What Have You Done Since MLK’s Birthday?
So, we just celebrated another holiday honoring the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., but what have we truly learned from him as human beings, particularly African Americans?
I know Dr. King’s birthday has technically passed us by for another year, but I don’t believe we should relegate Dr. King’s life and legacy to one day of celebration and discussion.
In actuality, I don’t believe the life’s work of Dr. King, or any of his contributions to the world should ever be contained in such a manner. I do have a few questions for us to ponder though.
Do we merely get excited when this time of the year rolls around, because it gives us an opportunity to share our favorite Dr. King quote or a craftily designed meme on social media that makes us look like we are “woke” and in tune with what Dr. King was really about?
Ask yourself, what have you truly done in the past several days since we celebrated Dr. King’s life and legacy once again, that would be a reflection of who he was and what he stood for?
Was it just ceremonial? Just for show? Just something to do? What point did you prove?
Dr. King once told the nation that, “It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment,” but what does that really mean to us?
We have some real urgent issues that African Americans are dealing with in this country, and these are urgent issues that are eerily similar to the urgent issues Dr. King fought, bled and ultimately gave his life for. What about today’s group of African Americans, however? What have we been willing to fight, bleed and give our lives for in today’s environment?
We need to stop fooling ourselves and come to grips with who we are as a people in this country.
Don’t you find it ironic that many of the people who have chosen to vilify quarterback Colin Kaepernick for taking a stand against the very things Dr. King stood for and has stood against, are many of the same ones who have sought to publicly praise Dr. King for what he stood for?
And instead of choosing to boycott the NFL – a sports league that blatantly attacked the character of and affected the professional livelihood of Kaepernick because of his nonviolent and outspoken convictions, many of us are still immersing ourselves in yet another postseason of football, as if nothing is wrong or as if nothing happened. Sadly, many of us are treating the issues that Kaepernick has chosen to stand up for, as well as the treatment he has received as a result of his stance, in the same way that many Blacks treated the death of Dr. King, after his character was viciously attacked, and after he became a martyr for the movement.
Who are Dr. King’s real supporters? Well…I’ll tell you who they aren’t. They aren’t people who refuse to support Kaepernick, and they definitely aren’t those who choose to sit on the sidelines and remain quiet about the issues we are facing in this country today as a people.
Dr. King once said, “We will have to repent in this generation, not merely for the hateful words and actions of the bad people, but for the appalling silence of the good people. Human progress never rolls in on wheels of inevitability; it comes through the tireless efforts of men willing to be co-workers with God, and without this hard work, time itself becomes an ally of the forces of social stagnation.”
How can we be so hypocritical in this country and act like everything is normal? It is sickening.
As the scripture says in the Bible, in the book of James 3:11-12 (NIV):
“Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? My brothers and sisters, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.”
I get so tired of seeing fake and pretentious people coming across as if they truly support Dr. King’s beliefs and as if they truly appreciated his life and legacy.
To be honest with you, I don’t have to question what Dr. King would be doing today.
The real question I have is, do Black people today truly appreciate the real Dr. King, or have many of us become the same as many of the other deceivers and hypocrites out there, who only seek to jump on the bandwagon of celebrating Dr. King, because it’s culturally popular and acceptable to do so now that he is no longer physically with us?
Dr. King was more than some weak and fragile wordsmith. Dr. King was a bold, expressive and uncompromising visionary leader who constantly fought for Black people to have economic vibrancy, wealth generation, voting rights, social justice and freedom from police brutality and racial injustice. Dr. King was far from the watered-down version of the Dr. King that dominant culture always seeks to portray him as in the modern sense. Here was a man who had his every move monitored by a federal government that sought to vilify him every chance they got. Here was a man who was arrested several times, beaten, threatened, wiretapped and even assassinated because of his beliefs and his strong convictions. So don’t tell me how beloved Dr. King was by members of popular culture. The majority hated him, including many African Americans.
As we look at the life and stellar legacy of Dr. King, one can only wonder what this great man would think of America today, especially after considering the sacrifices he made to get us to the point where we find ourselves today. But we don’t really have to wonder too long about what Dr. King would think about today’s world if he were here, because he left us something to let us all know what he would think – his speeches, writings and his actions that spoke louder than any of his words ever could. Dr. King would be sounding the alarm about the plight of Black people in today’s America, including every single issue that is negatively impacting Black people in this country, and I firmly believe he would be standing right alongside of Kaepernick and Black Lives Matter, in the same way he stood with others he was in alignment with when he was alive.
Don’t argue with me…argue with Dr. King’s own words and deeds.
He once said, “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”
Dr. King’s body of work during his life here on Earth is a clear indication to me that he would not currently be “silent about these things that matter” to Black people in America today.
So tell me…What Have You Done Since MLK’s Birthday? Hope your answer isn’t…Nothing!