For media and the political class the erection of the massive 30-foot statue of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King. Jr. is a cause for celebration.
The sculpture showing Dr. King with his arms folded across his chest, a serious look on his face, bears a striking resemblance to the handsome minister. But it appears to celebrate us far more than it celebrates him.
The sepia-toned rock memorial much like the media coverage celebrates the King of August 28. 1963; the March on Washington King; the “I have a Dream” King–and none other.
That is the King that the media the politicians and the elites want you to see, to remember and to celebrate. They want you to remember a man frozen in time–in 1963.
Ignoring the fact that he lived 5 whole years more–and like most men he grew developed and changed.
In many ways King was changed by the times the anti-Vietnam War movement, and yes, the Black Freedom movement.
And the King of 1967–and even 1968–was far different than the man who stood at the foot of the Lincoln Monument.
The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. did not die at the March on Washington. He Iived to become the man who a year before his assassination, spoke at Riverside Church in New York City where he strongly decried racism militarism and rapacious capitalism.
Betrayed by his closest associates in the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) abandoned by his erstwhile allies among white liberals vilified in the white corporate press for his anti-war stance yet did he speak his heart and mind, almost in echo of his German namesake, religious reformer, Martin Luther, who said, “Here I stand; I cannot do otherwise”.
If he were alive today, he’d be 82 years old; and he would look at the corporate shills, the war-makers, the defense contractors, the political class that continues to wage war on the poor– and organize a protest!