Monday, January 17, 2011

On Martin Luther King Day

Others say the things that should be said on this day so much better than I do, but I checked to see what I had written in the past. Some of it is still useful.

And this is what I wrote in 2007:

When I was thinking of something to write on the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday this year two topics danced tango in my head, one being the whole interesting question of why we are given holidays for certain men and not for other men and never for named human women, and the other being the little ping I got from each mention of the word "silence" in King's sayings, such as these:

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.

In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.

The first topic is too large to tackle with such a short notice, but I think the two are linked in something more than an Argentinian tango inside my skull. Power might be the music we are listening to, and silence is the wrong step to take in this dance. It is frightening to speak up, though, especially if you are one of the powerless. But what are the rewards of silence?
Check out Prometheus9 for thoughts about what has changed since Martin Luther King's day and what has not.