Monday, January 18, 2010

Matin Luther King Day: Yeah, It's Kind of a Big Deal

This post isn't going to be your usual epideictic oratory, praising Martin Luther King. Quite a few people have done that over the decades.

Instead, I'll offer a sort of 'good news/bad news' pair of articles from the news.

First, the bad news:

"Martin Luther King children in court over estate case"
CNN (September 15, 2009)

"A judge has ordered the children of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. to meet in their capacity as the sole shareholders of the corporation that manages their iconic father's estate.

"King's children were in Fulton County, Georgia, Superior Court Monday in a dispute over their parents' estates.

"Two children of the civil rights icon are suing their brother, accusing him of wrongfully taking money from their parents' estates...."

I appreciate it when families are able to sort out differences among themselves: but sometimes that doesn't work. Maybe they've resolved the problem by now: or had it resolved for them.

Sad as this is for the family, I don't see that it affects what Martin Luther King Jr. did, decades ago. He was a wonderfully capable orator: possibly one of the best in the English-speaking world during the 20th century. His "I have a Dream" speech has been required reading for a reason.

"Most blacks say MLK's vision fulfilled, poll finds"
CNN (January 19, 2009) (That's right: January, about a year ago)

"More than two-thirds of African-Americans believe Martin Luther King Jr.'s vision for race relations has been fulfilled, a CNN poll found -- a figure up sharply from a survey in early 2008.

" The CNN-Opinion Research Corp. survey was released Monday, a federal holiday honoring the slain civil rights leader and a day before Barack Obama is to be sworn in as the first black U.S. president.

"The poll found 69 percent of blacks said King's vision has been fulfilled in the more than 45 years since his 1963 'I have a dream' speech -- roughly double the 34 percent who agreed with that assessment in a similar poll taken last March...."

Melanin-deficient Euro-Americans like me weren't, in general, so optimistic - but you can read the story yourself.

Barack Obama, by the way, is also - to the best of my knowledge - the first Hawaiian American president. Well, he's Hawaiian the way I'm a Minnesotan. Someday, I think that the history of Hawaii will get more attention in America than it does now. But that's another topic.

I remember the fifties and sixties - and 'the good old days' they were not. I think there's been improvement in America since then, in some respects - and I'll leave it at that.

The Lemming wants to assure you: the next post will not be terribly serious. Or, in all probability, important.

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