I’d post audio and video, but I’m doing battle with audioblog.com and WordPress’ xmlrpc. Will update with that when I’m able. I had a brief discussion about MLK at the last Drinking Liberally with Jennifer. The main point being how sanitized his legacy has become and how truly radical his notions were…beyong racial tolerance, which is about all he gets credit for nowadays. She was recommendeding a book, which I must ask her about again the next time I’m in the library (damn you Dead Guy Ale!).

Then I found this article. Wow. Sums it up mighty well I’d say. A very eloquent and well written version of our rambling conversation over pints of beer.

The icon we celebrate today is an anodyne specter of the true article’s dynamism and dissent. In a huckster nation, this opportunistic conjuring of King’s brand identity is hardly surprising.

Indeed. The King legacy has been watered down, but maybe not by some grand scheme to make us look over here instead of over there. It might just be pure American laziness.

Benjamin and Carmichael remind us, as we so often are in politics: “It’s The Economy, Stupid!”:

Assassins snuffed King as he began his most challenging campaign of all: the fight against inequality of capital and opportunity. Ignoring this campaign suppresses an incisive message, offering up a palliative charade precisely when his economic vision of substantive change is most needed.

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  • Hi Eric,

    I am guessing that the book Jenny recommended to you was Michael Eric Dyson’s “I May Not Get There With You,” which is about the evolution of MLK’s philosophy. The thesis of the book is that King was moving ever leftward in his social thinking (hooray for him!) before he was killed. He was effectively a democratic socialist at the end, says Dyson. Yes, there it is, the s-word, which is altogether compatible with secular, enlightened, American ideals — and indeed Christian ideals, as we see if we actually bother to read what Christ says in the gospels.

  • Eric

    Bingo Marty. That is the one. I hope to see ya next time…two in a row from Jenny and I gave her grief over it. Haha. This is going on the ever-expanding reading list.

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