Dr. King wasn’t fighting, so you could dust off a quote, post it on social media one day out of the year and do nothing to advance race relations in this country. On this day and every day, I challenge White people do not just read the Dr. King quotes that make you feel good. Read Dr. King’s work in its entirety and ask yourself. “Am I contributing to the dream or helping to facilitate the nightmare?”
You would think that everyone in Kentucky would rejoice. What an amazing way to honor a man whose very name brings honor to the city. However, that was not the case. While many people were pleased, the comments soon popped up on social media calling into question why Muhammad Ali is worthy of this honor? Truthfully, I found the comments to be typical. It was fine honoring Ali when they could just wear a t-shirt with his image on it. It was all good as long as Ali remained the person they constructed in their heads that suited them. It’s cool as long as it’s the Ali that floats like a butterfly and stings like a bee. They love that Ali. That is the Ali that doesn’t make them uncomfortable. That is the Ali they can brag about to their drinking buddies. That is the Ali that doesn’t challenge their way of thinking. Similarly, to the whitewashed version of Martin Luther King Jr that so many have constructed and that we will read “convenient tweets” about on Monday, as long as it’s the Ali that doesn’t ruffle their feathers, there is no problem. But do not forget it was here in his hometown of Louisville where Ali was called, “the Olympic nigger,” and was denied service in a “Whites Only” restaurant after returning from the Olympic Games in Rome in 1960.
Monday, January 15, 2018, marks the birthdate and a day that many in the nation will observe Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the dedication and sacrifices he made as a civil rights activist. I will not use this blog to detail the important and honorable aspects of […]