REPOST: Just An Observance on MLK Day

Posted by Antoinette R. Banks | Posted in | Posted on Monday, January 17, 2011



While 56% of American’s have the day off, 44% of Americans, under employers’ ideals somewhat synonymous with Jesse Helms and Ronald Reagan, are in their offices today answering phones, and scheduling meetings—another manic Monday.

But how should we honor a man who wanted to overturn the entire edifice so that ALL PEOPLE could practice, justice, charity, and love toward one another?

Vincent Harding, one of King’s colleagues, once said, “A dangerous Negro, now a national hero. How shall we work with that?" In 1963 Martin Luther King, Jr. was called the most dangerous Negro in the United States because he posed a threat to the very precious ideals that, unfortunately, continue to underwrite our socio-economic and political culture.

A national observance of Martin Luther King Day today leaves me feeling Shakespeare-like—to work or not to work? If we take the day off, are we observing King for the man he was and the amazing lengths he went for equality or by taking the day off are we domesticating his subversive message?

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