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King Assassination Anniversary; A Different Take On Things

Posted by on Apr 4, 2011

Today is the 43rd year after the assassination on Dr. Martin Luther King. I’ve written about it in previous years on two blogs of mine, but I’m kind of going a much different route this year, a bit more controversial and kind of a departure for me. But it seems some things have to be said, some truths confronted, and heck, I’m in the mood to do it.

I have been privy lately to reading a lot of, and participating in quite a few, conversations related to minorities online. The major question has been why there aren’t any minorities recognized as A-list bloggers or gurus online if you will. Of course, that kind of generalized statement always gets challenged by the same people who, when people ask why there aren’t more black millionaires, say “look at all the athletes and entertainers”; please! In reality, 43 years after Dr. King, in the realm of being known by a lot of people minorities in general haven’t broken through online. Many people can name one or two, and that always reminds me of “Hey, I have a black friend.” And trust me, I’m not being sensitive; it happens across the board, even in technology.

The overall reality is that one shouldn’t expect that things will be different online than they are in the real world. For instance, there are only 3 black CEOs of Fortune 500 companies; at least in the past, as I haven’t seen the latest list yet. There aren’t any latinos or Asians at all as far as I can tell. Still, out of 500 there’s not even 10% minority representation; that’s a shame in this century.

Then again, it follows a pattern. The other day new unemployment stats came out saying unemployment went down to 8.8%; however, for black people it went up to 18%. For every other minority it also went up; what the heck is that all about? Well, I know, but I’m not saying right now.

Suffice it to say, there hasn’t been any “overcoming” so far. Yet, for all the laments on things that seem to be going against minorities, we don’t get a free pass on this. Bill Cosby was right; we’re doing a lot of this to ourselves overall. I’m not sure if you’ve heard that Latinos now number 50 million in the United States, which is pretty powerful. Yet, for all that power, they can’t get together to vote as a block and effect any change for their community. If they did, you wouldn’t have all this trash going on in Arizona. And if black people were acting right, you wouldn’t end up with incidences like this abhorrent mess in Cleveland, TX, where an 11 year old was raped and many of the people in town are blaming her; what the heck? And then it happened again in Riverside, CA.

Frankly, there’s a lot of blame to go around, and thus one can’t put all the weight on fixing any perceived or real issues on one group or another. However, I’m irked today, which is why I’m posting the video below, even though I’ve thought long and hard as to whether or not I should do it. In the end, I figure it had to be done, and it had to be said, and I’m just glad it’s not coming from my mouth. It’s from a Boondocks episode where Martin Luther King Jr actually came back to life and got a look at some of the “progress” his trials and tribulations had actually brought us to. I hope overall that this isn’t as good as it gets, but this little “speech” is as truthful as it gets… for now, as I acknowledge year #43:

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To this day, I still think that Charles Gulotta nailed it with his comment on your January post.

The only thing I care about is that my children view the world with less cynical eyes than I do. If I take care of that, then I have become a better person. For it is impossible to talk about change without being the change you want to see.



April 4th, 2011 | 9:48 AM
Mitch Mitchell:

That’s a fairly true statement, Mitch. However, though I’d hope your children weren’t as cynical, I’d also hope they were at least as aware to why certain bad things might happen as we were. Not only is the history not that far removed from now, but a lot of it is still continuing unfortunately, some of it our own fault.

April 4th, 2011 | 4:47 PM

thank u for speaking out and sharing this part of all our life’s journey w us. others need to hear u and feel less alone because of u. keep on!

April 4th, 2011 | 10:07 AM
Mitch Mitchell:

Thanks Sana; I certainly try to be relevant.

April 4th, 2011 | 4:49 PM

Could lack of leadership be part of the problem? Dr. King was a powerful force for change because he moved in a certain direction and a lot of people followed. And there were plenty of others right beside him, including Ralph Abernathy, Jesse jackson, Andrew Young, and Julian Bond. Who are today’s leaders? I can’t think of any. Progress was made, but I think people fell for the illusion that it had gained enough momentum to keep going on its own. It seems that a social movement is like a huge iron ball: it takes a lot of force to get it rolling, but as soon as you relax, the forward motion stops. Who’s going to lead the way and get people pushing in the same direction again?

April 4th, 2011 | 8:29 PM
Mitch Mitchell:

Lack of leadership is definitely a problem, Charles, but truth be told, almost no one wants a “leader” per se anymore. Jesse Jackson lost his moral base, if you will, and Al Sharpton has never been able to generate any credibility after the Tawana Brawley fiasco. The NAACP seems to be out of step in some fashion so they’ve lost power. Even church leaders are messing up, bickering and failing in their adopted roles as default leaders. And President Obama has gone out of his way to make sure he’s seen as the People’s president and not a black president, though I don’t hold that against him. In effect, only local leadership might be the only way to go if someone wishes to try to step up in their community.

April 4th, 2011 | 10:13 PM

It is very sad that God, is taking all good people when they are still young.

April 5th, 2011 | 7:04 AM

Whoa boy, Mitch. You really hit the nail on the head. Sometimes I wonder at us Latinos; getting us together for anything other than block parties and tamales is like herding cats. =)

I mean, you should see what goes into just getting my family together for a group photo. Getting 50 million of us together to vote as a block?

Dr. King just might have to come back from the dead before that happens.

Which is unfortunate. But as Mitch Allen says, working as parents to help guide our kids to less cynicism than we have is a step in the right direction.


April 5th, 2011 | 7:54 AM
Mitch Mitchell:

Thanks Delena. I just remember back to when Reagan, then Bush #1 ran for president and how the black voting block gave each less than 5% of the vote in every election; talk about voting as a block! Didn’t win, but it made a powerful statement.

April 5th, 2011 | 10:26 AM

Hmm, Mitch, I don’t think the discrimination is the important part, I don’t deny that there still may be discrimination but I do think that people have preconceived ideas, like “I am black, I will not apply for that job because I won’t get it.”

Also, because of this preconceived ideas, black people tend to neglect school because they think it won’t help them.

P.S. “I am going to Canada” that’s just a killer phrase :))

April 5th, 2011 | 10:51 AM
Mitch Mitchell:

Interesting points, Alex. Thing is, preconceived notions are often based on history and reality. For instance, our unemployment rate has dropped to 8.8%, but for black people it’s hovering around 18%, for black males under age 25 it’s around 30%. Those aren’t numbers that people are just pulling out of a hat saying that things are “equal but…” Trust me, as a consultant, I’ve walked into potential gigs I’ve bid on and had people kind of jerk when they saw me because they weren’t expecting “me.” That doesn’t mean people don’t try, and if given a chance they shouldn’t give it their best, but it does say there’s still a ways to go.

April 5th, 2011 | 10:56 AM

I guess, I don’t really get it because it never happened to me and I never judged something by the color of their skin.

Usually I judge them by how well can they do their job, if they are the best or the cheapest (depending on what I am looking for) then I hire/contract them.

April 6th, 2011 | 4:41 PM
Mitch Mitchell:

Usually when I’m talking Alex I’m preaching to the choir, but not the congregation. Not everyone really does subscribe to your actions, which is why I put this stuff out there. At least not in America, although I’m certainly not naive (and I hope no one else is either) to believe that this type of thing only happens in the U.S. Trust me, I know better.

April 6th, 2011 | 8:10 PM