The celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. It is the government approved holiday that white people love. Because in their mind, it proves that racism is not a real think. They point to his powerful “I have a Dream Speech.” And it is his words and his peaceful protest they find so amazing and important. You see, Martin Luther King is also the baseball bat for white people (especially conservative ones).
When the black lives movement appeared on the larger scene, people appealed to King’s words like:
“Forgiveness is not an occasional act. It is a permanent attitude.”
“I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.”
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
And these are wonderful and powerful sentiments. But he also said:
“I think that we’ve got to see that a riot is the language of the unheard. And, what is it that America has failed to hear? It has failed to hear that the economic plight of the Negro poor has worsened over the last few years.”
And what gets tiring is seeing all the cheerful and inspirational quotes appearing on Facebook and Twitter focusing on his heroic non-violence from people who spend the rest of the year proclaiming blue-lives matter or slamming NFL players for peaceful protest. The fact is, overwhelmingly, Black Lives Matter has indulged in peaceful protest and condemned violence against the police.
Black Lives Matter is not desiring to hurt the police. They are trying to change a system. Black Lives Matter does not kill police…bad cops do. And yet, (white) people love to attack black activists trying to bring attention to their cause by appealing to the non-violence of King. They like to grouse about BLM blocking traffic. But…um…folks… what do you think that famous March you like to hold up as ideal protest did to traffic? They walked on the roads.
And funny enough…if you look at the criticisms faced by King? They look suspiciously like the condemnations we see of Black Lives Matter and other black activists. Like, practically the same.
This year put a new wrinkle. We have an openly racist president. People constantly try and argue this is unfair or untrue. But that is because a lot of the same people who support him, or think he is not a racist set the “Racism Bar” at “Does Not Publicly Call Black People the ‘N’ Word.” Or “Does not wear a hood.” But the fact is, when avowed Nazis and White Supremacists look at the president’s words and declare he agrees with their values…it is a pretty good that those things we say show his colors are true.
“But, he cannot help that!” But yeah…he has from time to time denounced white supremacists only to walk things back a day later. He angrily told reporters there were good people marching with the Nazis last year. He has a lot of trouble denouncing racists and sticking to it. After the Central Park Five were exonerated? He took out an ad calling for the death penalty. He was sued for not renting to black people. He recently is reported to have complained about immigrants from shitholes. He asked why we cannot get people from Norway. He talked on the campaign trail about banning Muslims and then slowly adjusted it until he reached a point he thought they were safe. By banning from countries that have little or no ties to terrorism, but leaving open countries that do. He was so dedicated to banning people he accepted whatever countries he was given.
So, if you spend the year feeling the need to call out and condemn Colin Kaepernick or Deray McKesson or Shaun King or Black Lives Matter…and then on Martin Luther King Jr. Day talk about how great his words and actions were? Reconsider. You may be bothered by this…you may feel I am calling you a racist. And you know…maybe you are not directly a racist and have black friends. Maybe your friends would tell us that you are the least racist person on the planet. But you are definitely trafficking in racist arguments. If you do not want to appear as racist? Maybe stop arguing “All lives Matter” or “Blue Lives Matter.” Recognize that the modern black activist communities are actually very in line with King’s ideals.
But Donald Trump is, without a doubt a damn racist. Stop trying to claim he is not.