Monday, January 19, 2009

Getting to Know Dr. King

It's Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and, for the first time I can remember, the holiday isn't being greeted with an avalanche of cant. Yahoo News ran a good story about Dr. King's frequently forgotten commitment to economic justice, and CNN has an article interviewing SCLC leaders and King's sister. The right wing, meanwhile, which never wastes an opportunity to hijack King's legacy, has been curiously silent, with the exception of Michelle Malkin, who wants to paint King as an enemy of teacher's unions (right. he supported sanitation workers but drew the line at educators.)

Clearly, this has something to do with Obama's election, which has helped make clear the drastic changes in American racial attitudes over the past few decades. Viewing this sea change, I am reminded of Marx's appropriation of Hamlet: "Well grubbed, old mole!"

Given the reprieve we've been granted from right wing idiocy about King, now is a perfect time to familiarize yourself with the radical Dr. King.

Brian Jones - The Martin Luther King They Won't Celebrate

FAIR - Martin Luther King and Affirmative Action

Kai Wright - Dr. King, Forgotten Radical

Brian Kelley - Unfinished Business: Martin Luther King in Memphis

Stevie Wonder also has something to say: