You may or may not be at work today. If you are in the Houston area, you have the option of going to not one but two entirely different Martin Luther King, Jr. parades taking place. Or maybe you’re too tired from going out the night before to a MLK promoted club party. Or maybe you have time and moolah to hit up the Gap for an MLK day sale. Or maybe you’re just like me and will spend the day like every other day in your office at your desk reading blogs.
I’m not sure where in history things went a little askew from honoring/celebrating, to oh yeah it’s a holiday let’s party or have a sale. But I’m sure that was not really the intent with the day being deemed a holiday. In December I remember briefly hearing a little bit about it being a big anniversary for Pearl Harbor. Just in passing on the news. I’m sure if you were around in the 40’s Pearl Harbor was one of those events that made you freeze wherever you were when you heard America had been attacked. And you would never forget how you felt at the time and hoped that the country never forgot what happened and took whatever strides necessary to ensure everyone such a thing would not happen again. And yet in today’s time it seemed to be barely mentioned.
Seems to be that might be the case with MLK day. So far today my Twitter feed and Facebook timeline have been filled with MLK quotes and a list of names of others that should also be remembered for their efforts in the struggle for equality among the races. And usually that’s enough for people to say they actually did something MLK-y for the day. Or say a general “remember everyone, it’s a day ON, not OFF” all high and preachy. And I suppose because we are in a more “post-racial” society where it’s more acceptable to see mixed race couples, or have a minority as your boss, or for a mom to work when the dad stays at home, we think that there is no real need to make a big deal about something that happened sooooo long ago (the 60s weren’t that long ago in the grand scheme of history). With our watered down Black history month, and the blurring of slavery in history books, and the editing of Huck Finn to remove the n-word, maybe this is the time to make sure that history is buried into the brains of…everyone. Not just the youth, or those who have been through the struggle, or whatever. Everyone should have a refresher course on what was actually goings on back in the day.
So I plan to spend more of today educating myself on Dr. King. Yes all aspects of things done during the Civil Rights are important to remember because if don’t learn from our history…but that’s not what today is for. They saw it fit to make this one day for just this one person, so that’s what the focus should be.
And seriously, two parades?! It’s like the deacon who got mad at the preacher and started a new church and took half the members and set up shop right across the street. To be so divided on an issue that was supposed to bring people together is so ironic I can barely gather the strength to shake my head properly. People really need better approval over these things.
For starters. Here’s a link to the entire I Have a Dream speech.
What do you think of the progression of MLK day celebration over the past years (as much as you have been able to witness anyway)? How do you plan to celebrate the memory of Dr. King? How many quotes have you already spit out of your virtual mouth on the innanets?