It would have been odd for me to just say "Happy Birthday Dr. King"... I had to sit back and reflect for a moment.
While doing so I thought about all the conversations I've had with my mother, my father, and just older people in general who came from that era, and the scars that are still there.
That era in American history was extremely violent, brutal, and harsh and not that long ago. My father told me of a story where his family was one of the first blacks to move in an all white neighborhood in Chicago. He was taunted from a young age by children and adults, being told he would not amount to anything, and having to sometimes literally fight everyday just to go to school to get an education. But he and others did it, through all the opposition and problems that came with breaking barriers. Now today's parents have to negotiate with these little fuckers to just go to school.
As an adult, he watched his mother's house burn to the ground because of a cocktail bomb tossed through their front window. He was harassed by local police, profiled, and placed in jail for no particular reason - having the police beat his knees until they bled. Now, we just beat on one another for the dumbest and most senseless reasons, mostly over some stupid materialistic shit like a gym shoe.
What I admire most about my dad, is that he understood why it was happening, that what he and others were going through were part of the bigger picture. That, in itself, is an unselfish act. They were fighting for our future. So...whether you were a fan of King or Malcolm, they all had one goal - equality for all.
The shame in all of this, is that we've been back sliding every since those initial gains in civil rights, and for some reason, it is being ignored by most of us.
It seems now we have this terrible need to want acceptance for things that don't matter, you know...cars, jewelry, homes, clothes and BET endorsed bullshit.
Back in the day, we just wanted acceptance as citizens, plain and simple. Now, we look towards the buffoons of the world for guidance.
Some of the most hurtful and sad words I've heard my dad speak were, "I took all those beatings for nothing". Now, his biggest fear is that we are killing each other at a fast pace without any regard for the future.
He doesn't really worry about other races anymore . As he's warned me, be careful of your neighbors, so-called friends, or in some cases family members.
I'm certain this not what Dr. King and the many others that fought for civil rights had in mind. Somewhere along the way, we really dropped the ball and forgotten the sacrifices that were made by people that envisioned a more balanced and fair society for all its members.
This why I call out "Black Leaders" on a regular basis. There aren't any - no matter how many mainstream news stations try to tell us that Sharpton and Jesse J. Sr. are our collective voice. I am not a fan of sellouts.
If a there's a book, liquor, fragrance, music, or a movie, promoted by any half-assed, so-called celebrity - we're so there. It is a shame but we can't get the same enthusiasm for a protest or demonstration these days.
Let's name a few of the hidden agenda folk: Tavis Smiley, Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson Sr. and Jesse Jr., Jay-Z, and Puffy just to name a few.
I read or watch the news everyday. The news is always the same....shootings, rapes, drug busts, and murder, the script doesn't really change.
I'll never give up hope though - I can't, it is all I have and need.
With the good, obviously will come the bad.
I don't want to sit around and watch my world crumble around me and I don't need anyone to speak on our behalf.
I do appreciate all that men and women like Dr. King did to secure my place in this world. I want to say Happy Birthday Dr. King. I got the message.
So, that being said...What are YOU prepared to do?
WAKE THE FUCK UP!