Monday, January 17, 2011

The MLK Day Open Thread

Happy MLK Day. I know most of ya'll are off today. I'm not. In fact, I'm extra busy with The Day Job today. Just as Dr. King would have wanted it.


Anyways, since this day seems to have basically dissolved into yet another "day off" (for some of us. not me.) of tasteless department store sales and NBA matinees (more about that later), I wonder how many of us even know this man was a complex intellectual whose gravitas goes way beyond one memorable line in one memorable speech. Here's some of my favorite MLK quotes. The words "I" "Have" and "Dream" are nowhere to be found. Okay, maybe "I" and "Have". But definitely not "Dream".
A man can't ride your back unless it's bent.

Discrimination is a hellhound that gnaws at Negroes in every waking moment of their lives to remind them that the lie of their inferiority is accepted as truth in the society dominating them.

A right delayed is a right denied.

The Negro needs the white man to free him from his fears. The white man needs the Negro to free him from his guilt.

If physical death is the price that I must pay to free my white brothers and sisters from a permanent death of the spirit, then nothing can be more redemptive.

It is incontestable and deplorable that Negroes have committed crimes; but they are derivative crimes. They are born of the greater crimes of the white society.

A riot is at bottom the language of the unheard.

The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.

It may be true that the law cannot make a man love me, but it can keep him from lynching me, and I think that's pretty important.

The sweltering summer of the Negro's legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality.
Amen, amen, and amen. I wonder how many people who love bringing up MLK's name and that one line of that one speech to marginalize the man as some colorblind hippie feel about all that.

Anyways, the entire point of this post is to trick urge you folks to support the MLK Memorial which is already under contruction on the Mall in DC. Despite what you might have heard, the project is not paid for yet, and donations are still needed. The project is slotted to open in about a year, but is still about $12M short of its projected $120M price tag. Of course none of us has that kinda paper, but every dollar counts. Chip in what you can to ensure that Dr. King takes his rightful place among the other American Icons in our nation's backyard.

Whatever you do, hurry up and give so I don't get tacky solicitations from the memorial foundation offering me reduced price tickets to today's Wizards/Jazz MLK Day matinee. Cause I'm sure Dr. King's Dream didn't include watching two lousy NBA teams playing a pointless 1pm game. Am I a little salty that I had to miss today's game because I have to work? Maybe. But on the same note, there's no reason why the foundation needed to resort to hawking basketball tickets. Do your part, please. Give just $5 and you get a cool blue MLK Memorial bracelet. I've got mines, get yours.

Anyways, since today is supposed to be a day of reflection (not basketball), I'd like your thoughts on the questions that follow.

Question: If MLK were alive today, how would we he treated/received? If MLK were alive today, what would he think of the state of black America? What's your favorite MLK quote?

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