Thoughts

Martin Luther King Day 2022


There are few figures in American history who are as important as Martin Luther King. We should all take a moment in remembering the man and his legacy and not allow him to be used as an instrument of gaslighting and division. Follow closely his wisdom of judging people not by the color of their skin but by their character when politicians try to use him to further divide us.

There are many ways of commemorating the man, please let us know how you will in the comments. I’d love to hear your stories. I will be having a short discussion with my sixth grade students on his life, times, and legacy. Even though none of them are American, racial inequality and injustice touch all of our lives.

Martin Luther King Day 2022

In these trying time when our democracy and our rights are under sustained attack, we must take the time to remember who came before us as we carry the fight forward. MLK fought for more than civil rights. He fought for the poor and working class of all races. He fought for democracy and the right of every citizen to vote.

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Image Attribution

“Martin Luther King, Jr. San Francisco June 30 1964” by geoconklin2001 is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Categories: Thoughts

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23 replies »

    • Howdy Bob!

      I’ve got to go back and find an episode of Chris Hayes’ podcast, “Why is This Happening?” where he interviews Sherrilyn Ifill and she mentions how uncertain everyone throughout the civil rights movement was about what the next step should be. Hindsight is always clear, especially when people were successful or achieved goals.

      I think it is easy to forget that there are dedicated reactionary forces to civil rights. It isn’t just a lack of awareness. There are people who are openly and consciously racist who are fighting to stymie advances in equality. I’m always astonished when I realize that.

      Huzzah!
      Jack

      Liked by 1 person

      • Like many other efforts at reform, the civil rights movement has had a tendency for many of the more casual activists and allies to see any significant victory as a “There, we’ve fixed it.” moment, and turn to other concerns.

        We have to remember that a term like “racism” is always defined by the people who are against it. Those who are then accused of being racist under that definition do not see themselves as such. They say that they understand the natural and God given order of the world and you do not. They say that they understand the character, abilities, proclivities, and motives of the other races, and you do not. In their own eyes they are not racist, just right about reality.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Howdy Bob!

          That makes a lot of sense. I suppose it is that certainty that makes racism so hard to root out… that and the natural inclination towards paranoid dislike of anyone too dissimilar to themselves.

          Huzzah!
          Jack

          Liked by 1 person

          • Yes, the certainty drives all the worst cognitive tendencies like confirmation bias and such. It takes a willingness to discover that one has been seeing the world wrongly at a deeply introspective level to root out one’s racist (also, sexist, ageist, etc.) biases. That is not a strong conservative trait.

            Liked by 1 person

            • Howdy Bob!

              Introspection is, like, by definition not a conservative trait. You can’t be introspective and not want change. They are antithetical.

              It’s like I wake up everyday and am astonished all over again at how hard MAGA Nation is willing to fight against reality. It just makes no sense. That’s how you know you’re dealing with insanity.

              Huzzah!
              Jack

              Liked by 1 person

              • Having dealt with family members of severely schizophrenic clients, I know how strong the urge to directly confront a fixed delusion, and how surely that won’t work. [Again, there’s Erickson’s story about the carpenter who thought he was Jesus.] The delusion can be subverted by such as asking, “What if that were not true?”. That doesn’t get fast change, but if the questioning is continued with variations, there can be some. That approach has a lot in common with CBT. As regards MAGA Nation, I think the most effective for it could take would be both criminal and civil actions against the promoters of The Big Lie for fraud, for knowingly lying and profiting from it. MAGA sees prosecutions for conspiracy or sedition as political oppression. That feeds their confirmation bias, and they dig in harder. But if the leaders and fake news spreaders have to pay actual money for lying, for scamming them, then they can begin to question.

                Liked by 1 person

                • Howdy Bob!

                  I like what is happening now in the courts with the white supremacist groups that sponsored the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville that will end up bankrupting them. The court costs and demands on their time have pretty much bankrupted them and sidelined them by taking up all their time. I’m hoping that the same thing will happen to the Proud Boys, Oathkeepers, and other militia groups. If we’re lucky, they’ll even take down the media companies perhaps even Fox News.

                  Without some kind of leadership out there spewing propaganda and recruiting a lot of this stuff will die down to fringe group rumbling on message boards. The civil suit has the advantage of being less likely to create martyrs for the cause.

                  Huzzah!
                  Jack

                  Liked by 1 person

                  • When it come to money damages being awarded, at some point we should be able to count on the greed of smart attorneys in class-action Tort Law to have them looking at the donors and sponsors of the militias and the media being sued, the real money people behind the whole thing. There is a culpability in knowing somebody is lying and you are paying them to do it.

                    Liked by 1 person

                    • Howdy Bob!

                      Or paying someone to commit violence. The Oathkeeper “leader” spent $30,000.00 on arms and ammo before the 6 January Insurrection. Where’d he get that money? If it was from donors, then they are liable for the harm that their donations would’ve wrought. Proving that they knew they were donating to commit mayhem and violence may be difficult, but maybe not too difficult. What else are militias for?

                      Huzzah!
                      Jack

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • Like the guy arrested today in Texas for offering to pay (essentially) a bounty of $10,000.00 to anyone killing certain election officials in Georgia. Considering the number of people out there who have been harassing and threatening election officials and their families, he won’t be the last.

                      Book ’em Merrick!

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • I am, too. It speaks to how reluctant the average person is to commit real violence and how few the nut jobs who will truly are. Once one does it, though. The model will be out there to emulate, and we’ll have an avalanche.

                      Jack

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • This is why DOJ has a team dedicated to prosecuting the threateners and harassers of the election workers. Seeing people who make the threats go to jail should have a chilling effect. However, it means that our judiciary has to do something it tends to avoid, acting against fraudulent and violent political speech. It needs to become clear to a great many people that death threats and rape threats to anybody for any reason are not protected speech.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • Howdy Bob!

                      Somebody on one of those talking head shows did a fairly deep dive into those threats and the laws governing them. Okay, they were reporting on someone else’s reporting — gawd my memory is really shot to hell. There is fine line between harassing and noxious speech and threatening speech. Some of these folks walk that line pretty carefully, making it difficult to prosecute them. Apparently, the 80-20 rule applies here, too. Eighty percent of the calls are being made by twenty percent of the population.

                      Huzzah!
                      Jack

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • Howdy Bob!

                      Some months ago, I remember someone on one of those pundit shows stating that people were calling up elections officials and saying remarkably similar things almost as if they were reading from a script. There is some evidence that some portion of the harassing calls are an organized coordinated effort. We’ll see if there is enough evidence to warrant prosecution.

                      Huzzah!
                      Jack

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • No doubt that there were scripts. Virtually every interest group across the political spectrum that urges people to call their MOC or other officials has scripts, so it makes sense that there are scripts for harassing and threatening. There would be spread on social media and shared many times, so tracking to the source could be difficult.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • That’s a good point being a script writer myself. And, the ability to spread them on social media makes it less sinister conspiracy and more the conspiracy of dunces.

                      Jack

                      Liked by 1 person

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