Wednesday, April 04, 2007

April 4 Blues

April 4 tends to be a bittersweet day for me. It not only signals the fact that I am four weeks away from celebrating another birthday, it also happens to be the day that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated.

That happened 39 years ago, and I still vaguely remember some of the TV coverage of the events. Of course there's the famous Moneta Sleet, Jr. AP photo of a black veiled Coretta Scott King holding their daughter Bernice (the same one spewing GLBT hatred from her post as associate pastor of New Birth Baptist Church, but that's a post for another time).

What I try to do when I start feeling sad about this day, I remember Dr. King by reading his writings and speeches and thanking God for the yeoman's work that he did during his 39 years on planet Earth. I rededicate myself to doing my part to help keep the dream alive and trying to conduct my life based on Kingian principles.

I also spend some of this day contemplating what the world would have been like if Dr. King had been able to live a normal lifespan. He was planning the Poor People's Campaign at the time of his death in Memphis, so I can postulate that he would have not only continued to condemn the Vietnam War, but also contined working for economic justice as well.

Dr. King probably would have decried the current war in Iraq, the increasingly mean-spirited and selfish way that this country gets under conservative rule and called out the Democrats for their weak response to it. I also can't imagine Dr. King remaining silent over what has happened to New Orleans during and after Hurricane Katrina.

I can also visualize Dr. King continuing to be an eloquent spokesperson for democracy, education and the Christian faith. I can see him taking to task those 'creation science/intelligent design' peeps, fundamentalists using the Bible to mask their hatred and being an eloquent defender of the principle of separation of church and state.

Dr. King would have taken the African-American community to task for some of the things that have been happening over the last 39 years as well. He'd be critical of the negativity and misogyny of hip-hop, some of our peeps not caring to vote or get an education and the weak response of the Black church to the HIV/AIDS crisis here in the United States and in Africa. Finally, I believe he would have had harsh words for those African-American ministers who preach hatred of GLBT peeps from the pulpit.

The world and our country definitely would have been a much better place with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. around over the last 39 years to remind us that we can do better that we are right now.

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