Today, January 19th 2015, we observe Dr. Martin Luther King Jr day in the U. S. and beyond. Sadly, for some it is just and only that ... a passive "observation."
When I was 8 years old, in grade school in Orange County California, we were told to paint a picture of someone very important in our lives. I painted Dr. King. The TEACHER, who apparently was concerned & confused, called my parents to say "Paul painted a picture of a colored man." Wow.
Some roll their eyes at today's holiday. Some don't want to acknowledge it at all. Some groan at the very thought of "Black History Month." They have, can and will continue to bask in their own ignorance. However, here's what I find REALLY troubling: Two grand juries in two different states didn't return an indictment in the deaths of two Black men at the hands of the police. In Eric Garner's case in New York, the Coroner ruled his death a homicide. KILLED by an illegal choke hold and allowed to die on the street with no assistance at all. This for actually being a good citizen who broke up a fight but had a handful of non taxed cigarettes.
Is there no outrage? Should there be? Or is that only confined to "uppity Blacks" to use a racist term? Sure, thousands of people of all colors have marched & demonstrated of late, thankfully. Ferguson, New York and beyond. But not enough... because nothing is CHANGING. And here, now, we celebrate the life and contributions of a great man, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
So to get back to the "really troubling part" for me: seeing peoples' long parade(s) of social media posts & memes from Twitter to Instagram to Facebook as if to pay "proper lip service."
They feel better.
For one day.
Tomorrow they will look down passing "someone" while walking on a street. They will lock their door when "someone" crosses a street. They will change the channel discussing race relations. They will not only not paint a picture, they will not see the picture and question a child who does. They will look around their workplace and their government and never question the mathematical imbalance. They will remain friends with someone so horridly racist that they use the "N word."
We need to do better than lip service, America. It's time. It's BEEN time.
Today would also have been my Dad's 89th birthday. That day the teacher called? He said to my Mother: "What the hell is their problem? I'll burn the damn school down."
This MLK dream goes far beyond "Black and White." Don't hate on people who probably work harder than you but need some paperwork including a driver's license. Two people who love each other want to commit to a lifetime and get married because they LOVE EACH OTHER. Is that going to strain your 3rd marriage!? If so, you have issues. Get over it and grow up. Don't be hypocritical "living in a dream." ACT the dream. Speak up, because Civil rights today for someone else become YOUR civil rights tomorrow.
I guess it's just how you're raced. I mean raised.