In the fall of 1975, I opened my fresh new Language Arts textbook and found that some pages had been cut out. I walked up to my teacher’s desk and his response was,
”I did that. It was a story about that King fellow. I don’t want you reading about some nigger who went around stirring up trouble.”
Yesterday, I was talking with an elderly woman who didn’t realize today was a holiday.
“What holiday is it?”
“Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday,” I replied.
“I swear. What do you have to do to get a day named after you? He didn’t do nothing.”
This morning, I was talking to a man in his 70s about King’s legacy.
“I know he preached non-violence,” he said, “but as soon as he’d finish his speeches, blacks would go around breaking into stores and stealing stuff. I don’t care what the history books say. I saw it on TV.”
While King is celebrated as a saint by nearly all African Americans and a vast majority of white Americans as well, there is still a pervasive racial attitude among some – perhaps those who find themselves on the wrong side of history – that King was anything but heroic.
This is still evident in the Black Lives Matter movement. Many people pay more attention to broken store front glass than George Floyd’s neck being crushed as he cries out, “I can’t breathe.” The Holy Spirit is often described as breath and when we squelch the life of a man or woman because of the color of their skin, we commit blasphemy against the Holy Spirit.
“Dark skin is not
Light skin is not
“Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.”
― Martin Luther King Jr.