04 April 2018

A Half Century of Futility

I think he'd be terribly disappointed; I know I am. And was: The gleefulness of some of the adults around me (which made its way to the west coast in time for the evening news) at the assassination of a man who was clearly no threat to them is a clear memory and the overt beginning of political awareness for me. The content of character I see in "public service" resembles nothing upon which Dr King would wish to judge anyone.

Fifty years ago today, a bullet on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel made Black Lives Matter inevitable. Not necessarily at this time; not necessarily in detail. Nonviolent protest was met with violence, with advocacy of violence, with ignorance and fear, with the assumptions of the zero-sum game during the greatest quarter century of constant and relentless "pie expansion" in Western history. I'm actually writing this in parts and somewhat in advance (due to an impending move, I can't be certain of 'net bandwidth), but I predict one thing that both disgusts and disheartens me: Too much effort, too much time, and too many column-inches will have been devoted to the recent death of another in a line of dubious evangelists who should be despised for oh-so-genteely and oh-so-deniably preaching exclusion of the Other (and too many who go much, much farther… regardless of the particular religion in question) than will be devoted to this anniversary of the death of a religious leader1 who did not stoop to dehumanizing those who didn't agree with him (or, at least during his lifetime, allow his close adherants to do so). We can count on Sinclair Media — which is disproportionately present (not solely, just disproportionately) in so-called "Trump Country" — to continue its tradition of cloaked undermining that isn't quite hate speech or dog-whistling; after all, the local station in Chambanana did for the fortieth anniversary… and we'll get to see Sinclair's "must run" nonsense here on the west coast within the next hour or so (if it didn't run last hour). <SARCASM> It's not like Sinclair Media is headquartered in a former slave state (and very near a major marketplace) or anything like that. </SARCASM>

  1. Religious leaders do not cross the line to impropriety by advocating rights (unless, that is, they are rights founded solely in religious doctrine and inconsistent with other such doctrine, such as anti-abortion protesters who nonetheless endorse the death penalty). Dr King seldom made that kind of error… in distinct contrast to some of his successors, who have screwed up further by using their religious status as levers into policy positions and debates that have little, if anything, to do with rights. Although the Constitution prohibits any "religious test" for office, I would just as soon bar any active member of a religious hierarchy from political office (and vice versa) — if nothing else, the past few thousand years of history have demonstrated that's a volitile combination that inevitably paves a path toward bigotry. Such as many of the fifteenth- through seventeenth-century rationales put forth for enslaving Africans.