Monday, January 21, 2008
Martin Luther King Jr - On Black on Black Crime
Violence is wrong whether it's violence of Negroes against White people or violence of White people against Negroes or violence of Negroes against other Negroes all violence is wrong because it is immoral and impractical. - Martin Luther King Jr.
Truer words have never been said to give us guidance today. Unlike so many other words of Martin Luther King Jr that will be cherry picked today - these will be likely ignored or emphasis placed on the middle portion of the passage but not the last pronouncement.
As we celebrate the birth of Martin Luther King Jr across America today there will be many speeches given from many pulpits. This is a special day. A day where those at the podium are able to put images and key messages into the minds of the people who are listening attentively.
These speakers have an open canvas upon which they can paint their message. On this day in particular the image and legacy of Martin Luther King Jr is taken and ran with by various operatives who stand in these same pulpits. There will be many politicians seeking to retain or obtain office that will use King's image for their own purposes. George Bush and his wars will not fare too well on MLK day. Indeed the Democratic Presidential Candidates will likely enjoy free campaign time this day among the huddled masses.
What of the Black mother who resides at home in the inner city, fearing to allow her children to play outside in the melting snow because the snowball thrown in jest might be a bullet returned in anger?
In my recent viewings of the local news, over the past few months I have heard the words "we are terrorized in our own communities" said on television from more Black people than I have heard broadcast from the mouths of Iraqi people. How many of our eloquent speakers today will take up the cause of the Black person who is living in the fear of violence in their own community?
Martin Luther King Jr was a man of his times. He saw a force that was attacking, suppressing and killing Black people and he refused to be silent let this for be perpetuated through to yet another generation of Black people in the wake of his fear of speaking out. MLK Jr and others said "Enough". They used their knowledge of being on the right side of the issue - the side of justice - and walked into the den of fire that those who sought to maintain the status quo would burn them in. It took real courage knowing that their lives were under threat.
Who in 2008 is going to go up against the factions of death within the Black community that has the murder counts in various cities breaking the century mark by the spring time weather of April comes upon us?
Can you tell me what other greater negative force is cast upon the Black community today than internal violence and death as enacted from another Black man? When do we walk out of the church in the middle of the speech that refused to talk about this let along do something about it? No doubt many of us would walk out upon hearing the preacher speaking in tongues. Why is it that the foolishness that will be likely heard today any less worthy of early dismissal?