EMAIL THIS PAGE       PRINT       RSS      

Continuing The Legacy of Dr. King in Post 9/11 America

These days it is difficult to fully embrace the idea that we live in a “post-racial society” when we in the Black community still see our young people shot down at the hands of police officers (click here. This young man was from one of my home towns on the Central Coast of Ca. where I did Young Life for many years). It is difficult to imagine a society where “race” and the “color” of our skin are not looked upon as the measure of a person/ people group. It is challenging to see through a lot of the subtle, overt, and venomous racism that swirls in our media, political rhetoric, and societal structures almost every day.


What sticks out to me the most during this Holiday season are two things: 1) Dr. King has become an institutionalized figure who has lost a lot of his true grit in societal terms and 2) A lot see the events of Dr. King as “back in those days” and fail to realize the “fight” for equality is still on. Hence, the struggle for equality becomes longer and harder in these times.

Therefore, the legacy part, for me at least and for many other ethnic minorities, is that we continue to educate, train up the next generation, and push forward towards equality for all and racial justice. But what does that mean? I was having a conversation the other day with some students who wanted me to call senators, help them organize a rally, and sign more petitions. All very good stuff indeed. However, a shift has occurred in our society over the last decade which has made it even more problematic to effect change through these channels. Am I saying we should abandon the march? Throw away the petitions? Hang up the phones? Of course not! However, in this day in age those avenues afforded to us as advocates for justice and equality in this free country are wearing thin in their effectiveness for change. For example, when the country found out we were going to war, millions marched, signed petitions, and called their senators and representative to put pressure on the White House to not do this; of course we all know those efforts were futile. Fast forward a few years and we have the events of Hurricane Katrina hit the New Orleans area hard. Once again, thousands marched and wrote letters…still, no real effective change; some areas still look as though the hurricane hit last week. Fast forward to the Dream Act where I personally called and petitioned, thousands  of others called their representatives and many agencies (both left and right of political lines) stood together to write letters for this act to pass; no change. It would seem that the marches and protest—while still a great way of expressing thought—do not have the same impact they once did during Dr. King’s time.

What might all this mean?

As I spoke with my students, we struggled through this very question and weighed its significance in the future of equality and justice. Moreover, what are the “next steps?” How might Dr. King’s legacy continue when one of the most effective tools he himself used is becoming obsolete?

I also struggle with where we are at in terms of racial progress. As a Black male I tend to see a lot of these issues rear their foul countenance towards me: getting looked over to be served in line, being spoken to rudely at the library while other White patrons are spoken to in a nicer tone, being asked “Do you work here?” constantly at places like Home Depot when I’m clearly not wearing the classic orange—all underlying tones of something deeper at work within our lens of the social construct of race. So, I struggle in finding that balance in continuing the legacy of Dr. King.

I love the parades and I love the nuances and homage paid to Dr. King on this day. However many, including many African Americans and ethnic minorities, fail to see the depth and scope of what that changed cost. It cost time, energy, tears, sweat, time away from family, human hours, organizational minds, nails, paint, glue, shoes, voices being lost, coordination, and most importantly it cost many lives. Dr. Stephane Dunn writes that there are businesses that are taking “snow days” on this Holiday and not truly observing the actual meaning of the day (you can read more here). At one of the schools I teach at, one year several social and racially unconscious students ran down the dorm hallways screaming “yeah, whoo hoo, Dr. King’s freaking Holiday…” in mockery of the day. Many other social and racially unconscious students laughed as they wore black hats and ties. That type of ignorance is extremely hard to deal with, but even harder, if not impossible, to educate and change.

What’s the point? The point is that we need to re-group: African Americans, Latinos, Euro Americans, Asians, and oppressed peoples everywhere… we need to realize the significance, depth, responsibility, awareness, and complexity of change and what it will cost; because what we can’t afford is a future not paid and in debt socially and institutionally.

Note: the picture used in this blog is that of Dave Dennis, delivering the eulogy at the funeral of James Chaney (killed by cops/Klansmen) in 1964. See the intensity, the anger, the call to justice, and the passion within this photo.

Comments

I'm sorry that I am just now seeing this post . . . good words! Thank you.

