Occurring on Monday while the KKK-endorsed candidate takes the presidential oath of office on Friday. God help us all.
I have nothing really deep to say about the day or the man that others or himself haven’t said better. For example, Jim Hines links to King’s letter from Birmingham jail. As Fred Clark of the Slacktivist blog once put it, a lot of right-wing preachers declare their willingness to be jailed for their faith. King actually was jailed.
And here’s a quote from what I imagine is one of his less-known speeches, his commencement address at Oberlin, 1965: “Let nobody give you the impression that the problem of racial injustice will work itself out. Let nobody give you the impression that only time will solve the problem. That is a myth, and it is a myth because time is neutral. It can be used either constructively or destructively. And I’m absolutely convinced that the people of ill will in our nation – the extreme rightists – the forces committed to negative ends – have used time much more effectively than the people of good will. It may well be that we will have to repent in this generation, not merely for the vitriolic works and violent actions of the bad people who bomb a church in Birmingham, Alabama, or shoot down a civil rights worker in Selma, but for the appalling silence and indifference of the good people who sit around and say, “Wait on time.” Somewhere we must come to see that human progress never rolls in on wheels of inevitability. It comes through the tireless efforts and the persistent work of dedicated individuals. Without this hard work, time becomes an ally of the primitive forces of social stagnation. So we must help time and realize that the time is always right to do right.”
You may have heard that Rep. John Lewis, a veteran of the civil-rights movement, said Trump was not a legitimate president. Conservatives freaked out. And not because they were impressed by Lewis: He’s whiny, he’s a fraud, he’s just as bad as Trump (if Trump were bad instead of awesome)! But hey, those guys write blog posts and get criticized, which is just like getting beaten by bigots, so it’s not like they’re any less courageous than Lewis. And after all, MLK was a religious conservative, so he’s on their side! And Dinesh D’Souza wants you to know that Rosa Parks is no big deal — all she did was not sit in the back of the bus. Yes, I’m sure D’Souza would have done the same thing if he were on the wrong side of Jim Crow (LOTS OF SARCASM).
Last week Fred Clark had several linked posts discussing the Biblical defense of slavery. And he includes a quote from Frederick Douglass, which I’ll repeat in part here: “They have taught that man may, properly, be a slave; that the relation of master and slave is ordained of God; that to send back an escaped bondman to his master is clearly the duty of all the followers of the Lord Jesus Christ; and this horrible blasphemy is palmed off upon the world for Christianity.”
Happy MLK Day.