Wednesday 26 November 2014

Let's Burn This B**** Down!

"Let's burn this b**** down!" cried the stepfather of Michael Brown after he heard the not guilty verdict handed down by the grand jury in the killing of his stepson (see the Youtube video at  Others standing in the street took up the chant. By the end of the night, Ferguson was ablaze.

     Martin Luther King Junior would be turning over in his grave.  Take a look at the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950's and 1960's.  I don't remember Martin Luther King Jr. taunting the police when a cross was burned on his front lawn in 1956.  I don't remember Martin Luther King Jr. torching a police car when his house was bombed.  I don't remember Martin Luther King Jr. running away with boxes of donuts when he participated in the sit in at an Atlanta lunch counter in 1960.  I don't remember the civil rights leader lobbing Molotov cocktails into the streets of Selma, Alabama as he marched with hundreds of suit-clad protesters to Montgomery in 1963.  I don't remember the Atlanta native throwing rocks and bottles through Atlanta window fronts as he marched through his hometown.  I don't remember the father of four torching a Montgomery Walgreen's after four young black girls were murdered at the Baptist Church.  I don't remember the pastor running away with a box of tequila from a liquor store, likely owned by blacks, as he protested the lack of voting rights for blacks.  I don't remember the words "Let's burn this b**** down!" being part of the great orator's famous "I have a dream speech" which he delivered from the steps of the Lincoln Monument in Washington.

     But I do remember the 90% of blacks who refused to ride the Montgomery busses after Rosa Parks was arrested for refusing to give up her seat to a white person, an initiative started by King's organization.  I do remember the hundreds of protesters who sat at lunch counters, dignity oozing from every pore, as hooligans showered them with ketchup and mustard.  I do remember the long line of followers who marched with Martin Luther King Jr. from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama.  I remember the pastor's prayer as he languished in a Birmingham Jail cell.  I remember the 200,000 plus protesters who marched through Washington D.C.'s streets and then listened to King deliver his I Have a Dream speech.  I remember President Kennedy's famous civil rights speech.  And a little document called the Civil Rights Act, signed by President Johnson in 1964.

     Let's bring back Martin Luther King Jr.'s quiet dignity.  Quiet, but powerful.

March on Washington D.C. courtesy 

No comments:

Post a Comment