Tag Archives: Voting Rights Act

Happy Belated Birthday Dr King & Happy MLK Day Everyone Else

Better Late Than Never: A Birth Worth Celebrating.

Pensive Dr King
The Birthday Boy: The late great Dr King Speaking of Late, Here I am waiting t ill his Holiday only to its kinda crazy that really happened

Hey, better late than never right?

On the 15th of January of 1929 MLK jr was born into this world.  He would grow up to become one of the most influential people ever born.  His lifetime left a fingerprint on the very fabric of society makeup and composition of this nation in a major and compelling way.  The fingerprint of his lifetime will be felt and seen, and may even pop up in the extremely rare instance that it’s needed. world, into this world ., easily one of the most influential figures in my own personal growth and development journey and that of so many others was born.

Who knows where this nation would be, were he still here if he were with us still today; would the protests and the #BlackLivesMatter or #BlackBrunch  #EricGarner and #Ferguson campaigns would still be going on?.

 

Tragedy Strikes @ The Lorraine Motel Memphis, TN-April 4, 1968

A Great Leader Is Taken From Us Far Too Soon.

Dr. King’s life, his wisdom, and his leadership were stripped from us that fateful day, April 1968, robbing us of what surely would have been a calming voice of reason, drowning out the angry din of the turbulent times that lie behind us, and those that lay ahead.  His moral judgement serving as a nautical star, always guiding us towards that promised land, the one he dreamed of; where all men are created equal and judged only by the content of their character and not the color of their skin.

It Is His Day After All

In honor of his birthday,  his name day and his me-mo-ray(that’s memory for the illiterates amongst you), I shared some of his stuff below, beginning with speech about that dream his name came to become synonymous with.

Obviously Dr. King can’t take all the credit for the entire civil rights movement, much as the media among other people would like to just give it to him.  There were people and organizations fighting for the rights of African-Americans long before Dr. King ever got sent to Montgomery, or got the spotlight from the boycotts, but his pre-eminent role as the representative and face of the larger movement as a whole can’t be denied either,

He was merely upholding a tradition kept alive by all those who have fought for equality from the inside like A Philip Randolph who threatened to march on washington if African-Americans weren’t included to begin with.  No more of this playing  game and shit with your crappy ass little weaves or whatever the fuck you put in there. within their tribe or their own mind that we really don’t need to have any one there for it, because it’s just been one like

These Times, They Are A Changin:

From the time the Montgomery Bus Boycott began in 1955 until the his death in 1968 and even beyond; Dr King and the rest of the movement took the battle to the power structure and not vice versa, continuously applying pressure. in well thought out places   In attacking racism and discrimination where it existed and was most vehement; the lunch counters, the bus stops, and the polling place, of the deep south, they not only placed the entire practice of Jim Crow on display,  they put it on trial in the court of public opinion, a battle Jim Crow eventually lost.

Dr Martin Luther King Jr Delivering Speech
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr delivering one of his last speeches prior to his being assassinated at the hands of some backwoods simpleton who couldn’t plan his way out of a paper bag.

 

The Civil Rights Movement’s creative use of non violent direct action to frame and challenge the Jim Crow laws of the South met  with violence and repression at the hands of small town police,  members of the KKK, or just your garden variety, small-minded, red neck prick; most of which viewed by Americans across the nation were able to witness ignorance first hand at least once in their life.   Meeting non-violence with extreme violence backfired, leading to increased support for the demonstrators and eventually leading to Jim Crow’s demise with the passage of the Civil Rights Act in 1964 and the Voting Rights Act in 1965.

A Job Well Done?  More Like It’s Just Begun, Time For Phase Two:

Let us not forget this little tidbit either,  just before his murder, Dr King had been in the process of expanding his consciousness and understanding and taking riskier opinions than he had previously or at least in public.s .  Rather than basking in the major accomplishments of the Civil Rights Movement, especially for African-Americans of  the South, he sought to do even more before he died, and  his last efforts weren’t limited  to the black community either welcoming all people regardless of religion and regardless of creed.  He also came out against the Vietnam War publicly in one of his speeches, something the old Dr King would never have done for fear of rocking the boat.  The Poor Peoples Campaign was open to all people regardless of race or anything like that, but it is probably my favorite speech of his .

