Here's What's in My Dirty Martini

Monday, January 21, 2008

MLK Day an Insult?

I was struck by headline I read today, “M.L. King ally says U.S. holiday an insult.”

The Rev. Peter Johnson, a Dallas minister who says he marched with civil rights leader the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and is now the director of the Texas operations for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, says that MLK’s birthday observance holiday is an insult to his legacy. Rev. Johnson feels that the holiday should be on April 4, the anniversary of the date King was assassinated.

I am trying to think when we have ever celebrated the anniversary of someone’s death. Even when there was a holiday for Abraham Lincoln it was celebrated on the anniversary of his birthday, not the anniversary of his death. So now, the Reverend Martin Luther King is the only person to have a national holiday in their honor. No other person in American history has that distinction. We have President’s Day, which is for all presidents, but none of them are celebrated as individuals anymore. And wouldn't you know it, according to Rev. Johnson, it's on the wrong day.

Ronald Reagan signed the holiday into law in 1983, and it was first observed in 1986. At first, some states resisted observing the holiday as MLK Day, giving it alternative names or combining it with other holidays. It was officially observed for the first time in all 50 states in 2000.

MLK Day was founded as a holiday promoted by labor unions in contract negotiations. The bill, by Rep. John Conyers (D-Michigan), was introduced in Congress to make King's birthday a national holiday, highlighting King's activism on behalf of trade unionists.

So if I am to understand this correctly, the holiday was introduced and promoted by trade union supporters. I find that very interesting as it appears that this holiday’s genesis was as a bargaining chip in a contract negotiation, not necessarily to honor the work that Dr. King did for civil rights.

Regardless, Rev. Johnson then makes a very revealing comment: "We have ignored the essence of his life and the horror of his death," said Johnson. "We’ve allowed white America to escape the guilt of his assassination and we’ve allowed black America to drift back into a coma."

That comment is revealing in its blatant racism! There is only one person that should feel guilty about his death and that is James Earl Ray. However, Ray is now dead so that leaves no one living to assume the guilt. But Rev. Johnson thinks differently. White America must assume that guilt now.

So, Rev. Johnson, why should I feel guilty about something I didn’t do? And where I have plenty of things about which to feel guilty, MLK’s assassination isn’t one of them. But the reverend wants whites to feel guilty, still, about his death. Perhaps to him, all whites are guilty.

This is the kind of inflammatory crap that gets in the way of Dr. King’s vision of unity. It certainly doesn’t reflect Dr. King’s belief that we should judge a men by the content of their character and not the color of their skin does it?

Black and White Martini
2 parts Vanil Vodka
1 part dark Crème de Cacao

Shake over ice and strain into chilled cocktail glass.


Chuck said...

Rev. Johnson's attitude is exactly why there still is such a schism between the races. Just look at the Democratic presidential campaigne and how racism has crept into it. The undertones of racism exhibited by the Clintons have exposed the liberal left for what they really are and it is about time.


A-6Dude said...

Chuck, you are right on. Why the black community still follows the Democrat Party after all of the failed promises is still a mystery to me.

Anonymous said...

You've just turned around and done what you've just condemned - trying to make a group feel guilty because of what an individual did or said: just because the Clintons have said some racially insensitive things under the microscope of the campaign, DOES NOT make the "liberal left" all guilty of the same thing or thinking the exact same way. Some of us Liberal wacko commie pinko freaks ACTUALLY think FOR OURSELVES. Helllloooooo.

A-6Dude said...

@Anonymous...What? I addressed the Reverend, not a group of people. Maybe you can think for yourself but reading seems to be a challenge. Goodbyeeeeeeeee!

And what is with the "anonoymous" stuff. Is there no courage to own your opinions?