Monday, January 21, 2008

Thoughts on MLK Day, 2008

Reverend Dr . King . . . we ain't really free at last. We have been not necessarily back-sliding, but we as a Nation have taken a perverse side track, I think . . .

Here in 2008 we still have a sad lack of appreciation of the basics.

Too many folk only seem to get the core and obvious fact that to use the "N. Word," is very bad. But they could not, if their lives depended on it, explain even minimally why it is bad. (That is because, to my mind, the fact that too many people believe that dehumanizing people who merely think or behave differently than themselves is an acceptable thing. Racism is only one possible form of bigotry, as many of us do know.)

Too many people do not even understand the meaning of the word racism.

Too many people do not even understand the true meaning of the word, "Oppression," and that likely helps explain why so many people do not get the break-down:

When one powerless person discriminates or pre-judges people harshly, because they are racially-bigoted, meaning . . . are a racist, that is a damn shame.

When people with that sort of racially-bigoted beliefs are in positions of power over others, and they discriminate, that is a whole different (and more serious) matter.

When sub groups with power, or otherwise within powerful institutions act that way, and provide cover and support for other like-minded racist bigots, that is even worse a problem.

When institutions of power are dominated by such racist bigots, that is many times worse.

It is a matter of scale, get it?

The sad, warped, frustrated hermit, who bitches and moans at his TV, or the four walls around him, does no harm (save to his own twisted self.)

The millionaire TV commentator who, in a ham-fisted mostly-thoughtless way attempts to compliment African Americans and, instead manages to insult most of them with his thoughtless remark? He is the more dangerous one. He has an audience. That means he has some measure of power.

Oh, and one last thing. (I say this after watching some vid on YouTube about the Bill O'Reilly foot-in-mouth incident, that Dinner at Sylvia's, screw up?) It is NOT a matter that intent does not matter. However, the lack of intent to insult is not a pass. It is itself, a grievous foul.

Lack of Intent = thoughtlessness, kids. Very bad, that.

Remember that.

I know (a lot of you out there) don't really want to waste your time being considerate of others, but ya know . . . .? If you want to avoid being (deservedly) labeled a racist, you got to think before you speak.


I will stop there, before I get all worked up. I do not need to get all worked up, here.

Edited to add:

(And before I say anything else, thanks to the fine freaky folk at for the tip.)

A likey good vid for this day. Sort of a hip-hop, post civil rights era take on the things near and dear to Dr. King's heart (and mine too.)


Post a Comment

<< Home

Add to Technorati Favorites