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St. Louis Venerates Obama Over MLK

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January 26, 2013 in Activism

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Initially I hadn’t planned on writing a piece concerning this year’s Martin Luther King Jr. March. But after a few days of thinking about the ridiculousness of our local organizers I felt that something had to be said. It’s really a shame that Democratic operatives have co-opted the holiday committee for MLK because this should be a day without “party lines”. After all, Dr. King was not a big proponent of the left-right paradigm.

In fact, at one point he said, “I feel someone must remain in the position of non-alignment, so that he can look objectively at both parties and be the conscience of both—not the servant or master of either.” With that being said, one might think that the committee would be nonpartisan. But apparently this is not so (or at least it is not a concern of the organizers). The reader will see shortly why I think there was a bias within the committee that originated from political elements.

This year, the Inauguration Day fell on the same date that we observe Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday. The holiday committee decided that since Dr. King’s birthday fell on Pres. Obama’s Inauguration Day, they would combine the festivities. While I believe that some on the committee genuinely thought this was a good idea, clearly there wasn’t much thought put into it.

A couple of days before the march I got word of what the organizers had planned to do. I was a little puzzled by this decision because of what I knew about Dr. King’s stance on war as opposed to the president’s actions the last four years. The whole time I couldn’t stop thinking, “If MLK were alive today, would he support the president’s policies concerning drone strikes, foreign intervention, and indefinite detention of US citizens without a trial or jury?” But at the end of the day I tried to give the organizers the benefit of the doubt and chalk it off as them wanting to honor two influential men of color.

I discussed this with a local activist and rapper named Rev Dellic, who also had the same concerns. Despite my reservations about the inauguration component, I decided to join with local activists to commemorate Dr. King. Admittedly a few of us also wanted to strike up conversations with Obama supporters to see what their thoughts were on the comparisons of these…

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