Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day

If you’ve never watched it, here it is.

The blog will be dark on Monday. I hope you’re able to find peace and hope.

Published by datingjesus

Just another one of God's children.

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  1. As we attempt to honor the legacy of Martin Luther King, we should move beyond the whitewashing that transformed him from a radical reformer demanding change, a threat to the status quo, into a national hero and sanitized martyr for bourgeois reformism, the tokenism that represents the status quo in King’s time and as it remains today.

    King himself, less than a year after his “I Have a Dream” speech, admitted that in many ways, his dream had turned into a nightmare. He said the optimism of that speech needed to be tempered with a “solid realism.”

    If we employ such solid realism on this day set aside to honor the man, we would see that social injustice for blacks has not really changed since the civil rights era.
    Poverty rate? Almost triple of that for Whites.
    Unemployment rate? Double of that for Whites.
    Amenable mortality? Double of that for Whites.
    And what is of particular interest here: homelessness? More than triple that of Whites.
    And what of the American Dream: home ownership? Thirty percent lower than whites. Another dream deferred.

    Martin Luther King was murdered just as he began to recognize that universal social justice could only be realized through systemic change:

    “There is something wrong with the economic system in this country… Something is wrong with capitalism.”

    “The problems we are dealing with are not going to be solved until there is a radical redistribution of economic and political power.”

    “The evils of capitalism are as real as the evils of militarism and racism.”

    “All I have been doing in trying to correct this system in America has been in vain. The whole [system] will have to be done away with.”

    We should honor the MLK that was, not the MLK that is.

    1. I wish I could find the book I read years ago that compared MLK to Malcolm X. The author made a pretty good case for the two men moving toward one another’s politics — Malcolm X more toward the center, and MLK more toward…left? Radical? It was fascinating.

      1. Malcolm did repudiate some Nation of Islam policies like Black supremacy and segregation. He converted to Sunni Islam and created his own religious organization. But he remained a radical in many ways.

        I think it’s Martin who actually became more radical in his demand for change. He was preaching anti-capitalism and democratic socialism when he was murdered. He wanted to expand the call for social justice. Make it more universal. And he became more outspoken in his antiwar sentiment.

        1. That’s how this book presented it…and I went looking for it online and couldn’t find it. It was published in the ’90s and it was the first time I’d read that particular history.

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