Dr. Martin Luther King is Marching with the People of Palestine

Photograph Source: Matt Brown – CC BY 2.0

Dr. Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, and the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee constructed the civil rights and Black Liberation movements on a foundation of Third World internationalism. The struggle of the Black nation and the people of Vietnam for self-determination became inseparable. Channing Martinez, a Black Garifuna leader of the Labor/Community Strategy Center in South Central Los Angeles observed, “Palestine is our Vietnam.”

Israel’s ongoing genocide against the people of Palestine has moved to a new stage—the plan for the mass annihilation of the Palestinian people as Israel’s “final solution to ‘the Palestinian problem’.” Israel is terrified that as long as the Palestinian people in Gaza and the West Bank exist, it will only be a matter of time before the Palestinian’s moral challenge to the immorality of the Zionist settler state will prevail.

Today, Palestinian resistance is shaping the politics of the  entire world. In the endless struggle between the U.S., Europe, and Israel against the Third World and the whole world, the Palestinian resistance is on the offensive.  The government of South Africa is bringing formal charges of Genocide against the Israeli government in front of the United Nations. Netanyahu and Israel are defiant, telling the U.S. and Europe “nobody will stop us.” But many Israeli leaders, for the first time, understand that the support from their U.S. and European imperialist defenders is eroding.  Israel, their proxy, is now a liability in the U.S.’ fading hopes for Middle-east domination.  There are significant forces in the U.S. establishment that are speaking out against Israel and resigning in protest over U.S. support for the Israeli genocide against Palestinian people in Gaza.

The mass movements in support of Palestine are the strongest in U.S. history as demonstrations in Washington were so powerful they caused the “evacuation of the  White House.” Joe Biden has now joined the ranks of the notorious child killer LBJ as “Genocide Joe.”  The U.S., Israel, the American Israel Political Action Committee and its allies are working to punish, isolate, and crush the resistance. Oblivious to history, they do not grasp that their ugly repression exposes them as the barbarians they are. In turn, the Palestinian, Black, and immigrant insurgencies will shape the entire conversation inside the U.S. 2024 presidential elections as the system is deteriorating into chaos and two-party fascism.  While the white voters debate between Trump and Biden as the  best ways to protect imperialist whiteness,  the civil war inside the U.S. is intensifying. So many Black, Latinx, Asian, Pacific Islander, Indigenous, Arab, Muslim and anti-racist whites are strengthened by having a clear international cause. Once we chanted,  “One side’s right and one side’s wrong, we are on the side of the Viet Cong.” Today we chant, “From the River to the sea, Palestine will be free.”

At the height of his world influence, on April 4, 1967, Dr. Martin Luther King spoke out against the war in Vietnam, “Beyond Vietnam—Breaking the Silence.” He stood up to the U.S. war machine, called the U.S. “the greatest purveyor of violence in the world,”  and supported the Vietnamese communists as “fighting for a revolutionary government seeking self-determination.” The system, that had once pretended to appreciate him, turned on him as they had Paul Robeson and W.E.B. Du Bois and made his life a living hell. On the other hand, people of conscience all over the world, Black organizers trying to change the world, and the people of Vietnam were eternally grateful.

Today, the victims of the Nakba are creating a catastrophe for the U.S. and European white settler states. For the Palestinian comrades in Gaza and the West Bank, and those in the world movement to Free Palestine, the life’s work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. can offer hope in your historic struggle for self-determination.

Palestine will Win! Palestine will be Free!

All Hail the Revolutionary King in 2024 and Beyond

The annual King Day celebrations provide a great opportunity to defend Dr. King’s revolutionary legacy against The System’s efforts to whitewash and degrade his frontal challenge to its crimes.

+ Dr. King rejected the myths of U.S. society. He rejected its Mad Men packaging itself as “the leader of the free world” to tell it like it is: that the United States is “the greatest purveyor of violence in the world.”

