Sunday, April 6, 2008

WWKD-What Would King Do?

I find it laughable that people like to align themselves with controversial people that have pass away like Jesus the Christ (before his resurrection) and MLK. Everyone seems to paint Jesus in their own image, imagining that if He was alive He would smoke a dubie with them or campaign with them for a war on terror...I could go on with a bunch of contradictory scenarios, but the point is people forget that Jesus had principles that he stood for that were not very popular. In today's secular society the image of Christ has been reduced to a long-haired, blue eyed smiling hippie and the message of Christ has been reduced to tolerance and peace. We tend to forget about the reason that he was killed; he claimed that all were in sin and that he only was there salvation (that part tend to be left out of the contemporary narrative)! His message extends beyond the Golden Rule and 'Love others as yourselves', there is also 'I am the way the truth, and the life, no man comes to my father but by me (If you'd like to talk more about this portion feel free to email me). If he lived today he might be seen as a crazed cult leader to some or as an intolerant bigot to others.
(Wow, this video convicts me every time I watch it.)

So, we have made him look like us; Blair's spoken word makes this point emphatically clear. The same can be said of Civil Rights activist and minister Dr. Martin Luther King J.R. King was man with a progressive agenda that fought for justice on a global dimension. We know the eloquent words in the "I Have a Dream" speech , but the media tends to overlook the totality of King's Dream. King was fighting against racism, poverty, and militarism ( the military industrial complex). Two weeks before Dr. Martin Luther King was murdered he spoke at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta issuing the following bold rebuke.

"And I come by here to say that America, too, is going to hell if she doesn't use her wealth. If America does not use her vast resources of wealth to end poverty and make it possible for all of God's children to have the basic necessities of life, she, too, will go to hell."

Spoken like a true man of God! King also has some strong remarks on the occupation of Vietnam in the speech Beyond Vietnam. In the speech the U.S. government is referred to as 'the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today.' King is celebrated today because he is not alive. If he were alive today, he would have some different labels attached to him, like Socialist, Communist and perhaps even Racist. The reason I say Racist, is because Dr. King would still be talking about race issues and many people today think that Blacks are recreating racism by talking about it, lol! On the flip side Dr. King would also be critical of the Black Community as we see exemplified in the Boondocks clip(The video clip has some strong language). I believe that Dr.King would be equally critical of systemic racism and the internal problems in the Black community. I'm pretty sure he would have critics on both sides of the aisle, white and black, liberal and conservative. I'm not saying King transcends all groupings or that he was perfect, but his agenda had a high moral order.

It is our responsibility to look beyond what is 'looped' in the media and know what people are really about. In today's sound-bite information age, there are too many people that can quote famous orators and leaders without knowing there principle positions. So I ask that we honor the memory of Dr. King by going beyond the surface and looking at the substance of words, the same can be said of the words of Jesus the Christ.


Samet said...

At the time right before his assassination Dr. King was the most hated man in America. It often takes people a generation to get things right & things are this way today with economic equality and other issues.
You identify a very important problem. People forget his words & focus on his celebrity. If people read more than just 1 or 2 of Dr. King's most common/popular speeches they would see that there was a lot more to him. I think many of us who only know him & his ideas on the exterior are missing out.
Personally, I think both Jesus the man & Dr. King would be against the war in Iraq. I know it may be problematic for me to place views on anyone else, but based upon their experiences I do believe this. I think they would both also be troubled by the lack of community we have in our country.
I wish Dr. King's day was more than a day off of work/school. I wish we would all incorporate his ideas in our lives.

On a lighter note, what MLK says on the boondocks about BET is hilarious!

Elliott Ashby said...

Well said.