Thanks Kristen!

uk Voucher Codes available for all kinds of stores it only makes sense to use these when purchasing equipment Clarisonic had heard that the name, but it is expensive, and not willing to buy In just sixty seconds, it can leave your skin feeling softer, smoother and cleaner In the send in this chic era is the Bayswater glamorous bag for the visual approach, cosy and gorgeous sense, solid makeup, noble, very included technical knowledge and in details great! mulberry bagsI acquire their facial facmulberry salee cleaner skin cartridgmulberry uke and cartridge laser compatible printer toner moisturizer in it towards combination/muck affected the sghd hair straightenerskin care (I might sauna a clarisonic miawhole get, Still I most frequently do not get so many cystic bad acne pimples hope diligently searched month) To use Clarisonic Mia, you have to wet your skin first and apply cleanser into the head of the brushs clothes storage space and you are definite to find one or more mulberry sale pouches in itco Now clarisonic mia 2let

Online sale Barbour international jacket, Barbour quilt jacket, Barbour wax jackets and so on for men and women. For its perfect quality, fine workmenship, good waterproof function and durable, lasting characteristic, Barbour jackets has gained assitance and attention from all over the world. Their design is easy but elegant. Trusted you would be like it. Now Barbour jackets on sale with free shipping and no sale tax. Come to enjoy top Women Barbour and Men Barbour from Barbour jacket outlet as soon as possible.

Welcome to classic ugg boots stores!We Offer different styles and different colors ugg boots in all sizes for anyone.We havewomens ugg,ugg men,kids ugg boots,ugg boots infants,ugg slippers,classic ugg boots,bailey button ugg boot and so on for you choose. UGG is a brand of boots that Only the finest quality materials are used to create UGG boots and UGG shoes.Every ugg classic boots buy from our stores will feel great from the moment you put it on, year after year.And you can buy bailey button ugg boot with fashion style for women from here!UGG Boots are popular with people all over the world as a unisex style of sheepskin boot made of twin-faced sheepskin.Now,you can buy ourUgg boots online with free delivery and no sale tax!

Fast forward a few years and we have the events of Hurricane Katrina hit the New Orleans area hard. Once again, thousands marched and wrote letters…still, no real effective change; some areas still look as though the hurricane hit last week. Fast forward to the Dream Act where I personally called and petitioned, http://www.agpmedia.de thousands of others called their representatives and many agencies (both left and right of political lines) stood together to write letters for this act to pass; no change.

Once you enjoy the beauty of the michael kors by michael kors, you will fall in love with it. The many kinds of michael kors in the michel kors online shop are of top quality and charming. If you want the michael kors handbag from michaelkors, you should come to the michael kors. The michael michael kors handbag and all the bags by michael kors will make you the most fashionable one. The michael michael kors purse are superior for you, too. You just go and you won’t be disappointed.
http://www.michaelkors-shops.com/

Diesel sale is favored all over the world. Diesel jeans sale offered by diesel jeans uk stand for the top fashion as well as quality. People who have tried diesel jeans now become regular customers of diesel store. Mens diesel jeans and diesel women here in diesel on line are all with great design and strict workmanship. Shop diesel jeans and you can get diesel jeans cheap which are featured as fitted, durable, comfy, and fashionable. You won’t go wrong with diesel on sale.
http://www.dieseljeansale.com/

Ladies Barbour and Mens Barbour sale in Barbour uk outlet.The classic style Barbour international jacket is a perfect match for motocycle riding.The fashion style Barbour wax jacket is good for work or other occasion.And the lifestyle Barbour quilted jacket is a perfect for everyday use.Besides,Barbour UK also offer some hot style Barbour parka jacket,both using the finest material.So many Hot Style Barbour sale,what you still waiting for?Just order your own style Barbour jacket.

UK Barbour Jackets Oultet would be your best choice,you can find top Barbour international jacket ,Barbour waxed jacket ,Barbour quilted jackets,Barbour Parka jackets and so on from UK Barbour outlet.They have perfect quality and stylish appearence,enjoy them with free shipping and no sale tax.Save 40% by ordering our excellect Barbour coat now. Top Barbour mens jackets and Barbour women jackets are looking forward to your visit,what are you waiting for?

»  Become a Fan or Friend of this Blogger
About
Daniel White Hodge, PhD, a Hip Hop scholar & cultural theorist focuses on race relations, film, cultural trends, and spirituality. His book, The Soul Of Hip Hop (IVP) deals with the theological gospel of Hip Hop culture & its people.


Media
Resources