January 16, 2006

Happy MLK Day?

Filed under: Uncategorized — chapterhouse @ 9:12 am

I’m old enough to remember Dr. King. I saw him on television and read about him in the newspaper. I heard my parents and others around me talk about him. Sometimes what I saw and read and heard was ugly. I knew those people were wrong about him. Having heard and read his words, I knew in my heart that this was a good man.

He was assassinated in 1968. He was only 39. My friends and I mourned for days.

Now, 38 years later, there are parades and most people get a day off work. The message of this good man is buried under feel-good hype about “how far we’ve come” in race relations in this country. Dr. King was the leader of the Civil Rights Movement. He went to India to study methods of peaceful, non-violent resistance. He said it was our moral duty to disobey unjust laws. He was an anti-war activist.

The President of the United States is wiretapping citizens without a warrant, violating the civil rights of every American. None of the so-called justifications for the war in Iraq has passed the smell test. Violent gangs have taken over the poorest parts of our major cities. Four white teenagers in South Carolina just copped a plea deal for beating and attempting to lynch a Black teenager. The Federal hate-crime law was not invoked.

Why are we celebrating? What are we celebrating?



  1. It is truly amazing how little progress has been made in the minds of lots of people. Maybe we just need some more good funerals.

    Comment by OldHorsetailSnake — January 16, 2006 @ 11:50 am | Reply

  2. You know, I realize this is going to sound paradoxical, but I REFUSED to go to a MLK “celebration” here in Rome tonight for the very reasons that you’re citing in your blog. Spend 3 hours with “feel goody” people – mostly whites – chanting and jazzing and clapping their hands and having a nice dream? Are you freaking kidding? This is about the canonization of an icon – not about “love thy neighbour” and I mean ALL of them. The whites, the blacks, the browns, the purples and the duckbilled platypusses (pl?). Amen. etc. Oh, and respect for others. I was forgetting that. Does anybody out there know what it means to RESPECT people? like Iraqi people, Sudanese people, Pakistani people, American people….

    Comment by Judith — January 16, 2006 @ 11:58 am | Reply

  3. Yup. Spare me from the do-gooders. Respect for folks is what it takes, in my humble opinion.


    Comment by Duke_of_Earle — January 16, 2006 @ 4:41 pm | Reply

  4. Hmm, the kids didn’t even get the day off from school here in backwater montana. drs offices were open and I could do some business. No mail though. Its just about civil service employees getting there 3 day paid holiday weekend anyway.

    Comment by dawn marie — January 17, 2006 @ 10:18 pm | Reply

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