Martin Luther King Day

Today is the day we have set aside to remember Martin Luther King and his victories with the Montgomery bus boycott and the historic “I Have a Dream” speech at the nation’s capital. By drumming King into the nation’s consciousness as the embodiment of the civil rights movement, it is also the day we have set aside to forget others involved in the struggle like the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and the Freedom Riders (both white and black) who in some cases gave their lives fighting against racial injustice. We have also set this day to forget Malcolm X who proclaimed that self defense was a human right and was critical of MLK’s Christian-based turn the other cheek philosophy. We have set this day to forget Stokey Carmichael, H. Rap Brown, and Ralph Abernathy.

Today we forget that the FBI investigated and bugged phones of most if not all of the above and we forget that when freedom riders were attacked and in some cases killed, undercover FBI agents were present and did nothing, ostensibly because they are an agency of investigation, not enforcement. We also try to forget that it is alleged that the FBI paid black operatives to spread rumors in the ghettos that the Black Panther Party members who operated soup kitchens for the poor in fact had STDs in order to dissuade people from showing up to hear their message (an allegation that, if true, is quite funny while still wrong).

In remembering King’s victories combatting de jure segregation in the south, we try to forget his failures in battling de facto segregation in Chicago and in attempting to organize a Poor People’s March on Washington (I’m picturing a million Kenny McCormicks in orange winter coats.) We also cast away the fact that the struggle did not involve a huge monolithic “black community” that followed meekly behind the Messiah, but there were in fact huge splits, petty jealousies, competing philosophies, some very critical of non-violence in general and King in particular. Please also forget entertainers like Richard Pryor, Jimmi Hendrix, and O.J. Simpson who probably contributed just as much as civil rights leaders in the field of race relations.

I am not capping on MLK. I’m hating on the fact that he is, to increasing degrees, being cast as the civil rights movement itself which is plainly wrong. He, in fact, warned against paying undue attention to any individual involved in the struggle. As it is he has been raised to Paul Bunyon-like proportions much like Lincoln is in the freeing of the slaves. In this view then everyone else involved is reduced to background extras swaying arm in arm singing about overcoming summmmmm day. As Benjamin Franklin once said, NOT!!!!

6 Responses to “Martin Luther King Day”

  1. R says:

    That’s cuz MLK is the only useful politicially correct, VISIBLE, figure in history.

  2. guy in the UNLV jacket says:

    You forgot to forget Little Richard, Michael jackson and The Reverand AL Sharpton. I would also like to give a shot out to my boys Ray Ray, Little Pookie and Killa

  3. Amicusser says:

    I’m going to celebrate MLK day by having a couple of affairs and then getting shot. I bet the bastards won’t even call me getting shot an assassination, either. They’ll be all, “he wasn’t killed by an assassin, he was killed by that ho’s husband!”

  4. Amicusser says:

    How come no one’s saying anything? Do I have to start yelling random things again? Because I can, you know. Mi coolo es in fuego!!!

    Cincinatti hotplate!

  5. guy in the UNLV jacket says:

    Kind of hung over today…..It’s almost 3:00 and I still feel the effects of last night. Mental note nomoer drinking and partying with hot chicks on work nights!!!

  6. The "D" says:

    Yes!! The boy is getting busy at home once again. This might not be a T1 line Mike but damn it is faster than anything that I have been on. I have to go out and buy a computer desk and shit now. I am so stoked I have a woody!!

    Now I have to make the best home office in the world!