“Everyone want’s to go to heaven but no-one wants to damn die”
I’m presently in the middle of a trip that coincidently will place me in Atlanta, birthplace of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on the very day of his nationally recognized holiday.
I look forward to participating in all of the sights, sounds and activities that will take place today to honor the life of this justice seeker turned martyr. I plan on visiting his eternal flame and having moments of silent rejoicing and gratitude for a man who gave his life to the betterment of a people. I am also particularly grateful because the inspiration behind this site, TheConscienceCloud comes directly from one of Dr. King’s books,
“The Trumpet Of Conscience” which had a profound effect on the shaping of my social, rhetorical thinking.
However, while reflecting, I imagine that I will no doubt will feel a conflict in my spirit as I do now. My moments of appreciation often turn to fits of anger and profound disappointment. The source of my troubled soul is the knowledge that Dr. King’s legacy is being misused and abused as a means to paint a pretty facade over past and present-day injustices.
On this King holiday, we must ask ourselves-
“What does it mean to honor a man in holiday but not in deed?”
In the year of 2015- just 52 years after the historic March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, we live in a country with morally repulsive levels of joblessness and income inequalities that effect Black, Hispanic, Women and the poor. Is it because America doesn’t have money or access to resources?No. As many politicians will boast, we live in (one of) the most powerful and resourceful counties in the history of the world.
It is our greed and our comfort with the discomfort of others that causes such suffering and inequality.
The year is 2015 and while there are many groups and movements like Black Lives Matter who work diligently to fight against systematic injustices, we still live in a country that has either been bamboozled by “post-racial” fantasies or “pull yourself up by the bootstraps” mentalities into believing that injustices don’t exist at all- and if they do, then they are grossly overstated by unpatriotic, pessimistic, race baiters like myself.
As we celebrate today, let us not become so lost in Dr. King’s uncanny way with words(many of which have been watered-down and convenientlyly white-washed by the media that we forget that the most powerful legacy that he left us was in putting his thoughts into courageous action, even while knowing that his life was in danger.
Dr. king was spied on. By his own government
He was reviled and attacked. By his fellow Americans.
He was discouraged and condemned. By his own people
His wife and children were terrorized on a daily basis.
His house was bombed
He was jailed
And of course he was killed.
This man and many other men and women like him were not deterred from their mission of justice and equality.
They endured acts of indignity and hatred not so that they could go viral or so that they could hoard political favor.
They did so for the greater good of humanity.
We owe far more to Dr.King than to let allow his rememberence to ring hollow everyday of the year except one.
We owe far mar more to Dr. King than to reduce his legacy to “I have a Dream”
and forget that his dream was born out of living in a nightmare of government sanctioned inequality.
We owe more to him than to forget his mission to make sure that every American have access to a dignified LIVING WAGE…instead of our letting corporations off the hook for peddling paltry, minimum wages while they rake in billions.
We owe more to him than to give the first Black President a pass for being politically passive on the issues of race, while we simultaneously expect emcees, singers and athletes to be more accountable than the leader of the free world.
A nightmare that we are still living today.