MLK Day – Gary Young MySpace Blog


It’s that time of  year.  Happy belated birthday to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

You know my thing about this day.  I cringe every time I hear the words, “I have a dream.”  It has become a slogan and a misrepresentation of Dr. King’s life and works.  It’s an effort to dumb down his legacy.  But instead of harping — blah blah blah — I’m just going to put a few quotes here from Dr. King’s later days circa 1967 and 1968.

In middle school, where I was pretty much the one black kid out of 800 or so, we had a presentation about Dr. King.  There are a few stories related to this, some I’ve told before.   But one guy in my class, very smart and very objective, said that he thought King was a good speaker but didn’t say much.  I was like, “What??”

That was practically sacrilege to me at the time.    But if all we hear is the one speech, the one phrase … who can blame anyone for thinking King was shallow.  Here’s some of what we’re not taught in school:

There is something strangely inconsistent about a nation and a press that would praise you when you say, “Be nonviolent toward Jim Clark,” but will curse and damn you when you say, “Be nonviolent toward little brown Vietnamese children.” There is something wrong with that press.

A longer, still relevant quote on wikipedia.

·We must stand up and say, “I’m black and I’m beautiful,” and this self-affirmation is the black man’s need, made compelling by the white man’s crimes against him.

·Don’t let anybody make you think God chose America as his divine messianic force to be a sort of policeman of the whole world.
·Communism forgets that life is individual. Capitalism forgets that life is social, and the kingdom of brotherhood is found neither in the thesis of communism nor the antithesis of capitalism but in a higher synthesis. It is found in a higher synthesis that combines the truths of both. Now, when I say question the whole society, it means ultimately coming to see that the problem of racism, the problem of exploitation, and the problem of war are all tied together. These are the triple evils that are interrelated.

Why was Dr. King assassinated?  Where was he directing his talents, energy and influence at the time?  Economic justice.  Anti-war.  It was then that people began to turn against him.

He had such a rich, inspirational and even controversial legacy.  Please.  Let’s not forget that.  Let’s not let the next generation forget that.

12:19 PM – 1 Comments – 2 Kudos – Add CommentEditRemove

Sarah Lindsay


Posted by Sarah Lindsay on Jan 22, 2008 7:44 AM

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