MLK Edition — The 2017 Version

[I originally wrote this post in 2015; I’ve given it a little update and posted it again this year.]

Yesterday, Martin Luther King, Jr., if he were still here with us, would have celebrated his 88th birthday.

I wonder what he would think about certain things. Such as:

  • would he hashtag any of the social causes of the present on Facebook or Twitter? Would he even use social media? 
  • what would he have to say about gun control in light of so many mass shooting incidents across the country and homicides in the inner cities?
  • what would his thoughts be on the refugee crisis, immigration,  and American involvement in the Middle East?
  • would he play Powerball or Mega Millions when the jackpots get really big? (I guessing he wouldn’t, being a preacher and all…but I still wonder).
  • would he post photographs of his marches from years past on Instagram for Throwback Thursday?Martin_Luther_King_Jr_NYWTS_4
  • would he be on the street, railing against the seeming lack of diversity in movies and television?
  • how would he deal with the incoming President? Would he dare criticize Mr. Trump for his thin-skinned ways, for lashing out at people who would dare to criticize him? Would he even attempt to help Trump understand the issues facing people of color in the country? Could he even help the man in any way at all?
  • would he have stood up for John Lewis, after Trump’s unfortunate, ill-advised attacks on him? Could he convince the man to get off Twitter, grow up and be serious about the job he faces?
  • how would he feel about Russian involvement in the country’s election? What would he think of Trump’s seeming embrace of Vladimir Putin? Would he have an opinion on Trump’s seeming lack of confidence in the country’s intelligence community?
  • would he rail against today’s rap music and its unending themes of sex, money and drugs?
  • would he try to take down trolls on internet sites who would call him names and try to do and say anything to discredit anything he did or tried to do?
  • would he criticize social media culture in general, where it’s easy for anyone with enough keyboard courage to say anything at any time? Would he be dismayed at how easy it is for people to call black athletes names that white athletes are never called? Would he voice his concerns at the seeming rising of the so-called Alt-Right movement, or white nationalism; or speak against the apparent rise in incidents involving people of color?
  • would he shake his head at the things people say or do, all in the name of being famous or getting attention?
  • would he be retired and perhaps marginalized, sort of as an Emeritus “drum major for justice”?
  • would he have gone anywhere there were protests decrying the seeming over-reliance of deadly force on black males? Would he call for justice at the trials of the officers who were charged?
  • would he try to remind us that compromise and cooperation are not dirty words? That working for common ground best defines a democracy? That governing is not a zero-sum game, or a my way or the highway mandate? That government is supposed to work for the people, not for those elected to make government work?
  • would he speak out about a Congress that has seemingly done nothing for years, but collect paychecks and argue, but offer no meaningful solutions to the people’s problems?

I think he would still be reminding all of us to remember that “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

Then I remember…he’s going to be 88 years old. Would he still have the “fire in the belly” to do any or all of those things listed above? Or would he, having lived a full life, have given us a group of leaders, not just black, but of all races, nationalities, religions and backgrounds, to work on bringing us together rather than dividing us. Leaders who remind us that we have good within us, and that we need to use that good to bring to others. That love for one another is our greatest command to follow.

22 Replies to “MLK Edition — The 2017 Version”

  1. So much to think about….. Well written, as always! How would he feel, after all these years, to so much hatred in the world for those of color? Would he be in shock? Would he highlight how far we’ve come or would he see that some are trying to take us back?
    I wonder……

    Liked by 1 person

    1. And I hope that when and if there are protests, those who don’t like the protests or what they are about remember that the right to peaceably assemble, and to protest, are among the rights of the people. Just keep them from becoming violent. People are afraid because they see the possibility of what were considered gains in civil rights being rolled back. That’s why people will protest, and they should.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Those words keep people encouraged, give people reason to hope and to fight against inequality, injustice and unfairness all over the world. If he were still here, I would hope he would encourage those who see a need for change from what isn’t right, and to give hope to everyone that things can keep moving forward.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. If MLK was still with us, I’m sure he would still be a voice of activism (probably shaking his head at Twitter and other social media and the “faux activism” they generate). Look at Jimmy Carter, in his 90’s, with cancer, and still building homes for Habitat for Humanity, still taking a stand for the poor and disadvantaged. For some, it’s just in their blood. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, Joan for this comment. Though I question whether he would even be involved in social media, if there was a message he needed to get out, I’m sure he would have a way to do that. He would not be silenced, and if he couldn’t get the message out, there’d be someone he would trust to get the message out for him. I hope more of us remember his message and what that message meant to so many, and to also keep that message at the forefront to keep injustice, inequality and unfairness at bay.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. No offense taken! Thanks for reading and for leaving your comment! Yes, he was a hero to many and his ideals are certainly universal. It’s even more important now to keep those ideals at the forefront in the fight for justice and equality, and to remember that those civil rights gains were meant to change society for the betterment of all.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Uh…I think he would be sitting in his rocking chair checking his scratch offs to see if he won that money! LOL!!!
    Sorry about that, but you started it! LOL!!!

    Honestly, I pray that he would NOT have been a retired “Emeritus Drum Major for Justice,” though I fear he might’ve been.

    Twin, I’ve always felt a kinship with our Dear Dr. MLK being that, at his root, he was just a good ol’ Georgia boy. He was also actually born on January 15 which is close to my birthday.

    At any rate, that same 39 year old Georgia boy was smart enough to study other cultures and beliefs in order to find AND implement what worked–despite the costs!

    Question: “What were most of us doing when we were 35-39 years of age?”

    Don’t worry, I’ll wait for the answer 🙂

    Anyway, I believe that Dr. King was waaaaaay ahead of his time which, I think, is why he could not have stayed with us too long.
    His star was too bright – it was bound to burn out.
    That said, I’m grateful that he did ALL that he could with the little bit of precious time that he had!
    Rest in Peace Sweet Prince.

    Twin this is a marvelous piece and you have initiated good food for thought–all in your usual astute and witty way.
    Excellent 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Twin, I can say that at 35-39 years of age, I wasn’t doing anything like what MLK was doing. His admiration from me is well-earned as it is for so many.

      At its root, MLK’s “philosophy” as it were, was built around love, as you well know. Love for each other, and especially justice for those who were less fortunate and discriminated against. He was no mere pacifist, there was some steel behind his nonviolent resolve.

      That line about sitting in the rocking chair, checking his scratch-offs is priceless! I laughed heartily!

      Thanks, Twin 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. LOL!!! You started the MLK gambling debacle! LOL!!! I just took it to that other level!!! LOL!!
        You know, there are theories that MLK and Malcolm X were slowly changing places.
        Maybe they might have come to a happy medium.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Maybe they would have. And maybe that happy medium would be espoused by a younger, new generation of leaders…or better still, those people who believed in that happy medium.

        Like

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