Friday, April 04, 2008

If Martin Luther King Jr. were alive today

He'd probably be pissed off about how he's become trivialized in popular culture. Instead of being represented as a man who had ideas and who had actual thoughts about American society King is represented as a man who lead a march on Washington, gave the "I have a dream" speech, and in some quarters as a guy who spoke up for economic justice at the end of his life. While the fact that he was supporting striking sanitation workers in Memphis when he was assassinated is really significant, and even more so that he spoke out against the Vietnam war in the last year of his life, this again risks trivializing him even while trying to correct the trivialization.

King wrote several books during his career as a civil rights leader and gave many speeches. If we want to honor Martin Luther King Jr. a good place to start would be to find those pieces of his thought and read them to see what his actual ideas were.

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