If you visit the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial in Washington, D.C., you will no longer see the quotation "I was a drum major for justice, peace and righteousness."
For every theater-goer, minimum wage-earner or maximum wage-maker who applauded, cried, or expressed righteous indignation at the story told in Selma, we'd like to remind them that the story of economic justice is still being written in our country, city and state.
When I was born, it would've been inconceivable to imagine that we would be celebrating the birthday of a non-violent black civil rights leader as a national holiday. Or that we would have a biracial president. Yet we still live in a country riddled with prejudice and hatred of the 'other.'
His words excite, challenge, illuminate, enlighten and sustain. I am who I am because he was who he was.
The radical actors of the Muslim world, in destroying the troublesome symbols of free thinking, are destroying their own cultural vitality and dynamism. In truth, their Islamist culture of death has resulted in a death of Islamic culture. The urgent task for Islamic pluralists is to lift the shadow of violence from the Islamic culture and recall Muslims to their traditions of an empathetic civilization that feels another's sorrow and does not need an enemy for its sustenance.
The Supreme Court shouldn't dishonor Dr. King's memory by removing one of the tools we have used to build bridges from the "islands of despair" of racialized poverty and segregation he decried.
I see my own freedom is very much at issue, too. These last months have reminded me of some things that there are some things a child of the South is in a particularly advantageous position to remind us all of.
How fitting that just before Martin Luther King Jr. weekend our Supreme Court justices agreed to decide whether our constitution requires all 50 states to recognize same-sex marriages. As Dr. King said the night before he died, "All we say to America is be true to what you said on paper." Equal means equal.
At the end of the day, money in politics cannot be "someone else's issue." Because it distorts who is heard by our elected officials, it affects what's in your paycheck, who ends up in prison, what kind of health care we have access to, what kind of environment we leave for our children, and much more.
On it's "Meaning of The King Holiday" page, The King Center of Atlanta declares "...it is the young people of all races and religions who hold the keys to the fulfillment of [Dr. King's] dream." Nico, 5, who attends pre-school in Birmingham, Alabama, lends credence to that hope.
We need to get a grip on the fact that the entire white race is not racist. Dr. King would be proud to see that his legacy was being celebrated by all. Does #ReclaimMLK mean that only we as black people should be celebrating a man who wanted us to walk together?
I hope I would have done the right thing. I hope I would have marched, and been arrested, and stood in solidarity, no matter what the personal cost. But the reality is that most white folks in Atlanta, even those who knew what was happening was wrong, did nothing.
In quoting Dr. King, sometimes I am proof-texting King, selectively highlighting the portions of his preaching and writings that reinforce my points and assure my own thinking.
I didn't live in MLK's lifetime, but I'd like to think that if he were still around today, he would agree with me on the injustices that Mississippi K-12 students are experiencing. I have a dream that this generation of Mississippi students will be the ones to break the cycle of poverty in their home state -- but it starts with strong educational access.
While the Gospel of Diversity is being preached in press conferences, public speeches, corporate workshops and seminars across the country, little attention is paid to the conflicting values and faulty assumptions implicit these discussions.
America is indeed "unsure of how to care for us." We are miraculous in that we are a magnificent flower that grows in spite of the most unlikely and adverse conditions. Protests, movements and riots even are not sparked by Black people because we are violent.