Monday, January 19, 2009

Remember Dr. King . . . but really do so.

This Martin Luther King Jr Holiday is obviously extra-meaningful. Tomorrow we swear in our first African-American President. Clearly this a quite a step forward for the United States of America.

We are a step nearer to the realization of King's "dream." Though we are still far from the whole of that dream. If you'd like to know just how far, do a little research on King the man. Read some of his speeches and sermons against the war in vietnam and American foreign policy generally. Learn what King meant by "economic democracy".

He was far more than a guy who just objected to segregation. King sought a radical reconstruction of society, a massive change. A world in which all people had not only the right to vote, not only did not suffer segregation, but had control over their economic plight; freedom not only to be left in peace, but to flourish. He was more radical than the tame image of him we are exposed to would let us believe.

So with the dawn of a world in which a Black man holds the most powerful office on earth, let us remember Dr. Martin Luther King jr. But let's move past the domesticated and tamed version taught in grade schools and remembered in history.

Study the man's writings and sermons, speeches, and letters, and find a man whose vision is far more radical than we suppose, and whose dream is far larger than we had imagined.

His speeches against the war in Vietnam is a good place to start - note his claim about America's arrogance - I share some of these here:

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