1. Monday, January 16, 2017

    today is martin luther king day 

    it’s not his birthday, it’s his holiday.

    even though it’s a federal holiday, not everyone gets it off.

    but let me tell you something. progress is a slow and steady deal.

    when my mother was born she couldn’t have imagined a lot of the social change that took place right in front of her eyes.

    when she was a little girl she had to sit in the balcony at the movie. which doesnt sound so bad now – i love the balcony. but it sucked when you didn’t want to be up there.

    you couldnt drink out of “white only” water fountains, you couldnt sit at the counter of the restaurant, you had to stand in different lines. in fact you couldnt even go to certain stores.

    my parents met at an all-black college because even though there were state run colleges, even they were segregated, so even though blacks paid taxes they couldnt go to many of the state colleges where their tax dollars were being funneled to. they had to go to Historically Black Colleges (HBCs).

    when i was born the picture above would have been reason enough to arrest me.

    blacks were not allowed to marry whites for most of the 1960s and if a black man was seen kissing — or even looking at a white woman in public they could get beaten, harrassed, or even arrested.

    just because of ones heritage.

    it didnt matter if we were good people. it didnt matter if we were in love. it didnt matter if we would do anything for that person. all that mattered was one was white and one was black.

    martin luther king jr fought all of that, peacefully, and all of the other things that blacks (and therefore whites) had to struggle with in regards to racism in the so-called Home of the Brave and land of the free.

    this country had no idea what brave was until MLK showed up and epitomized it in so many ways.

    America, before MLK, made progress through violence and other ways. how brave is it to give Native Americans blankets intentionally covered in germs intended to make them sick? how brave it is to trade beads for land? how brave it is to enslave people and stop them from being educated?

    whats brave is fighting for your rights without fighting.

    brave is literally turning the other cheek

    over and over and over

    until someone realizes

    oh shit, this isn’t what this country is supposed to be like.

    this isn’t what life is supposed to be like.

    MLK brought us into modern times

    but his work is clearly not over yet.

    it is up to us to be brave.

    fortunately, this is still brave’s home.

    act like it.