Saturday, January 13, 2018

Radicals Together

Monday is a Day ON.  You can participate in the March and Program at UK or MLK Week in Louisville.

Simon Balto at LGM:
This April 4 will mark the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s assassination, which means that in 2018 we will probably see even more frequent mendacious arguments from conservatives about King and what he’d think of modern America than we do in any other given year.

In his award-winning book Blood Done Sign My Name, historian Tim Tyson writes that, “In the years since his murder, we have transformed King into a kind of innocuous black Santa Claus, genial and vacant, a benign vessel that can be filled with whatever generic good wishes the occasion dictates. Politicians who oppose everything King worked for now jostle their way onto podiums to honor his memory. Many of them quote Dr. King out of context as they denounce ‘affirmative action,’ despite the fact that King repeatedly, publicly, and passionately supported that principle….[O]ur memories about what actually happened in the civil rights era are so faulty that Dr. King’s enemies can safely use his words to thwart his goals.”
Tyson’s book came out years before Black Lives Matter, and the conservative lust to use King’s legacy in precisely the way that Tyson describes has only been amplified in recent years. O’Reilly does it. Huckabee too. Newspaper columnists, etc.

The idea that King would oppose this generation’s most prominent struggle for racial justice is absurd, of course, but I appreciate Ulriksen making the point explicitly that Kaep and Michael Bennett and the rest of those who kneel and march in service of justice today are firmly in keeping with King’s legacy. In his time, King was in many ways an American radical. He wasn’t murdered for being a moderate.
Via Political Animal:


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