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Monday, January 21, 2008

Happy National Quotation Appropriation Day:What Folks Are Saying About MLK

Obligatory MLK Quotes in Celebration of National Quotation Appropriation Day

“The ultimate tragedy is not the oppression and cruelty by the bad people but the silence over that by the good people.”

“Cowardice asks the question, 'Is it safe?' Expediency asks the question, 'Is it politic?' But conscience asks the question, 'Is it right?' And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular but because conscience tells one it is right.”

On this day every year politicians, potentates and preachers all over this great land appropriate the words of the late Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and contort those words to suit their own selfish purposes. Instead of molding themselves into Dr. King's images, they take King's words, in many cases out of context to mold Dr. King into their image.

Today in community centers, churches and auditoriums the famous and semi famous will collect honorariums from grassroots organizations and community groups in exchange for a reconstituted speech. The locals will gather to hear the same insipid message of peace, freedom, and justice. Said speakers will try to postulate what Dr. King would have said about this or what Dr. King would have said about that.

Parents who have a lick of sense might drag the tiny tots out to a King Day celebration or maybe even to do some community service, the vast majority however will be home playing on the X BOX 367, Playstation 10 or the Wiiiii ( I just cause mass panic among several parents who think that they might have purchased an antiquated gaming system this Christmas.)

I was going to write a post about what Dr. King would think about what is going on today, but to a certain extent, I think Dr. King would rather we think for ourselves. While we've basically boiled him down to a cartoon character who, in the words and sentiment of Hillary Clinton, was only a good orator who couldn't get anything accomplished without LBJ. Dr. King above all things was a great thinker. I mean they are still trying to compile his papers. You see, unlike many of these preachers running around here with “honorary” doctorate degrees, his was earned his the old fashioned way... by actually going to school and engaging in scholarship, critical thinking, reading the works or others, and writing and writing and writing and writing. So he did far more then give a good speech.

So instead of trying to figure out what he would have said or done, a common practice of the Civil Rights Industrial Complex to subjugate the masses, try figuring out what you should say or do about violence, poverty, the high school drop out rate, the incarceration rate, the illegitimacy rate, and the dehumanization of all Black people by the entertainment industrial complex.

What Other Folks Are Saying About Dr. King

First off, for those of you boycotting The Boondocks, you may have missed Aaron's “tribute” to Dr. King called “Return of the King”- Aaron's premise is that instead of dying in Memphis, Dr. King lived, but remained in a coma for 32 years and wakes up in 2000. He's denied the right to vote in the 2000 election due to voting irregularities, gets labeled a traitor for his statements about the 911 hijackers, gets castigated by a cable talking head and the clip culminates in Aaron's take on what he thinks Dr. King would say in 2000 to some Black folks cutting up in church. This is not safe for work and if hearing the N-word drives you insane, don't even bother watching the clip. You'll have an aneurysm.

The Field Negro, like myself, had to think for a minute about what to write. he came up with "Just A Dream" -

I don't think we have come that far in A-merry-ca at all. I think in terms of attitudes we might as well be in a time capsule which reads August 28, 1963. Sure laws have changed, but little else has. People are just more sophisticated about how they hide their ignorance now.And don't even get me started about us black folks. I think if King were around today, seeing how we have self destructed as a race would be his biggest disappointment. He would know that white folks don't give a damn about us. But he would have expected that much. He was a preacher, I am sure he was quite aware of all the shortcomings that come with the human condition. But he would have been taken by surprise with all the shit he saw with us black folks. I am sure of it. The Field Negro

Newsweek has come up with a muddled slideshow called Segregation Then and Now. I guess they tried to be profound, but like every mainstream media attempt at a King Tribute they can't seem to reconcile all that has changed with all that hasn't. They basically cherry pick to make reality fit their imagination or DREAMS.

Eric Deggans wonders what King would think about Barack Obama, the Tiger Wood's / Golf Week Noose-gate, Bob "Beelzebub' Johnson, and the fact that a woman is the speaker of the house and is running for POTUS. My response is that Dr. King would think that WE should THINK for OURSELVES!

I'm grabbing some more around the blogosphere- will be updating all day. Leave a comment with the link if you find something interesting.