17 January 2005

Martin Luther King

Martin Luther King Day: What a great holiday celebrating a truly great man. Comments from around the blogosphere:

Joe Felice at Music for America: I think our community would feel some regard for anybody who had been to jail for his activism, who fought evils in the system and won, and who died for his convictions. But I am sadly suspicious that there's something about Martin that is just not sexy enough to really penetrate youth culture any more.

Then there's this biting remark at Ben Blog:
Forty years ago today, 250,000 people marched on Washington DC to demand equal rights. It's one of the most famous marches in modern history, for one of the best causes. Equality, in this humble weblogger's opinion, really is worth fighting for, and those 250,000 people set out to accomplish what must have seemed like an impossible task - but of course, they eventually succeeded and segregation is now illegal. In contrast, this February over a million people took to the streets to try and stop an illegal war, and accomplished exactly fuck all. I'm not trying to compare the Iraq demonstrations with the civil rights movement - that'd be insane, and I wouldn't in any way want to diminish what they did. But what's interesting to me is how this February's protest was four times the size of that march, and we were completely ignored, even though it's looking more and more like we were right. God bless democracy, eh?

An excerpt from King's 1967 speech criticizing the Vietnam War:

Perhaps the more tragic recognition of reality took place when it became clear to me that the war was doing far more than devastating the hopes of the poor at home. It was sending their sons and their brothers and their husbands to fight and to die in extraordinarily high proportions relative to the rest of the population. We were taking the black young men who had been crippled by our society and sending them eight thousand miles away to guarantee liberties in Southeast Asia which they had not found in southwest Georgia and East Harlem. So we have been repeatedly faced with the cruel irony of watching Negro and white boys on TV screens as they kill and die together for a nation that has been unable to seat them together in the same schools. So we watch them in brutal solidarity burning the huts of a poor village, but we realize that they would never live on the same block in Detroit. I could not be silent in the face of such cruel manipulation of the poor.

Also check out: Bruner Blog, Talk Left, P!, and Dialogic.


Thivai Abhor said...

Happy MLK Karlo--for me King is a hero, continuing inspiration and role model.


Kevin said...

On my other blog (thepeoplesprinciple.blogspot.com) I have a look at him for remembering him today. I think the African Americans need to take this day and look to the future. They also need to listen to Bill Cosby who is smart for what he is doing.