+ Dr. King saw “the Negro Revolution” as part of a Third World and world revolution. “I am convinced that if we are to get on the right side of the world revolution, we as a nation must undergo a radical revolution of values . . . For years, I labored with the idea of reforming the existing institutions of the South, a little change here, a little change there. Now I feel quite differently. I think you’ve got to have a radical reconstruction of the entire society, a revolution of values.”

Dr. Clayborne Carson, Director of the Martin Luther King, Jr., Research and Education Institute at Stanford University, in his King Papers, related the following story.

Before leaving Ghana, King welcomed a visit from English clergyman and anti-colonial activist Michael Scott, during which the two men compared the freedom struggles in Africa and the United States. King reportedly expressed admiration for the bus boycott then taking place in Johannesburg, South Africa, and remarked that there was “no basic difference between colonialism and racial segregation . . . at bottom both segregation in American and colonialism in Africa were based on the same thing—white supremacy and contempt for life.

+ Dr King supported the Black Power movement and saw himself as a tendency within it. He marched with Stokely Carmichael and Willie Ricks on the March against Fear in Mississippi June 1966. While initially taken aback by their cries of Black Power, he soon elaborated his own views as part of the Black Power continuum. “Now there is a kind of concrete, real Black power that I believe in . . . certainly if Black power means the amassing of political and economic power in order to gain our just and legitimate goals, then we all believe in that.”

+ Dr. King sided with the people of Vietnam including the Vietnamese Communists against the U.S. invasion. In his “Beyond Vietnam” speech, written by and with his close comrade, Vincent Harding, his anti-colonial support for the legitimacy of the Vietnamese Communist cause was clear.

“The Vietnamese people proclaimed their own independence in 1945 after a combined French and Japanese occupation, and before the Communist revolution in China. They were led by Ho Chi Minh. Even though they quoted the American Declaration of Independence in their own document of freedom, we refused to recognize them. Instead, we decided to support France in its reconquest of her former colony.

“Our government felt then that the Vietnamese people were not “ready” for independence, and we again fell victim to the deadly Western arrogance that has poisoned the international atmosphere for so long. With that tragic decision we rejected a revolutionary government seeking self-determination, and a government that had been established not by China (for whom the Vietnamese have no great love) but by clearly indigenous forces that included some Communists. For the peasants this new government meant real land reform, one of the most important needs in their lives. For nine years following 1945 we denied the people of Vietnam the right of independence. For nine years we vigorously supported the French in their abortive effort to recolonize Vietnam.”

+ Dr. King was deeply appreciative of the Black communist traditions of W.E.B. DuBois and Paul Robeson. He was well aware of the irony and significance that Dr. DuBois died, in Ghana, an exile from the United States and a Communist, on the very day of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, August 28, 1963.

Dr. King observed:

“We cannot talk of Dr. DuBois without recognizing that he was a radical all of his life. Some people would like to mute the fact that he was a genius who became a Communist in his later years. It is worth noting that Abraham Lincoln warmly recognized the support of Karl Marx during the Civil War and corresponded with him freely. In contemporary life the English-speaking world has no difficulty with the fact that Sean O’Casey was a literary giant of the twentieth century and a Communist or that Pablo Neruda is generally considered the greatest living poet though he also served in the Chilean Senate as a Communist…Our irrational, obsessive, anti-communism has led us into too many quagmires to be retained as if it was a model of scientific thinking.”

King did not merely mention the great contributions of Communists like Du Bois, Casey, Neruda, and Ho Chi Minh; he situated himself in that tradition not as a member but as a friend and admirer.

+ Dr. King’s non-violence was aggressive and militant, which is reflected in his conception of non-violent direct action. Of course, Dr. King had his own unique views on the Civil Rights Movement and Black united front. His views on non-violence were real and deeply held. He also saw non-violence as a tactic to prevent a massive violent backlash from racist whites. King tried to position his demonstrations in ways to get the largest amount of white liberal and international support possible, and to pressure the national Democratic Party that was tied at the hip to the racist Dixiecrats. His belief in non-violence deeply held, but was also tied to the theory and practice of militant, aggressive, Non-Violent Direct Action.

