Monday, January 15, 2007


I'm re-running what I posted last year about MLK Day. Not much has changed.

[From Archives: Monday, January 16, 2006]

Happy MLK Day?

I'm old enough to remember Dr. King. I saw him on television and read about him in the newspaper. I heard my parents and others around me talk about him. Sometimes what I saw and read and heard was ugly. I knew those people were wrong about him. Having heard and read his words, I knew in my heart that this was a good man.

He was assassinated in 1968. He was only 39. My friends and I mourned for days.Now, 38 years later, there are parades and most people get a day off work. The message of this good man is buried under feel-good hype about "how far we've come" in race relations in this country. Dr. King was the leader of the Civil Rights Movement. He went to India to study methods of peaceful, non-violent resistance. He said it was our moral duty to disobey unjust laws. He was an anti-war activist.

The President of the United States is wiretapping citizens without a warrant, violating the civil rights of every American. None of the so-called justifications for the war in Iraq has passed the smell test. Violent gangs have taken over the poorest parts of our major cities. Four white teenagers in South Carolina just copped a plea deal for beating and attempting to lynch a Black teenager. The Federal hate-crime law was not invoked.

Why are we celebrating? What are we celebrating?