In honor of today being Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, here are some links to serve as food for thought. Enjoy!
MLK Isn’t One-Fits-All – Black Snob
It’s important for us who know the history to not fall into the trap of either making King things he is not or forgetting his complexities. King is not a one-size-fits-all garment we can all wear on our way to moral rectitude. And no one can rightly claim his mantel. We have to create our own.
First of all, King was a radical. Not the venomous kind that promotes reckless violence against innocent people; quite the opposite. King was a radical in his criticism of the root causes of injustice, and in his brilliantly imaginative vision of a different, more just and humane world. For example, King did not just urge protesters to be non-violent, he urged politicians and governments to be non-violent. In 1968 he took a brave stance against the war in Vietnam, in a speech in New York City’s Riverside Church, that cost him some of his liberal supporters. He criticized the injustices of capitalism: persistent poverty, inadequate aid to workers and the poor, and growing wealth disparity. Let us remember he died demanding not simply integration, but labor rights for striking sanitation workers in Memphis.
It started in Greeley, Colo., earlier this month: radio station owner and school board member Brett Reese began using his media platform to read a listener’s letter calling King a “sexual degenerate,” an “America-hating communist” and a “plastic god.” Reese told a local news station he aired it – at least twice a day, and as many as four – after “doing fact-checking.”
So when you start quoting pre-1963 Dr. King speeches or essays in order to buttress your ‘colorblind’ race arguments, especially when we are discussing how whiteness and white supremacy negatively impacts our lives, it pisses us off.
Watch MLK’s “I Have A Dream Speech” on Youtube
Thanksgiving is a holiday that I’m never sure of celebrating. I only participated in Thanksgiving activities once I moved to the US because, well, it’s an irrelevant holiday in Barbados. Even now, I mostly do Thanksgiving because other people in my life are doing it. Still, I do enjoy a nice gathering of family and friends around a dinner table. This year, we went to a friend’s house and had an excellent meal. I even baked desserts!
Today’s Soapbox Sunday list of links (nice alliteration!) will be short and sweet yet, thought-provoking.
Funkidivagirl describes finding thanks on very sad and memorable Thanksgiving Day.
At Love Isn’t Enough, a mom describes how she shifts her family’s Thanksgiving ritual so that the true history of Thanksgiving is honored.
Black Girl in Maine gives her very thoughtful insights on the intersecting of class privilege and Black Friday.
Similarly, Arwyn at Raising My Boychick gives her thoughts on “Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and the discomfit of classism.”
What are your Thanksgiving thoughts?