Happy birthday Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr; today we celebrate you as an activist, as a revolutionary, as a leader, as a humanitarian, and as a man who believed in something so much that he willingly gave his life for it. Even though we continue to sanitize and in some cases bastardize your message, your impact continues to be felt all across the world today.
Was Dr. King a Civil Rights activist fighting for the rights of Black People? Absolutely. But let’s not forget that he was also a man who stood against violence, who stood against war, who stood against poverty, and who stood in front of the world and declared that America had failed to deliver on its promise to the people. He was also a humanitarian and a coalition builder who fought for people at home and abroad.
So while you’re at your day of service, while you’re repping your organization on the MLK march,while you’re doing your staged sit-ins and protest before going back home to your nice comfortable life; take a moment to reflect on who Dr. King was and what he ultimately stood for; and then ask yourself – Have you ever believed in a cause so much that you would be willing to lay your life down for it?
Dr. King the man is no more; but his work has not been completed yet.
You can not assassinate a spirit, you can only kill a man. Long Live the King… ~ Sean King
Today I hug my boys knowing that that there will be a day that I can no longer protect them from the cruelty of our world.
Today I hug my boys with the knowledge that for all of their dreams and aspirations, for all of their hard work and integrity, for all of their education and success, that they will face times in their lives where they will be treated as second class citizens, if not like animals.
Today I hug my boys holding back tears, knowing that one day I might have to bury them just like Trayvon’s parents buried him; because this is still America, we are still black, and they are still suspects susceptible of having their human rights violated without provocation or reason.
Today I hug my boys the way my mother and my grandmother hugged me; with the knowledge that justice was never intended to apply to the darker complected Americans.
Today I hug my boys… because I know we live in the land of the free lie, the place that enslaved my ancestors and broke my grandparents back, the place that blackened my mother’s heart and tainted her hope, the place that taught me at the most inappropriate age about racism and class, the place that has shown me time and time again that it’s more likely that this empire will crumble like the empires before it rather than evolve into the dream it pretends to be.
Today I hug my boys, because I want to see their innocent smiles illuminate hope for as long as they possibly can; but I know it’s a matter of days before those beautiful smiles are attacked by the atrocity of our American injustice.
My country tis of thee
Where is the liberty?
From trees we swing? ~ Sean King
Today I’m going to sing like I’m in concert, and it don’t matter who’s listening. Today I’m going to dance like I’m on the set of the Thriller video, and it don’t matter who’s watching. Today I’m going to smile like I’m advertising toothpaste, and it don’t matter if I’m the only one smiling. Today I’m going to look you in the eyes and say hello, and it don’t matter if you greet me back. Today I’m going to speak broken English, and it don’t matter if you have a problem with it. Today I’m going to be happy for no damn reason other than the fact that life is beautiful, and it don’t matter if you get irritated with me.
Today I’m going to do some un-American things, like give thanks to God instead of my country, read the Qur’an and the Bible, turn off the TV and embrace life, be kind without ulterior motives, write an unstructured poem, converse with a homeless man or a woman without judgment, walk fearlessly with my head high and my heart on my sleeve, and be thankful for a freedom that came from God and not through drone missiles or military force. Today I’m going to say In God We Trust and Mean It.
Today I’m going to tell the world that you can’t be free if you live in fear of our children, of the terrorists, of the big black man, of my long bearded turban wearing Arab brother, of the white supremacist, of the Mexican mafia, of poverty, of not having a bunch of consumer goods we don’t need, of failure, or of being alone… If it is, it’s because God wants it to be.
Today I’m going to love you, even if you don’t love me, even if you don’t love yourself, even if you don’t understand what love is, even if you don’t want to be loved… Today I’m going to love you without expectations of reciprocity or the condition that you need to earn my love. Today I’m going to give my love for free because I’m free.
What are you going to do today?