Martin Luther King Jr. Day — love it, or leave it? Me, personally…I say love it! But I notice that here in the South (and perhaps elsewhere in our nation), many others scoff at the idea of it and would gladly say leave it. I’ve already written one blog that deals with racism, so here is my second, and most likely not my last, being that racism is a more serious problem in our country than many would like to admit.
Martin Luther King Jr. was one of our country’s greatest leaders who ever lived. Not everyone in the United States will agree with this, however. I feel he was great in the fact that he saw a problem that needed to be fixed and succeeded at finding peaceful ways to fix it…even though some of these ways landed him and his supporters in jail, if not in the morgue altogether.
A lot of his opponents know, but are unlikely to admit, that if they had been in the same position as MLK, they would have probably strived to achieve the same level of fairness and success that he had.
So why in the hell do they scoff at the mere mention of the late great reverend’s name?
Who knows? I do, however, have my own suspicions.
Some of the whites I have known through the years would voice their opinions privately in select company so as to not render a judgement against them. I recall hearing one friend remark: “Why do they have Black History Month? Why don’t we have White History Month?” Technically, everything disclosed in our nation’s history prior to Black History Month could arguably have been considered as White History Month. It all seemed to portray key white people in our nation’s history as heroic and / or blameless, when the truth was altogether different.
For example, George Washington had always been painted as a hero to me all throughout high school. But later in life, I discovered that George Washington actually ordered a number of villages occupied by native Americans to be inhumanely burnt to the ground. Thus, it appears that the white race in America looked at all other ones as savage and / or animalistic.
Back to white people being peeved about Black History Month…as much as I hate to admit it, I really do find a bit of agreement here. I understand that our country may have permitted this holiday as a sort of peace offering to blacks as an olive branch to the black people of America for the injustice of slavery that is a permanent imprint of shame and embarrassment for our country on the whole. But how can you have racial equality if there is to be no such thing as White History Month, Chinese History Month, etc.? Are we so much in favor of honoring blacks with Black History Month that we no longer honor other races?…and all in the name of wanting to forget that slavery ever happened?
Please don’t get me wrong! I’m not saying that I do not support Black History Month. I’m just saying that the whole idea behind it goes against the idea of racial equality. And this could very well be one of the reasons why many whites don’t care to honor Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Then there is another simple reason: Because racism is alive and well in our country even though many put their heads in the sand and choose not to believe it. People simply choose to be racist just because they were brought up that way or maybe somehow became that way due to some strange, traumatic occurrence in life.
To me, wrong is wrong, no matter how you dress it up. You could put it in a pink bikini and call it Perez Hilton…but it would still be wrong regardless. Black History Month, therefore, has a way of keeping a racial hatred burning, making some whites despise blacks all the more for it.
As for me, I take the side of what is right. I honor Martin Luther King, because he was a very brave man who fought for what he knew was right. I don’t knock blacks who appreciate Black History Month in spite of my own personal feelings for the holiday. As a matter of fact, sometimes I smile when I see them having a good time with it just as I do anyone else in the midst of a fun proceeding. Encouraging blacks to honor Black History Month does not hurt anything, so why should it bother me?
And to my friends who don’t believe in honoring either one or even both, I simply say to them: “It is what it is. Why let it bother you? Let’s all just be happy and supportive of one another, as long as nobody gets hurt, maimed, or killed!” And then we can learn from our past mistakes and hopefully live harmoniously with one another, sharing in the dream that MLK shared many, many years ago.