MLK & Another Christmas
Every year around December 25, a whole bunch of people who aren't actually Christians get all misty about a watered-down version of the original faith, make some generic noise about peace and good will while ignoring all the parts of the message that might be, well, more uncomfortable ("But wouldn't the moneylenders get upset if we threw them out of the temple? That just seems so rude and uncomfortable. Maybe we should do something less confrontational."), and follow it up with some noise about how, really, we should make every day Christmas.
Then on December 26th, they just scrub all of it out of their memory hole and go back to their usual lives.
Martin Luther King Jr Day has become kind of Christmassy. A whole bunch of people who aren't ordinarily black or much concerned about social justice and all the rest of it spend some time conjuring up some warm and misty images of a man who was called a troublemaker, who criticized liberals and moderates for their uninvolved silence, and who did not give his life, but had it stolen by some angry white guy with a gun.
We'll have posts and tweets about how great a man he was, how folks of all colors should just get along, illustrated with photos of King looking noble and stock photos of ethnically diverse hand clutching. And then on January 17th, we'll go back to arguing that Colin Kaepernick should protest injustice in some less destructive and disruptive manner than kneeling during the anthem.
Perhaps this is marginally better than trying to erase the day entirely so that King's name isn't even spoken, or is tied to a name like Robert E. Lee.
But I know this-- talk is cheap (and stock photos are free). And all this talk about King and the Civil Rights movement as if it was just a bunch of African-Americans sitting politely and lovingly waiting to be recognized so that America would be slightly less rude-- this is fake history, which is even CURMUDGUCATION: MLK & Another Christmas: