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Author: Raine    Date: 01/19/2015 15:43:09

Every year on this day, I write a blog to honor one of the most well known civil rights leaders and activists, Dr. Martin Luther King, Junior.

Every year I try to write something inspiring, something not very well known about a man that I deeply deeply admire - Something like this.

This year it is difficult. I am reading articles about the history of the movement, articles like this interview of Bayard Rustin in 1997. Imagine being a gay man in the civil rights movement when being gay was still illegal. So much progress has been made in the LGBT civil rights movement in just a few years it's hard to imagine that there is still a need for this:

http://uprisingradio.org/home/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/We-cant-breathe-NY-protests.jpg


http://upload.democraticunderground.com/imgs/2014/141205-the-american-tradition-of-inconveniencing-motorists-a-curious-double-standard.jpg


The machine of oppression is still strong, and this year it was clearly illustrated not from the mainstream press, but rather by the ability to reach people (for good and bad) in social media.

We live in very interesting times, and no happy flappy "we love MLK" blog will change the fact that something is happening out there. Paying homage to Dr. King is easy to do; living the kind of life he wanted me to live, you to live, and all of us to live is difficult sometimes. It requires people of my skin color to take responsibility to look around and learn that history is not just in the past. The farther we get from his history, the more sanitized his legacy has become:
Why? Because he was a radical; because he preached God's good news to the poor; because he made people who benefited from the status quo incredibly uncomfortable; and like all the great prophets before him, he was killed for doing these.

So instead of celebrating Martin Luther King as the inspiring leader that makes you feel good, I encourage you to celebrate him honestly, and honor Martin Luther King as the revolutionary that he truly was.

As he did when he was alive, Dr. King would prophetically speak the truth of God and he would demand that these wrongs of war, economic injustice and failures in democracy, be set right. And Dr. King would go beyond words, he would take action - he would put his feet in the street and his body on the line and he would rally others to do so. And in doing these things, Dr. King would encourage the wrath of the majority in our nation, particularly those who benefit from the status quo, and they would hate him for it and they would wish him dead.


Protesters have become demonized by a power structure that doesn't want to see images like the ones I posted here. Pointing out institutional racism doesn't make people comfortable, so instead, we celebrate a man without understanding the disturbing history that gave him a legacy.
In American culture, racism is typically thought of as any prejudice based on race. That popular definition is most often applied to obvious discrimination or hurtful words aimed at people of color. But racism is not a thing of the past which exists only in isolated pockets. There is a much more pervasive form of racism which is often overlooked and dismissed as “just the way things are.”

“The way we as a society have come to treat racism in a post-1960s, post-civil rights movement mentality is that because we’ve changed the laws, there is no more racism,” said Robette Dias, executive co-director of Crossroads Antiracism Organizing and Training, based in Matteson, Illinois.
(snip)

“We could get rid of all the overt bigots who really do harbor racial hatred,” Dias said, “and we would still have a problem.”

There are people that still want to maintain their personal status quo. In order to do that, they can either reach out a hand and lift everyone up to the same playing field or they can fight the people that are marching and protesting and working to make sure everyone has a seat at the table.

The status quo cannot stay, and there are people that are terrified about that. It's uncomfortable, and it should be.

Peace & Love,

Raine
 

20 comments (Latest Comment: 01/19/2015 21:20:42 by Raine)
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