Remembering Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. – January 17, 2022

The profundity of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s loss is at times an exponential stain on our nation’s history and national psyche.

Gone is the greatness of his very public intellect and conscience. Yes a leader for civil rights and equity, but also for social justice on the streets of Chicago and Memphis, and in the rice fields of Viet Nam in his calls to withdraw American troops from that theater of war.

Can we imagine him today? A great prophet of the airways? His verbal prowess on display, a great orator toying with the sophists and cynics who ply the boards of what we now call political discourse as they banter about espousing fascism like the school children they are playing with chemicals they neither understand nor care about until, perhaps, some combination blows up in their faces.

I weep for the ideal of our nation. Yes. After all is said and done a patriot of sorts. Molded by my parents idealism and my father’s turn as a revolutionary. Even with his Marxist-Leninist frame of reference, he believed in the experiment. Said, as Zhou Enlai famously quipped of the French Revolution, that we would find out in a couple of hundred more years whether the democratic ideals of the USA’s founders really meant something, but until then, do what we could to ensure its ultimate success.

Dr. King was in many ways our best hope for that success embodying every ideal even as he despaired at the hopelessness he saw all too acutely. Last year’s entry by Democracy Now gives a flavor of the latter day Dr. King, speaking with passion about the ills of America, and the work needed to heal them.  The lessons still reverberate, would that he were here to be our conscience now.

 

2 thoughts on “Remembering Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. – January 17, 2022

  1. Kirk B. Smith

    Very beautiful. I always remember some aspect of one of your annual MLK essays whenever I see the MLK holiday on a calendar. Over the years, you’ve consistently drawn the connection between Dr. King as a seminal figure in the nation’s social history and as an enduring cultural image depicting what should be every American’s commitment to justice and equality. It’s an uplifting perspective that is ever timely in the context of the nation’s long, troubled march toward the more perfected union envisioned by our founders.

    Reply
    1. Girlboxing Post author

      Thank you. It is the one day of the calendar that I feel so affected by, year in and year out. If I am a believer in civic religion, MLK Day represents the pinnacle. Thanks again.

      Reply

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