Respect the Day...AND the man!

Published on 16 January 2023 at 11:52

I sit typing this on January 16, 2023. The day set aside to celebrate the legacy and contributions of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 

I won’t hold you long because I have a few things to do today, however I thought I would give you my two cents. This federal holiday was fought so hard for that there were even songs written before the goal was reached. I remember when it was being discussed and there was actually push-back. Imagine that. There was push-back about a federal MLK Jr. Holiday, when we actually celebrated Columbus Day (when we all know that nothing was “discovered” by him). 

There are so many things that Dr. King was, but what he wasn’t was solely a dreamer. Yes, he did dream. But he did more than that. He was an amazing orator. There was a level of finesse to putting together a team and pushing hard when it was necessary that Dr. King possessed that it hard to find in anyone. Yet he is often portrayed as someone incapable of uttering an aggressive phrase to anyone. It is by design.

Yes, I do get annoyed when “conservatives” try to use this day to appear to be believers in Dr. King’s causes, however it is our job as good citizens to recognize and call out these infractions. So, their appropriation does not get to me as much as it used to. These days I largely ignore it. What I do is to try and live the dream and treat people better than I would like to be treated.

The inappropriate use of Dr. King’s name is pretty surface and pervasive. But the African American community also bears responsibility for teaching who Dr. King was and is to us as well as where he came from. Many don’t know the story of his father, or the fact that his mother was assassinated. This is our fault. These are important pieces of information that are often left out as they give you a framework of how Dr. King became the man he was.

I said all this to say and reiterate, that yes this is a “day-on”. But it is also a day to reflect on what you have personally committed to and have to offer to make this world a better place in the way of justice, equality, and equity.


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