The grand celebration across the country is upon us — and rightfully so.
The march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama is part of the fabric of our history and is a landmark achievement in the fight for Civil Rights — a fight that in many ways is still being fought today.
The celebration and the remembrance of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and what he helped us achieve is bigger than it’s ever been in our history.
Across all social media, hashtags, pictures, words, blogs, articles, news, videos, and memes fill our timelines and remind us that a hero is finally being remembered in the way that he always should — not just in January, but all year long.
Remembering it every day is important and goes without saying. It’s that walk and that fight, thousands of well-dressed black people (and yes, whites were there marching as well) marched for our right to vote — a right that we take for granted today since there still are quite a few who have no belief in the system that we fought to be able to participate in.
Social media shines an interesting light on this celebration and the remembrance of this monumental event in our history.
It allows everyone to get on their soapboxes and speak out on what they feel is happening. Some of it makes sense, and some of it is frankly mind-boggling minutia.
The observation of MLK day has been an active part of that discussion.
The hashtag #ReclaimMLK is all over Twitter and Facebook. The belief is that the day has been whitewashed.
Really? How has it been whitewashed?
Is it the fact that there are more and more white people honoring the memory of a man who wanted whites and blacks to walk through life and celebrate things together?
After all, let’s remember there were some white people in that march as well.
This needs to be asked because in previous years, we complained that MLK day wasn’t celebrated enough — now that the celebration has become more mainstream, we want to accuse people we have called racist in the past for not celebrating him enough yesterday and get pissed off at them for celebrating him too much today?
This is ridiculous. We need to stop holding these people accountable for the sins of their fathers. Yes, prejudice and inequality are still as rampant as it has been in our history. One need not look far to see the bloodshed suffered by our fellow black sisters and brothers at the hands of the very people we rely on most to protect us. Horrendous comments caught on tape and in e-mails about black people that attempt to force us back into being merely the oppressed.
We are more than that. We are stronger than that. This too shall pass.
We need to get a grip on the fact that the entire white race is not racist. Dr. King would be proud to see that his legacy was being celebrated by all.
Does #ReclaimMLK mean that only we as black people should be celebrating a man who wanted us to walk together?
The only way that we can truly reclaim MLK day is by truly understanding what his words mean, what he wanted for us, and to practice the meaning behind his legacy all year long and not just in the month of January.
Image by Marion S. Trikosko — This image is available from the United States Library of Congress’s Prints and Photographs division courtesy of Creative Commons.