when I exposed that misconduct to the world. That sounds like an incredible claim, but I provide primary documents and video evidence proving that he did this. And if you are moved by this story to provide a little help to myself and other victims of Mr. Kimberlin’s intimidation, such as Robert Stacy McCain, you can donate at the PayPal buttons on the right. And I thank everyone who has done so, and will do so.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

A Belated Dr. King Tribute

I try to do a tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. every year.  Any long-time reader will recognize I have deep respect for the man.  I have half-jokingly called him “our American saint”—it’s only half a joke because it is so true.  And you know there is this whole thing:

But truly I felt a great deal of respect for the man and even gratitude well before that.  Being disabled, I do belong to a group that tends to face discrimination and I personally have faced discrimination because of my disabilities.  I dropped out of high school because of that discrimination and only after Congress passed the Americans with Disabilities Act was I able to get a GED, go to college and eventually become a lawyer.  Where would the movement to give greater equality to the disabled people be if racial discrimination was still considered acceptable?

Why is racism wrong, after all?  Most modern advocates for equal opportunity would say it was because the color of one’s skin is irrelevant.  That is a factually and morally sound argument.  By contrast a disability is a real and substantive difference that is relevant in the right circumstances.  We are not likely to see any paraplegic play in the NBA, to give a crude example.  What advocates of equal opportunity for the disabled argue is that where the disability is not relevant, it should not be a bar to education, employment and so on.

It is almost impossible to justify equality of opportunity for the disabled in a society that uses race to determine one’s status.  Consider, for instance, this statement by Owen Lovejoy, a Congressman advocating against slavery: “[w]e may concede... that [the black race] is infirm; but does it follow, therefore that it is right to enslave a man because he is infirm?”  For Lovejoy the answer was no.  For the Southern planter, the answer was yes.  If the falsely perceived “infirmity” of African Americans justified the horrors of slavery for the Southern planter, how could a person who was genuinely “infirm” hope to receive equal opportunity from that same person?

So while I doubt many of the people who stood up to dogs, fire hoses and Klan terrorism were thinking “if we win this battle, then disabled people will be treated more fairly!” every disabled person owes the (racial) Civil Rights Movement a debt of gratitude, as we owe the feminist movement and similar pushes.  Without their success we probably would not have had the ADA.  And Dr. King is obviously the most visible embodiment and exemplar of that movement.*

And even if you don’t belong to any group that is historically likely to face invidious discrimination (and that is a vanishingly small group of Americans when you remember how many dumb reasons there are to discriminate against a person) and have never benefitted from the protection of any civil rights law or the culture that Dr. King helped establish that sees invidious discrimination as evil, we still owe a debt to him, for in a real way I believe he helped to save America’s soul.  Consider for instance this passage from his “I have a Dream Speech”:

In a sense we have come to our nation's capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked "insufficient funds." But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. So we have come to cash this check -- a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice.

I have written before about how America has had, from its beginning, a division between those who believed that this was a nation built around race or ethnicity, and those who saw it as a nation built around an ideal, a jumble of beliefs embodied in our Declaration of Independence, certain clauses of our Constitution and its amendments, and other less influential sources.  Dr. King was saying in this passage, this is America’s best self, and it is time for us to live up to our own ideals.  And in doing so he helped ensure the victory over those who wanted to make America just another nation, bound by low racial/ethnic bonds, instead of the higher bonds of the ideals of freedom, democracy, and equality of opportunity.

So in that respect, I believed he helped to save our national soul.

So that is why I try to do a tribute each year.  That tweet was a small gesture.  As for a larger post, I was trying to think of something that 1) hadn’t been said a million times and 2) could be said quickly.  The second consideration applied because I am hip deep in trying to respond to Brett Kimberlin’s uncommonly silly opposition to our various motions to dismiss.  I had resolved not to blog at all in the near term, but I figured I could make an exception with a quick post about Dr. King.  But no ideas came, until now.

So...  this qualifies as “quick” I suppose.  And the tribute part is relatively light.

