Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Happy Birthday Dr. King

Martin Luther King, Jr. would be 84 today if he stayed healthy and that racist with a deer rifle hadn’t ended it so tragically early in 1968. I wonder what he would think of our world as it exists right now, but more importantly, I wonder if he, had he lived to do it, continued with the movement that had him as one of the founders?
I wonder, for example what would have happened in the wake of the Rodney King arrest. Would the jury that acquitted the LAPD officers that conducted a brutalization of King have done that, and would the riots that resulted in LA been avoided?
Would racism be found only in the history books and the people that go after Obama because he is “Lazy” or “shuckin’ and jivin’” or a “Kenyan Muslimbe extinct? Or for that matter would the people who go after the person that calls them out on this, as happened to former Secretary of State Colin Powell? From people of his own political party? Would they have kept their traps shut?
I think we will never know for sure but let me make this observation.
Racism is still with us today, but had Martin Luther King been able to conduct another quarter century of work, I wonder if racism would see the rewards that are showered on people now. Rewards for being a racist. You never hear about “The Irish,” or “The Wops” or “The Polacks” anymore because – well first, they’re white – but also because if a person were to cast a disparaging remark their way people would look at the person as if he were nuts.
Really, pretty much I think that because Martin Luther King died before his time, my generation missed its chance to put racism behind us. Maybe the next generation also but I am seeing wonderful things happen in my children’s generation.
Definitely the ones being born right now. I will be very surprised if the generation being born right now will have the blind racism that still plagues us. The problem is, like King, I don’t know if I will be there to witness it.

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