When I worked with CORE and allied with SNCC in 1964 – 1965, they were known as the Black militants, and yet both organizations saw themselves, at the time, as non-violent. But that did not prevent and in fact encouraged Black people to march into the registrar of elections in Southern cities and refuse to leave, Black students to occupy lunch counters and refuse to leave, Black and white people to march at the Edmund Pettis Bridge in Selma where they confronted an army of armed police and white racists, or Black people in the north to march into elected officials’ offices and occupy them. Everyone we challenged in “the white power structure” saw militant, non-violent direct action as a big threat and retaliated accordingly. No one at the time praised Dr. King for his “moderation.” They saw angry Black people, and they saw Dr. King as a threat, which he certainly was. and saw his non-violence and “urgency of now” as a political force to be crushed not co-opted.

+ Dr. King fought the Democratic Party of Lyndon Johnson and the Black Democratic establishment. When Dr. King brought his movement to Chicago, the Democratic Party’s Black establishment refused to support him, sided with the racist Mayor Daley, and told him to “go down south where you belong.” Many of them refused to join his mass and the militant marches for open housing and an end to police brutality. In response, Dr. King called out the Black political establishment:

“The majority of Black political leaders do not ascend to prominence on the shoulders of mass support . . . most are still selected by white leadership, elevated to position, supplied with resources and inevitably subjected to white control. The mass of [Blacks] nurtures a healthy suspicion toward this manufactured leader.”

On this day honoring his birthday, let’s take a deeper look at his political thought and revolutionary legacy. 

+ Dr. King understood that the Civil Rights and Black Liberation Movement was from the outset a battle against the system itself. King understood the intersection of radical reforms and social revolution, and he was always working to understand the time, place, conditions, and balance of forces that would shape his rhetoric and tactical plan. King was one of the greatest and most effective reformers of all and yet, in confronting the system’s intransigence his own revolutionary outlook kept evolving. King’s prominence began in 1955, in his leadership of the Montgomery Bus Boycott, the same year as the murder of Emmett Till and the Bandung Conference of Non-Aligned Nations—to begin what turned out to be “the Two Decades of the Sixties” that did not end until the defeat of the United States in Vietnam in 1975. Despite the U.S. Supreme Court decision to overturn school segregation in Brown v. Board of Education in 1954, Montgomery in 1955, the great Greensboro sit-ins of 1960, the exciting work of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee, the Freedom Rides of 1961, the conditions of Black people in the United States remained at criminal levels. By 1963, white Democratic Party terror in the South and Democratic Party racism and brutality in the ghettos of the North had generated a great deal of militancy, organizing, and consciousness but little change to the system. At the great March on Washington in August 1963, King’s Southern Christian Leadership Conference, SNCC, CORE, NAACP, Urban League, and A. Phillip Randolph’s Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters took place amid an air of hope–but also great impatience and militancy. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech (a phrase that was not in its initial draft) was in fact a revolutionary indictment of U.S. society.

“One hundred years later [after the formal abolition of slavery] the Negro still is not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languishing in the corners of American society and finds himself in exile in his own land. So, we have come here today to dramatize a shameful condition

“In a sense we’ve 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. We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism.”

King is imploring, cajoling, but what his words make clear is that he is threatening U.S. society and trying to mobilize Black rebellion. When he says “crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of segregation” he is making it clear that slavery is in fact still in place. He describes the United States as a society that offers the Negro bad checks and broken promises. When he says, “We refuse to believe the bank of justice is bankrupt” this is code for “we know you are morally bankrupt but Black people are here to demand, as the Staple Singers demanded, ‘When will we be paid for the work we’ve done’.”

King’s formulation of “the fierce urgency of now and the tranquilizing drug of gradualism” was a frontal assault on the President Kennedy and the Democrats cry for “patience” in face of injustice. King countered with the spirit of Freedom Now: the cry of Black militants in South Africa, South Carolina, and the South Bronx—and supported by a growing number of white supporters of the civil rights movement. In fact, “Now” was one of the revolutionary slogans of its time. And President Kennedy and the whole world were listening.