You see, dear reader, the other day someone did what I previously thought was impossible: she raised my opinion of Dr. King.  Yes, as I just outlined, Dr. King saved America’s soul and made it possible for me to become a lawyer and legally marry my wife, but did you know he saved Star Trek, too?

Or more precisely, he convinced Nichelle Nichols not to quit the show.  Without Lt. Uhura, the show would have lost a great deal of its significance and social impact.  It would have been a different show than the one that gave us the television’s first scripted interracial kiss, for instance:

Oh and it was not just that Dr. King appreciated the social significance of her character.  He was a full on Star Trek nerd, and a Trekkie before being a Trekkie was a thing, as this interview reveals (via Dorkly):

Okay, that is not as significant as that whole saving-America’s-soul,-and-making-my-marriage,-education-and-career-possible thing, but still... that is something.

And the history geek in me finds another thing interesting in that interview: it gives us a window into how Dr. King was seen in his own time.  There is a difference, dear reader, between the history you lived through and the history you only read about.  For instance most of my readers feel strong emotions when they see this:

If you were old enough to actually remember September 11, 2001, when you see an image like that it takes you back to that day.  It reminds you of all the feelings of anger, of fear, of sorrow... that whole mixed up jumble.  It probably was a loss of innocence for many, for it is one thing to know intellectually that evil exists.  It is another thing entirely to see evil happen in front of you.  And it reminded us that we were not necessarily as safe as we like to think.

By contrast, the vast majority of my readers were not old enough to see this happen:

That is a scene from the attack on Pearl Harbor, but for me and most of the people I know who were not alive when it happened, that image just doesn’t feel the same.  In some ways there was a real difference.  September 11 happened live on television.  We watched the mass murder of around 3,000 Americans as it happened.  Images like the one above were seen by those who were alive on that day after it happened, not on television but in newsreels in movie theaters.  And while the Pearl Harbor attack was cowardly, it was still a military strike on a military target.  On September 11, the vast majority of the victims were civilians.  But a large part of why it feels different is just because we do not personally remember Pearl Harbor day, but most of us remember September 11.  Most of us will never forget.

Dr. King had been dead around three years before I arrived on this Earth.  To me he was a guy I read about in history books and saw in archived footage and by the time I did become aware of him, he had already achieved that saintly status in our pantheon of great Americans.  He had already been carved on our mental Mt. Rushmores.  So there is a question in my mind of whether he was seen the same way in his own times.  And of course there almost certainly was a racial difference in how he was perceived when he was a living man.  And while Ms. Nichols’ interview only represents anecdotal evidence, it does suggest that his almost saintly status was well on its way to being cemented among African Americans well before he died and became only someone you read about in history books.  She was in awe in Dr. King’s presence and you probably could have knocked her over with a feather when he told her he was her biggest fan.  In short, she seemed to see him almost exactly the same way we do today.


* How vital you believe Dr. King was to the success of the Civil Rights Movement is probably going to depend on how important you believe “great persons” are to history.  Some hold that history is simply the story of how one great person after another changed the landscape.  They are usually called “great men,” but that is a decreasingly accurate term.  Others hold that the “landscape” produces the leader, that once things were in place culturally for the success of the Civil Right Movement, a leader was almost spontaneously generated who could take advantage of it.

For what it is worth, I think it is a combination of the two.  To go to another epoch, the world would be a very different place if Seward or Chase had won the Republican nomination in 1860, instead of Abraham Lincoln.  The clash between the American ideal of freedom and slavery had been coming for a long time and was always likely to have resulted in bloodshed, but that event would have turned out differently if someone else was the Republican nominee that year.  Anyone but Lincoln might have been less likely to win, leading to secession.  And even if secession happened, anyone but Lincoln probably wouldn’t have handled the crisis so well and wouldn’t have shaped opinion the way Lincoln had.  To be blunt, very few people in history were talented enough to write something like the Gettysburg Address, which was both an incredibly eloquent argument for changing the war into a crusade for freedom while being short enough to make it easily reprinted in full in the media of that day.  And it takes a singularly talented person to write something as simultaneously scholarly, persuasive and even beautiful as Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech and to deliver it as powerfully into America’s living rooms as good doctor had.  The fact he ad-libbed a great deal of it makes his achievement even more impressive.

