I heard a radio interview about Dr. King today from an author who has just written a book speculating about what it would be like had he lived, instead of being assassinated. He flatly speculated that MLK's legacy is much greater now that he has been dead these forty years than if he had lived. He said that today, he would have been marginalized as an outlandish radical, just as Jeremiah Wright has been characterized. If you notice, much of what Wright says is actually true. ("God damn America" for its treatment of black people, for example, or that the US helped bring on 9/11 with its Middle East policies) Dr. King said that America was the greatest purveyor of violence in the world. True. But this is not the Dr. King that is taught to little school children. Dr. King was also a staunch opponent of the Vietnam war. But this is not part of his sanitized legacy which is referred to by public figures on King anniversaries. Presidents never refer to King's anti-war stance, only his civil rights battles. Today, in classrooms and the halls of power, Dr. Martin Luther King is a great man, akin to George Washington or Thomas Jefferson, both of whom, by the way were slave owners. As was Andrew Jackson, the man we honor on the $20 bill. There's lot of hypocrisy in the way we remember our dead heroes. We collectively remember what we wish to remember and discard the rest.
I hear you Newsguy....I know that I really believe in my heart that MLK was not meant to live, that the powers that be decided that RFK and MLK were too dangerous to the Military Machine....their anti war stance was toooo much....both were not mere men- they both represented a Movement....and it was more than one issue- there was civil rights, but there was also Justice Issues and Worker Right Issues, and Poverty issues....too many people being given too much Hope...But of all that I have taught my son....the lessons on MLK have been the most valuable....and the most reaching.....and I live in a neighborhood where his posters still hang in windows....And now we stand on this precipice and hold our breath...
"The soft-minded man always fears change. He feels security in the status quo, and he has an almost morbid fear of the new. For him, the greatest pain is the pain of a new idea." Martin Luther King Jr.
Post a Comment