Monday, January 18, 2016

Dr. King Day

This link is to an excerpt of a book, The Birmingham Revolution, by Ed Gilbreath.  I hope to read it sometime.

Last year I made a smart remark that Dr. King Day could be called "White people go out to lunch day."  Many of us are off work because it's a government holiday, and most of us white people are not going to get anywhere near some sort of celebration (I'm being snarky again.).

Everyone should at least read "Letter from a Birmingham Jail."  It is brilliant, angering, poignant.  The article referenced above discusses it.

An elderly friend recently told me that he used to require students to read the "I Have a Dream" speech but he found out Dr. King was unfaithful to his wife and turned to Communism.  The first is true and acknowledged; the second is harder to get into because his life was shortened.  And of course some of the beatification can be a bit much, just as it can be for any flawed human.  Sometimes the message is what endures,  His words were not just symbols, but a brand into our consciences.

Addendum:  The term "white privilege" gets under the skin of many Caucasians.  I will not go into the ramifications of that term here, but an observation:  Empathy is harder than sympathy.  The ingrained feeling that the white middle class way is the really best way is hard to shake, even to recognize.  We (I) lapse into excuse making for the way things are.  Twenty years ago my husband and I went to a multi-ethnic church.  I liked much about it except that the services didn't start on time. White people want church to start on time.  White people have other things to do.  Now, I can make an excuse about "doing things decently and in order" but I truly doubt Paul meant starting at exactly 11:00 a.m. Sunday with the service (and thereby finishing at a specific time).  For most of the world, church and worship are about being there with God and other people, not an agenda item.

One type of nonverbal communication is chronemics, and it is my master.  

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