Today was Martin Luther King Day. And as usual, the rants for and against the newest of January holidays is being bandied about the blogoshpere. Most the folks who are for it tend to be on the blue state side of things, while most against it a red staters.
Dr. King most likely had skeletons in his closet. Being he was human, that would not be surprising. And it is possible he had correspondence with those of a socialist nature or even communist ideals. That having been said, looking at what the man was trying to do and what his legacy was are perhaps far more important. That men such as Jackson, and Sharpton have usurped his legacy and the vision he wanted for All Americans, speaks more to the shortcomings and vileness of both those men, and politics toward black Americans, (no the Democratic Party would never try to subjugate a race of people for their own political advantages…perish the thought) rather then to Dr. King.
And to those who say “We should have a holiday for a major black leader…just because you have (or had)same for all those old white ‘cracker’ founding fathers.” You miss the point as well. And sell short the very man you seek to memorialize. Yes, the founding fathers, Washington, Jefferson, et all, had feet of clay. But in the case of those we have chosen to give holidays to (even if they are clumped together now, and more’s the pity), it is to acknowledge their positive accomplishments, and or the unique part they played on the national stage. In this same light, I could see Dr. King being so honored. Not (just) because he was black, or a leading activist for the rights of all men regardless of race,creed, color, or national origin, but because of the actions he took, and the over all effect he had while on the national stage. MalcomX had many who followed his thoughts and beliefs…but did not have the overall acceptance Dr. King did. Yet he does not get the *holiday nod*. Going back to the founding fathers a second, John Adams was as fiery a voice for the freedoms we have today, and a President as well. But we honor Washington, because he was the first, and as it turned out, the right man at the right place at the right time. The point I am trying to get at is (and I can see the detractors out there, well taking away the race question, then why not honor Gandhi…”cause he wasn’t ‘our activist'”….well then why not Christ…err wait a minute…never mind.) Dr. King was the right man at the right time, that he paid the ultimate price for stating his beliefs makes it all the more a reason to honor him. He wasn’t perfect, but neither were our forefathers.
Now, I can see only one valid agrument for not recognizing this day. And that would be in the case of a state (Arizona) deciding through their appointed legislature not to set this day aside. I may not agree with them, heck I may even want to protest (you gotta love the right to assemble) their course of action. But to have the federal government twist their arm to conform with the rest of the country is wrong and a direct violation of states rights. (They may be wrong headed but they went through the legal motions…you don’t like their choice…either move out of said state or take proper legal recourse to bring about change) You don’t threaten em with the removal of their highway monies. It is a classic case of two wrongs not making a right. And all of us are the poorer for it. Better the good people of what ever state are given enough of the facts to make a sound decision. Or over time, they see what ever concerns there were…are groundless, and the initial change is implemented via the ballet box at some future date.
In the end wouldn’t it be better to remember what the man, himself, had said at the end of that most famous of his speeches….”When we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, “Free at last, free at last. Thank God Almighty, we are free at last.”
Wouldn’t working honestly toward that goal, everyday, along with setting this one day of the year aside to remind us of same, be a far better way to remember the man, then all the posturing, politicizing, and pandering? Just a thought.


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