Monday, January 21, 2013

Another opportunity to witness

We have another opportunity to stand up for brotherhood today. It will be the first time I've missed it in about ten years. On this Monday in January I have made my way to Broad Street to join other Romans in declaring our dedication to the ideals proclaimed over 40 years ago by a young man named Martin King. There's little chance of shouted insults today. The bigots I watched here in 1965 won't show even their hooded faces today. Times have changed. But less blatant racism still persists, and it is still important to stand up and be counted occasionally. But this year I cannot bring myself to miss the inauguration. So -- if you aren't home watching the inauguration, join Alvin Jackson and the folks near the South Broad bridge at 11:30. And sing a little louder to make up for my absence. I'll do my best to be there again in 2014.

Here's the info on this year's march.

My 2007 post about the MLK March.

Walking for Peace and Brotherhood 2006


  1. Sounds like the thing has taken on a secular religious meaning for you.

    From where I sit on the ground, the results of the civil rights movement is a mixed bag. Now I see a Black person in every television commercial, but our country is, in many ways, more segregated now than in 1950.

    But it is important for the political Left to properly signal, so carry on.

  2. There is a lot of segregation left, but a little less each year... from where I sit. I remember the 1950s, by the way. Do you?

    I haven't counted black guys in commercials lately.

  3. Fifties: I didn't get the whole load, but I got a pretty good taste.

    Many areas of life at that time were becoming less segregated just from the natural flow of day to day life. My buddy Sayyid Qutb was shocked by interracial dancing in Greeley CO circa 1950. Some in politics said, "hey, let's make a big deal about getting rid of segregation. It is happening anyway, so let's get in front of the parade and garner credit and power."

    The problem here is that when ambitious people go into politics, they make a law for everything, regulate every area of life, claim credit for all the successes, and call for more politics after the failures.

    Ghetto Black socio-economic activity is pretty dysfunctional today circa crime and single motherhood. I'd say the civil rights era and its resulting affirmative action/forced integration model skimmed the elite Black talent away from the former functional communities. I don't think Martin King would be thrilled with this result.

  4. So Rosa Parks shoulda just moved on back?

    History in the long run may move toward justice. I hope so. But to expect a majority of the folks of my childhood, teen years, and even most of my adulthood to "evolve" to the point of electing a black President in 2008? Without the righteous prodding of non-violent protest that notion seems mighty easy to say but mighty hard to imagine. Granted I live in Georgia but I have seen incredible racism in other climes as well. And recently.

    It's of course difficult to prove or disprove what-might-have-been, but your argument seems to be one that someone who's been on the wrong side of history for the last half-century might employ.

    I find it fascinating that those on the hard right find it so easy to talk of what they, who typically fought him tooth and nail in the fifties and sixties, believe Martin Luther King might say about current events/issues. Talk of secular religion, you'd hardly be surprised to see 'em wearing WWMLKD bracelets. But I am guilty of some imagination occasionally myself, so dream on.

  5. Yes, we can't be sure of these things, but that is a poor argument on which to fall back.

    Lower class Black civic life today, with its crime, drugs, and dependency, doesn't have much to recommend it compared to the 1950's. I wouldn't brag too much about who is on the wrong side of history. And the point here is we have encouraged a class of "righteous prodders" who caterwaul for ever more things to be fixed at great expense by the central authorities, and also for the central authorities to stimulate the economy so we can pay for all this stuff, because we've got a lifestyle to maintain here.

    I asked "what would Martin King say" not for my benefit, but for yours. I don't find him that compelling: he could craft a good speech, but his personal life wasn't all that sterling; and he benefited from mass media in a society that was changing anyway. Martyrdom also helped.