One of King’s revolutionary observations that is still painfully relevant today was that “the Negro is still languishing in the corners of American society and finds himself in exile in his own land.”

In 1964, I was recruited by organizers of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee to join “the Civil Rights revolution.” By the time I got to CORE in Harlem and the Northeast, my mentors were staying up all night debating what exactly that revolution would look like. While the struggle focused on democratic rights and full equality, many SNCC and CORE leaders were talking about some form of Black nationalism, Black Power, Black militancy, Black separatism—not as a way of “getting away” from the system but as part of a plan to challenge it and, for some, to overthrow it. Influenced by Malcolm X and the African liberation movements, people were talking about a challenge to U.S. capitalism and about some type of pro-socialist system. It was not all that clear or delineated but the concepts of full equality, full democratic rights, Black rights, self-determination, radical reform, and revolution were far more interrelated than counterposed—and all of them involved Black people in the leadership of a multi-racial movement, either through integration or separation.

In that context, I am arguing that Dr. King was a Black revolutionary nationalist, perhaps of a more moderate nature, but he was a student of world history and was impacted by the revolutionary ideas of the times. For Dr. King, as early as 1963, to tell the president of the United States that Black people in the U.S. are “exiles in their own land” was clearly a call for some form of both full equality and Black self-determination and far from the “more perfect union” myth that the system was selling—with few buyers.

King was a victim of capitalist state violence, surveillance, psychological, character, and actual assassination.

The story of J. Edgar Hoover’s campaign to destroy Martin Luther King and force him into a nervous breakdown and suicide is not tangential but central to King’s revolutionary history—and any understanding of the surveillance and police state we live under today. And yet, another element of the revolutionary history of Dr. King that is being whitewashed is that his actual assassination was by the system itself. Part of this cover-up is to destroy the memory of the work of Coretta Scott King in exposing the actual assassination of Dr. King.

In his “I’ve Been to the Mountain Top” speech the very night before he was murdered, Dr. King was very aware of what he felt was his possible and imminent assassination. 

“Like anybody, I would like to live—a long life; longevity has its place. But I’m not concerned about that now. I just want to do God’s will. And He’s allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I’ve looked over. And I’ve seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the Promised Land. So, I’m happy, tonight. I’m not worried about anything. I’m not fearing any man. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.

And while his words are brave, every time I hear them, I hear a mortal man not fully at peace with his mortality but trying to comfort and reassure Black people that “we as a people” will find liberation. He did this rather than ask them to protect him, which he knew they could not do.

On December 8, 1999, after the King family and allies presented 70 witnesses in a civil trial, 12 jurors in Memphis, Tennessee reached a unanimous verdict after about an hour of deliberations that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated because of a conspiracy.

In a statement she gave to the press the following day in Atlanta, Mrs. Coretta Scott King welcomed the verdict.

“There is abundant evidence of a major high-level conspiracy in the assassination of my husband, Martin Luther King, Jr. And the civil court’s unanimous verdict has validated our belief. I wholeheartedly applaud the verdict of the jury and I feel that justice has been well served in their deliberations. This verdict is not only a great victory for my family, but also a great victory for America. It is a great victory for truth itself. It is important to know that this was a SWIFT verdict, delivered after about an hour of jury deliberation. The jury was clearly convinced by the extensive evidence that was presented during the trial that, in addition to Mr. Jowers, the conspiracy of the Mafia, local, state and federal government agencies, were deeply involved in the assassination of my husband. The jury also affirmed overwhelming evidence that identified someone else, not James Earl Ray, as the shooter, and that Mr. Ray was set up to take the blame. I want to make it clear that my family has no interest in retribution. Instead, our sole concern has been that the full truth of the assassination has been revealed and adjudicated in a court of law . . . My husband once said, ‘The moral arc of the universe is long, but it bends toward justice.’ To-day, almost 32 years after my husband and the father of my four children was assassinated, I feel that the jury’s verdict clearly affirms this principle. With this faith, we can begin the 21st century and the new millennium with a new spirit of hope and healing.”