Status Report: Where We Stand At Now

 

The Poor People’s campaign The plan was for a large multicultural group of poverty activists to march on the washington memorial plaza whatever and camp out there as a reminder of poverty that Congress wouldn’t be able to ignore it anymore.  Sadly, Dr. King would not see this one through to completion James Earl Ray’s 30.-.06 cut his life short, and for no apparent  reason other than who he is.  At the time of the shooting, Dr. King and his entourage were in the middle of doing something with a document, it looked interesting

<p><a href=”http://vimeo.com/3816635″>Martin Luther King, Jr: “Mountaintop” speech full length</a> from <a href=”http://vimeo.com/user907438″>Filip Goc</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

I think it’s pretty safe to assume everyone else feels the same as me when it comes to whether we feel as though we have to really put in very much effort .get up for anyone  about our sloppy levels of play lately not being acceptable anymore.  Everything has been all out-of-place I’m confident in saying I still don’t recognize the idyllic locale of his dream; guess we’re all still waiting on those two tickets to paradise as it sits now and you better believe this guy desperately is in need of a tan.

Gone But Not Forgotten

Luckily, I’m not the only one whose life the great Dr. King has touched.  We can rest assured that his memory will live on, the light he used to combat darkness will continue to illuminate the way for each of us committed to making this world a better place, a righteous one filled with love.

Only question is, who will join me?

 

Sources Consulted:

Wikipedia: Poor People Campaign

 

Related Goodies

The Passing of Rodney King 

Are We Guilty of Bigotry

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Are We Guilty of Cultural Bigotry?

Note:  this was originally posted as a response to the comment left by wylde-goose to my post “An Attempt To Write These Wrongs” but I figured that it was deserving of  its own space so it didn’t end up buried in the bottom of the comments section.

I agree with you completely on a lot of points,

Indeed a large part of the people out there grouped together as “racist” when perhaps ethnocentric is a term that would fit better because the biggest differences ARE cultural in origin. Perhaps the deepest cultural divides are the ones drawn within an individual ethnic group. Whites weren’t the only ones to flee the large influx of southern rural african-americans who moved north to industrial centers during the Great Migration. Many of the more established and well off, African-Americans fled as well. To take that to its extreme there is the gang culture. Living in Norther California, I am all too aware of the ongoing gang war between the Nortenos and the Surenos gangs, knowing people personally for whom that is just a way of life, probably the only one they’ll ever know, the reality they live in. If I lived in Southern California I would be more familiar with the struggle between the Bloods and the Crips. There are countless others, these are just two I am familiar with. This among other things leads me to agree with your friends that unfortunately racism is the correct word for the behavior of more than .1% of the population.

That was precisely the point of my original post. It’s here, all around us, still woven into the fabric of society, like a pox infested blanket. Its ugly, just as ugly today as yesteryear, its just more discreet for the most part, in any case, personally I am not OK with it. I hope that it was clear that me saying we should “own it” and recognize its existence was in no way meant to trivialize it. Quite the opposite really, I think that for most Americans the struggle for civil rights ended in 1965 after the Voting Rights Act, or when that same episode everyone watches of the Ken Burns special ended. Shows over, pack up its time to go. The only people talking about race in any public way are caricatures in a sense like you described in your response, further adding to the illusion that it can’t be a “real” concern, held by “real” people, justifying our collective lack of concern because, It’s just nonsense spouted by “crackpots” (in both camps) as a publicity stunt, extremists from one end or the other.  We all look at the world through a different lens, our prescription is determined in part by a combination of both experience and upbringing. There’s no sense in denying it, were human. However, that does not excuse the individual from personal accountability either. We all have to accept responsibility for the ways in which we have actively shaped our own reality.

It is easy to take a look at people who seem to embody stereotypes and say, “see” theres proof, these stereotypes are stereotypes because they’re true, my bigotry is justified.  That is not only a very lazy approach, its harmful, only further promoting cultural bigotry.  More than that though, it just doesn’t make sense, I mean isn’t that kinda like reading your horoscope and then attributing to the stars some uncanny ability to predict your future when things came true…? Now you have to ask yourself, how much of that was you making it come true because you read it?

Usually, If you think something enough you’re bound to make it true in some way. My family didn’t exactly bring me up as anything but a mild racist.  If I would have allowed that to be justification enough, then I would be exactly that. While I could say that my parents were merely a product of their times, and it is true to some extent, it’s really just a cop-out, an excuse. There has even been experiences in my past, of where something screwed up happened to me. It would have been easy to blame an entire group of people for the wrongs committed by a few, who just so happened to share similarities with them. (I wont even lie that it wasn’t my first reaction, albeit a brief one) If I feed that beast,I’m just part of the problem, rather than the solution. I would become everything that I am against. I know that I have absolutely no idea on where to start or what to do to achieve this thing I believe in. I just know that the ONLY thing I can control, is myself, and how I treat people and when I have children what I teach them, hoping to be the best role model possible.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norte%C3%B1os

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crips

https://sammyscoops.wordpress.com/2012/04/05/an-attempt-to-write-these-wrongs