Monday, January 16, 2006

Holding out for a Hero

This is the obligatory MLK post. If you watch the news, throughout the day you'll notice the anchors struggle to smile or make some other kind of important looking facial expression while they cover the same old story about some church that is only populated by Black women and children during the rest of the year but today hosts some kind of celebration that involves singing and your favorite Black politician. Invariably, most news readers will look as if they're holding in a fart as they struggle to lend a sense of importance to this utterly unimportant day.

Last night's Boondocks had some poignant things to say about King's legacy but, as in all of his work, Aaron McGruder's take was a tad too preachy and self-righteous for my taste. The episode speculated what would happen if King were alive today. Other than the title, "Return of the King" the rest of the episode wasn't really that clever. It was filled with the same rhetoric touted by Chris Rock and a million other comics who are seemingly out to prove that the only people who hate Black people more than white people is Black people. (See: Bill Cosby)

Anyway, it seems to me that most hero worship is unhealthy and a sign of desperation. If Dr. King were alive today, odds are he'd just be another important Black guy who liked to chase tail. And I can't really find much wrong with that. Because in the end a movement should be about people and not personalities. All of the senseless speeches and scenes of churchgoing today is so much propaganda that we all tolerate in the name of diversity. I contend that the only unifying principle of the whole day is that almost everyone finds the platitudes about racial equality laughable.

Someday, they'll find a way to make a decent holiday out of this date. They'll put on a sale or make it a day of drinking like "Cinco De Mayo" or St. Paddy's Day. Until then most of us will have to realize that forced reverence for a dead man is a sure sign that dreams of equality haven't been realized. In death we're all equaled and if all things were truly equal then the man behind MLK Day and what he stood for would be largely ignored like the forgotten ideals of all of the other dead people on their holidays.


Blue Ridgeling said...

If Anheuser-Bush and Miller could find a way to make it a drinking holiday, THEN we'd have something.

Keep up the great work, Tony.

Anonymous said...

I just liked it when MLK was like, "Ooooh snap. Oh no she didn't." But in the low, slow, preacher-voice. I'm gonna be saying that all week.