MLK DAY: Perspectives from a Happy Interlude?

Today there are some parades and some institutions celebrating a national day of service. I know that many people are happy to have the day off of work. I may not do much and I will not have the day off work entirely but I am starting a little slower today. But as I look at the world and the country today I am happier than I have been for a long time — for no other reason than because I am engaged to Clara and my life is better because of her.

Last year we in the United States of America had an opportunity to see the difference between Martin Luther King’s career and the other forces for racial justice and adjustment of ideas and institutions that have been employed in complex modern democracies. MLK worked in an environment and movement shaped by his commitment to nonviolent protest, Civil Disobedience and the combination of tolerating more violent elements of the cause and trying to project a kind of peaceful Christian Idealism to the whole movement and the larger society in which the society existed. We struggle with many challenges as I mark the coming of Martin Luther King (Jr.) Day in 2022. Martin Luther King Day is a day that comes fairly hard on the heels of Christmas and New Year celebrations. I am as I have been before in that I find the issues for which Martin Luther King struggled to be issues to that have a complicated place in the order of ever evolving history in this country. They are also historical issues and ideas that transcend the politics of race, region and rights under the US Constitution as they played out in the struggles in which Martin Luther King Junior actually participated. Despite the recent

Most of this blog was created and written during the Obama Administration. After the Trump Administration and the other factors coinciding with it Obama’s Vice President is now POTUS. So it might seem possible at least that more production on this blog may be coming forth. So I am now ready to discuss what my point of view is now compared to what it was when many parts of this blog were written.

I have never been one to attempt to delete very much from this blog or from much of any other source which is associated with me. As I face the future my expectations for my own wealth, impact and public stature do not much increase over any given period of time. So if it should happen that some readers would return to my blog or come along for the first time then you have a lot of material you can object to on any of a variety of grounds . With my childhood home in Tonga hit by a tsunami and one of the last Tuskegee airmen dying I am aware of what the difference is in my life because of Martin Luther King. The news I watch is not as qualified by color or race as it would have been. I am free to remember all the people and influences in my life regardless of their race in a way my grandparents could not.

We are coming off of the assault on on a synagogue by a single foreign national in which the rabbi and the congregants survived but there is a pattern of antisemitic violence which is seen to be on the rise and one cannot help but wonder if the winds blowing across the political landscape can even be measured or predicted very well these days. the Jewish community and communities in America struggle to live out their way of life in this time when there is a sense of the kinds of forces they have learned to mark as dangerous. Violence against symbols of religion, public life and governance as well as the people associated with each of those things is well established as part of the news cycle. It is not easy for me to think of anyone prominent in the public eye who is occupying the space in behavior of a Martin Luther King Junior in America or Ghandi abroad. In addition, it is the fact that the agenda of each group of terrorists, rioters, freedom fighters, patriots, slightly political thugs and rebels seems to be less coherent than the policies of the groups that they resemble that existed in the past. It is not that things are worse than ever but one wonders what will be the outcome as all these small violent struggles will play out.

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