Today is reserved to honor and acknowledge Martin Luther King, Jr. for his tireless efforts to make shit right. But for some, it’s a day off to help them ease back into another work week. For others, it’s another day that will come and end just like those before and thereafter. Sadly, I am confident our attempts to honor one of the greatest men the world has ever known have long been in vain.
A post like this is difficult to find humor in. It’s a sensitive subject still so raw in our history that a seemingly innocent joke can deter from the gravity of the matter. Not to mention, “too soon” has never been a more accurate statement.
But what a lot of people fail to realize is what comedy is and can be for us. It allows me, personally, to deal with the horrendous bullshit humanity has created, changed, fixed and made worse. So, let’s see how this goes. Worst case scenario this post will never make it to publish and sit as a draft waiting for a day I’ve had too much wine and decide to share it with you.
I hate to be that white girl who said she saw Selma and her life has infinitely changed, but it kind of has.
I’ll venture to say it’s not often we enjoy feeling so overcome with emotion is makes us uncomfortable. A lot of us have spent a lifetime perfecting the art of suppressing that shit. But a harmless chick flick might leave you in a puddle of your own warm tears asking why your parents didn’t hug you more.
For those of us comfortable with our emotional side, the pain of watching 4 adorably dressed girls being blown to pieces is less than an ideal way to enjoy a Saturday afternoon movie. It’s a really shitty feeling when people make us realize how fucked up the world really is. Even a more shitty feeling is knowing we could be doing more to change that and recognizing we’re not.
That’s exactly how I felt after watching Selma.
Born exactly 20 years after his assassination and nearly 25 after the Civil Rights Act, I’ve never known true segregation. Clearly, that is not to say racism, prejudice or discrimination were foreign to me, but to say I can relate in any capacity to a time where public separation was the norm. Just think about that for 4.6 seconds. People were literally told they couldn’t use the same fucking bathrooms?! Or how about the blatant brutality against people for basically, the way they look. Can you imagine? Literally, any time you had a problem with someone’s hair or skin it was totally normal to be a fucking dick to them. Ugh, I digress…
In light of the recent events we’re all grossly aware of combined with the sobfest that is Selma, I feel disappointed. I feel ashamed that we’ve completely forgotten everything MLK stood for.
He stood for a peaceful march toward equality for all human beings. Not for blacks, not against whites but for human beings. He believed so passionately in this idea, he more than willingly offered himself to represent a suffering minority. Despite the disgusting brutality him and so many others faced, he never once lost sight of the importance of peace.
This is exactly the opposite of where we are today. It’s 2015 and well into the millennium yet I can’t help but feel as though our country has taken a giant step in the exact wrong direction. Don’t even get me started on the state of Alabama. On a side note, I really resent people fucking with Florida when Alabama is stuck in 19-old. But that’s an entirely different issue that will one day get a post dedicated all to it’s backwardness.
The man we honor today didn’t dedicate his entire life and lose it for you to be a part of the problem. He didn’t risk his life and so many others risk theirs, for us to radically abuse each other and obliterate the progress he helped us make as a united world. Even further, Dr. King would be sick to know we still struggle to accept equality among races, cultures and sexual orientation. He would be saddened to learn about the hate and violence that runs rampant in protest of discrimination.
Keeping the message of his movement alive is our responsibility to overcome the crumbling nation we’ve become. Remember his movement was pivotal for race but remains deafeningly clear for equality of everyone who suffers. Balancing the memory of where we came from and why he’s significant with keeping him ever-present needs to be more important than Instagramming pumpkin spice lattes.
But arguably more important than getting up and becoming a part of the solution is to know what the solution is. In a time where people have never been more connected, I’m sad to say we are still so far apart. Closing that gap and immortalizing the one man that changed the face of history, we need to find a common goal and fight to find the peace in that.