Today is a day to honor Rev Dr Martin Luthor King Jr. This is a very important day, and it is very significant that we honor and remember all of his accomplishments, as well as his message of peace.
There were many civil rights leaders of that time, but he is the only one with a day. Some consider this racist. Those people probably are the same people who think pancake syrup is racist. What makes a person worth an honor and a remembrance, like a day or a statue, is not just that they aim for a particular goal, but the way that they go about doing it.
MLK was all about peace. Peaceful resistance, and love. Love for all fellow men. He was not looking to elevate anyone over anyone else. He was looking to accomplish equality among all individuals. He did this by reminding people not to hurt others but to embrace them. To be allies and friends. He wanted his kids to walk with the white kids not against them or above them.
We honor MLK because of the accomplishments that he gave to this country, and the hardships he and his family endured for doing so. We do not honor MLK because he was a perfect man. This is an important distinction. This is something that some people have forgotten. No one is perfect. No one is without sin. Everyone is a product of their time, and a slave to their vices, and Dr King was no exception.
All over the country people are tearing down statues of freedom fighters because they disagree with something or another about the person. The person is not the point. The person is a symbol of the movement. Just as Dr King was a symbol of the non-violent civil rights movement that touched the hearts of people not just all over the country, but all over the world.
There are not statues to Dr King for being a philanderer. There are not statues to Dr King for being a rapist. There are not statues of Dr King for being a Communist. Though he was all of those things. He was a person. A person who had demons. A person who was a product of his time. A person that did unspeakable things behind closed doors, but who still brought a message of hope and peace to the world.
Never meet your heroes. It’s an old expression usually used now to talk about movie stars and athletes, but its origin is unclear. Everyone wants to attribute it to the person they first heard say it. Which in and of itself is ironic as they are putting the quote to the person they admire, but the point remains. No one is perfect. No one is the angel we know in our imagination. Dr King is no different.
It is amazing and wonderful that Dr King has a day to remember him. It is unbelievable that it happened so quickly considering he was fighting for the right to be treated as an equal, and less that 20 years after his death he was granted a Federal Holiday. In fact, other than Columbus, he is the only individual with a Federal Holiday named after him. We used to have Washington’s birthday, but that has since been converted to Presidents Day and now they all share it. Similar to Veterans Day.
Rev Dr Martin Luthor King is the only American to ever have a day named and celebrated for him, and he had a horrible history of sex crimes and treating women horribly. Does that mean we should take away his day? Does that mean we should rename all of the MLK Blvds all over the country? Or does that mean that we understand that he wasn’t perfect, but we honor him for the accomplishments and the amazing things that he did do? I say the latter, and I say the same for all of our other people in history. We don’t honor Jefferson and Washington for owning slaves, and we don’t honor MLK for his sins either. Let thee without sin cast the first stone. Until then, Let’s remember the good we’ve all done.