Seriously who doesn’t get choked up when they hear him say, “free at last, free at last, thank God almighty we are free at last”?  Tell the truth, dear reader.  You are like me.  When you read those words, you actually hear his voice in your head like a sound file, and it might even bring tears to your eyes as it sometimes does with me.  No dramatic reading of that speech by a professional actor could do it better.  Dr. King was a singular talent.  Yes, he was shaped by the moment he was born in.  His success was made possible by the cultural undercurrents of his time—and indeed significantly by the technology of that day—but there was a symbiotic relationship between him and his movement.  It shaped him, but he also shaped it.

At least that is how I see it.


My wife and I have lost our jobs due to the harassment of convicted terrorist Brett Kimberlin, including an attempt to get us killed and to frame me for a crime carrying a sentence of up to ten years.  I know that claim sounds fantastic, but if you read starting here, you will see absolute proof of these claims using documentary and video evidence.  If you would like to help in the fight to hold Mr. Kimberlin accountable, please hit the donation link on the right.  And thank you.

Follow me at Twitter @aaronworthing, mostly for snark and site updates.  And you can purchase my book (or borrow it for free if you have Amazon Prime), Archangel: A Novel of Alternate, Recent History here.  And you can read a little more about my novel, here.



I have accused some people, particularly Brett Kimberlin, of reprehensible conduct.  In some cases, the conduct is even criminal.  In all cases, the only justice I want is through the appropriate legal process—such as the criminal justice system.  I do not want to see vigilante violence against any person or any threat of such violence.  This kind of conduct is not only morally wrong, but it is counter-productive.

In the particular case of Brett Kimberlin, I do not want you to even contact him.  Do not call him.  Do not write him a letter.  Do not write him an email.  Do not text-message him.  Do not engage in any kind of directed communication.  I say this in part because under Maryland law, that can quickly become harassment and I don’t want that to happen to him.

And for that matter, don’t go on his property.  Don’t sneak around and try to photograph him.  Frankly try not to even be within his field of vision.  Your behavior could quickly cross the line into harassment in that way too (not to mention trespass and other concerns).

And do not contact his organizations, either.  And most of all, leave his family alone.

The only exception to all that is that if you are reporting on this, there is of course nothing wrong with contacting him for things like his official response to any stories you might report.  And even then if he tells you to stop contacting him, obey that request.  That this is a key element in making out a harassment claim under Maryland law—that a person asks you to stop and you refuse.

And let me say something else.  In my heart of hearts, I don’t believe that any person supporting me has done any of the above.  But if any of you have, stop it, and if you haven’t don’t start.

1 comment:

  1. Hello, MrWorthing. I am the guy saying I still can't view your Twitter screen shots you have been posting. I have looked into trying to help you help me see them, but I am not a programmer. What I did do is look at your source for this page. Below is a cut and paste of the html source that I can see. I found the links to your Twitter research, plugged them directly into my browser, viola! I can see both your search for MLK tweets, and another one from your Twitter page, I believe. I also found a code reference to a "twitter widget". Maybe the settings in the widget? I can't tell you. What you will see in this cut and paste are the first few words of text at the beginning, and at the end which should give you a reference as to where this source code for your Twitter graphic comes from. I have been posting reply's thinking it was a Host File issue on my end. That might not be the case, since I can see your links if I dig, but I can't see them as this page renders it. I hope I am helping:

    even begin to thank a man for that? #MLKDay<>

    Aaron Worthing (@AaronWorthing) January
    20, 2014

    < class="MsoNormal" style="text-align: justify;">

    < class="MsoNormal" style="text-align: justify;">
    But truly I

    Sincerely yours,