Monday, January 16, 2006

Apology Necessary

There once was a man that believed in us so much that he sacrificed a good job, a nice family life, and general peace. He was a man that believed that given the opportunity we would rise to a level we never thought we could reach, and far beyond that of our oppressors. He was a man that appealed to both the intellectual and the emotional arguments to make a case for the equal treatment of Black and others in this country.

A man who marched until his feet were sore. Stood until his legs were tired. Beaten. Attacked. Denigrated. For something of which he knew he'd never reap the benefits. And he didn't.

I spent a lot of my youth downplaying his impact. I "sat-in" in college to make sure his birthday was celebrated even though I didn't respect him. I just wanted an "official" day off. Whenever someone mentioned his name, the first thing out of my mouth was "Fuck him! I'm a Malcolm Man!" It took some age and wisdom to realize that despite what I believe to be a movement to get White people to embrace and accept good, college educated, "middle-class" Blacks, that it was done with conviction and a dignity that's almost non-existent today.

Martin Luther King, Jr. believed in us. So much so that we can write our little feelings on a little bullshit blog in an air conditioned (or heated) office and slack off. Because of him, I'm able to work in a town where they don't give a day off for this National Holiday but instead we can take time off to volunteer and get paid. I laugh at this, because only when it benefits White America can MLK be held to a higher standard than Jesus Christ (no volunteering necessary to get HIS day off!).

My attitude towards Martin Luther King has slowly evolved in the 12 years (damn, 12 years!) since I've graduated from college. His doctrine and style weren't perfect, but it was a lot closer to perfect than I'll ever see in my lifetime.

Happy Birthday,


Superstar Nic said...

What’s up Zed?

You’re right King did believe in us! It took me along time to realize the true impact that he had on my life and lives of all black people.

Just think of all the things that we have, things that we take for granted. Could you imagine being thirsty and needing a drink of water, but not being able to drink from the fountain standing 2 feet away from you, because it said “Whites Only”?

Unimaginable! I swear the things I take for granted.

Wishing you a VERY Happy Birthday Dr. King!

brooklyn babe said...

I feel that... now if all woulda left an impact on you, and your penis!!!! Lol

Wassup Zed Munkee... just taking a quick moment to check in... now play time is over PEACE

Insaneblackwoman said...

I fell ya all the way, Zeddy. An excellent post, my friend. I never take the day off from work to celebrate his birthday... I mean, the dream still lives on, but, I think it's really cheap and trifling the way we cheapen this man's life and work by having "a day off from work". I mean, we keep taking the day off, but we aint getting together to discuss amongst ourselves how we gone move the Black Race forward...

Accomplice said...

its good to see that your attitude has evolved to a better understanding of mlk. i live in atl and have never been to the king day celebration, so i too do take things for granted.

nikki said...

well said, luv. i think alot of folk, once they've educated themselves on the full breath and depth of mlk's life realize he wasn't the punk elitist most folk saw him to be.

it wasn't until i started taking african-american history courses that i began to understand more about mlk as a man and as a person who was willing to sacrifice himself for the greater good. how many folk out there can make that claim and really mean it??

now i'm still down with malcolm, but frankly, those two cats were more alike in philosophy than folk admit.