Sadly, the police/surveillance/counter-insurgency state is stronger than ever—but at least there is growing public challenge to its hegemony. Understanding the revolutionary story of Dr. King and the system’s decision to bring him down is essential if we want to understand and make history in the present.

King was from the outset a Black militant and revolutionary who advocated non-violent direct action but saw “the Negro revolution” as the overriding objective.

While Dr. King strongly argued for non-violence as both a tactical and an ethical perspective, he also supported the right of Black people to armed self-defense and allied with the advocates of armed self-defense and even armed struggle in the Black movement.

At a time of rampant and systematic police violence, the system’s armed requirement that Black people be “non-violent” is intellectually and morally lethal. It flies in the face of the long-standing tradition of armed self-defense in the Black community and the urgency to defend that tradition today. Worse, to use Dr. King against that basic right is the height of cynicism and historical distortion.

Clay Carson’s In Struggle: SNCC and the Black Awakening of the 1960s, helps shed light on this complex relationship. While many young organizers were critical of Dr. King SNCC’s Stokely Carmichael explained best their appreciation of his profound impact on the Black masses.

“People loved King. I’ve seen people in the South climb over each other just to say, ‘I touched him, I touched him.’ I’m even talking about the young . . . These were the people we were working with and I had to follow in his footsteps when I went in there. The people didn’t know what was SNCC. They just said, ‘You one of Dr. King’s men?’ ‘Yes, Ma’am I am.’”

Carson explains the pivotal role of “militant and self-reliant local black residents who owned weapons and were willing to defend themselves when attacked. Black rallies in the county were often protected by armed guards sometimes affiliated with the Louisiana-based Deacons for Defense and Justice.”

Many SNCC organizers, disagreeing with King’s focus on non-violence, explained, “We are not King or SCLC. They don’t do the work the kind of work that we do, nor do they live in the areas we live in. They don’t drive the highways at night” Stokely Carmichael recalled a discussion that ended when he asked those carrying weapons to place them on the table. Nearly all the black organizers working in the Deep South were armed.

But again, the system wants to act like the battle between King on the one hand, and SNCC and the Black militants on the other, was a morality play or an ideological war. It wasn’t. It was an intellectual, strategic, and ethical struggle among equals, and King was both open-minded and introspective about the limits of his non-violent advocacy.

In 1965, James Farmer, the director of CORE, a dedicated pacifist, told a group of us at a meeting, “I am completely non-violent, but I want to thank our brothers from the Deacons for Defense (who were both standing guard and got a standing ovation from the organizers) whose arms allow me to be non-violent.” My read of history is that King felt similarly.

Importantly, King well understood that his “non-violence” could be used by the system as a justification for state violence and the system’s need to destroy the Black united front. In his speech, “Beyond Vietnam” on April 4, 1967, King addressed frontally his most principled conversations with the angry youth of the urban ghettos. He stated,

“As I have walked among the desperate, rejected, and angry young men, I have told them that Molotov cocktails and rifles would not solve their problem. I have tried to offer my deepest compassion while maintaining my conviction that social change comes most meaningfully through non-violent action. But they asked, and rightfully so, ‘What about Vietnam?’ Their questions hit home and I knew I could never again raise my voice against the violence of the oppressed in the ghettos without having first spoken clearly to the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today: my own government.”

Note that King does not try to raise a moral critique of those who would use Molotov cocktails and rifles in response to the economic and armed violence of the state. And by making clear he considered its advocates “the oppressed,” he supported the morality, if not the tactics, of their cause. Instead, he simply argued that he did not feel it would “solve their problem” and even then, qualified his own advocacy of non-violence to make the case that “social change comes most meaningfully”—but not exclusively—from non-violence. He admitted it was a legitimate debate.

At the time, Martin Luther King, Jr., SNCC, CORE, and Malcolm X represented the “left” of the Black united front and worked to find strategic and tactical unity with the NAACP and Urban League—which made the March on Washington, the Civil Rights Bill, and the Voting Rights Bill possible. While King had many disagreements with the young Black militants, he understood them and they him as strategic allies against a system of white supremacist capitalism.

SNCC, Malcolm X, Muhammad Ali, and Dr. King were on the frontlines of the movement against the U.S. war of aggression in Vietnam. While SNCC and Malcolm were among the first to speak out frontally against the war as early as 1965, by April 1967, both King and Muhammad Ali took enormous risks to frontally challenge the war on moral grounds and to argue that Black people in particular had no interest in supporting the war.

In his monumental “Beyond Vietnam” speech, Dr. King argued in support of Vietnamese self-determination and rejected the view that the U.S. had any legitimate interests in Vietnam.

* King called out U.S. war crimes against the Vietnamese people making the analogy that the United States feared the most: comparisons with Nazi Germany. He asked what the Vietnamese people “think when we test our latest weapons on them just as the Germans tested out new medicine and new tortures in the concentration camps of Europe.”

* King praised the integrity and legitimacy of the National Liberation Front of Vietnam including the communists who he argued were the legitimate political leaders of the Vietnamese people’s struggle.

“They were led by Ho Chi Minh” and were creating “a revolutionary government seeking self-determination.” He describes Ho as saved only by “his sense of humor and irony . . . when he hears the most powerful nation in the world speaking of aggression as it drops thousands bombs on a nation eight thousand miles from its shores.” (Communists with a sense of humor and irony–perhaps the most revolutionary insight of all.)

*King focused on demand development. In the end movements are unified by ideas, people, organizations and demands. He called on the U.S. government

* End all bombing in North and South Vietnam

* Declare a unilateral cease fire

* Curtail the U.S. build up in Thailand and Laos

* Recognize the role of The National Liberation Front in any future Vietnam government

* Remove all foreign–that is, U.S. troops from Vietnam

* Make reparations for the damage

This was tantamount to calling for immediate U.S. withdrawal from Vietnam. It recognized the victory of the National Liberation Front and argued for what would later become a critical component of Black people’s demands against the U.S. government: “reparations.”

The story of The System’s attacks on Dr. King after he spoke out against the war in Vietnam and his courage in the face of this assault is another chapter in Dr. King’s revolutionary contribution to U.S. and world history. One important version of that story is Tavis Smiley’s documentary, Death of a King: Dr. Martin Luther King’s Final Year.

Dr. King brought a powerful and frontal indictment of the system of white supremacist, racist, capitalism. He appreciated the ideas of others and worked to build a Black and multi-racial united front against what he called “racism, poverty, and militarism.” He was willing to confront “the cowardice” inside his own bosom and modeled how all of us must put our bodies, souls, and lives on the line. He rejected gradualism and demanded, “Freedom Now.” He advocated non-violence but defended the right of those who disagreed with him to armed self-defense. He rejected U.S. chauvinism, called for a militant internationalism, and challenged the U.S. Empire at home and abroad. He was independent of and willing to challenge the Democratic Party. He was and is a great contributor to the endless struggle for human and planetary liberation.

It is time to celebrate the Revolutionary King on the anniversary of his birthday. We thank Stevie Wonder, who spoke for all of us, when he wrote,

I just never understood
How a man who died for good
Could not have a day that would
Be set aside for his recognition Because it should never be
Just because some cannot see
The dream as clear as he
that they should make it become an illusion
And we all know everything
That he stood for time will bring
For in peace our hearts will sing
Thanks to Martin Luther King
Happy birthday to you
Happy birthday to you
Happy birthday
Happy birthday to you
Happy birthday to you
Happy birthday. Happy birthday to you!

Eric Mann is the co-director of the Labor/Community Strategy Center. He is a veteran of the Congress of Racial Equality, Students for a Democratic Society, and the United Auto Workers New Directions Movement. He is the host of KPFK/Pacifica’s Voices from the Frontlines. His forthcoming book is I Saw a Revolution with my Own Eyes: History, Strategy, and Organizing for The Revolution We Need today. He welcomes comments at Eric@Voicesfromthefrontlines.com