It’s MLK, Jr Day. Not going to lie, I let this particular day pass without much thought many times. Not because I don’t appreciate his work, his drive, or the things he sacrificed in order to make a way. I tend to let this day pass because it never quite feels right to me.
This day may seem symbolic, but I have mixed feelings. The man’s often used as a stick to bludgeon black people with when we attempt to protest in any fashion that is counter to what white American moderate culture thinks is okay. It’s highly disingenuous to beat me over the head with the (often out of context) teachings of a man you would’ve cursed at had you been alive when he was actively protesting.
It becomes a day off for people instead of holding any real meaning. A day to say “I had a dream” without understanding the blood shed, difficulty, and death (and how those things continue to exist). A day to ask people to unify when unification wasn’t necessarily the goal.
When you are oppressed, pushing back is your way to be heard. Protesting is a means to vocalize your disenfranchisement. Often, that needed protest and call for change is squashed while other people who have it relatively good are allowed to practically storm the capitol.
I have many feelings when it comes to this day. The man himself? Flawed, but a visionary. As must people who are the head of a movement become because they are human. This day could mean so much more, but it often feels like a day off meant for platitudes.
Maybe I’m just disenchanted and frustrated with other things. I’ve certainly been saying “they can go fuck themselves” a lot over the last week. Who knows anymore.