Sunday, January 18, 2015

The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the hijacking of his legacy

If you've ever read my post on the way this country celebrates the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. hard-fought-for holiday, you know I'm not keen on how it has devolved into a day for commerce and a day for the well-meaning, rote regurgitation of his "I Have a Dream " speech. The adoption of that one speech as his hallmark has essentially "neutralized" the man and his legacy. The speech is extremely popular with bigots who love to quote it, manipulate it, and twist it to fit a rhetoric where they gleefully employ it to hammer minorities over the head with how they should conduct themselves when racial unrest jumps off. That 1963 speech was given by a younger King who had not been lied to and jerked around by the U. S. gov't yet pertaining to issues of equality/civil rights. So, yes, he had a dream. Five years later in 1968, the year of his assassination, he gave a darker, wiser speech. A speech delivered by a man who'd seen, and had endured some ratchetness of the finest degree at the hands of his country. Listen at the link below to the speech that should be his shining legacy. It's stirring, poignant and it holds up all these years later. "I've Been to the Mountaintop" is his finest hour and his last as he was killed only hours later on April 4th, 1968

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