Ben Buchwalter

Some Interesting MLK Thoughts
January 19, 2009, 12:06 pm
Filed under: Civil Rights, Race | Tags: ,

A lot has been written so far today about the legacy of MLK and the significance of this holiday. I just wanted to highlight something that I found very interesting.

Andrew Golis linked to an earlier post about what Cornell West calls the “Santa Clausification of MLK.” From West:

He just becomes a nice little old man with a smile with toys in his bag, not a threat to anybody, as if his fundamental commitment to unconditional love and unarmed truth does not bring to bear certain kinds of pressure to a status quo. So the status quo feels so comfortable as though it’s a convenient thing to do rather than acknowledge him as to what he was, what the FBI said, “The most dangerous man in America.” Why? Because of his fundamental commitment to love and to justice and trying to keep track of the humanity of each and every one of us. […]

… [I]n the market-driven world in which celebrity status operates in such a way that it tries to diffuse all of the threat and to sugarcoat and deodorize what actually is rather funky.

That kind of blows my mind.


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