Culture — 16 January 2012
Martin Luther King Day: 5 Ways to Keep the Dream Alive

I didn’t make a New Year’s Resolution because frankly, those things only last three months anyway.  Waste of time and energy.

Instead, I saved my strength to make a pledge about something lasting: Martin Luther King Day.

I wasn’t even going to make this public, but after seeing one too many advertisements for “no-work” parties or MLK designer clothing sales, it appeared some folk needed a reminder of what a day dedicated to Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was all about.

In short, it’s not simply a day to sleep in, skip work, or go shopping for MLK-inspired deals a la “Return of the King: Boondocks episode”:

So here’s what I am willing to do to help keep the dream of racial, social and economic equality alive.  Check out my pledge, and then tell me what you are doing, or are willing to do, to further the dream:

(1) Be a mentor. Last year, I was working with the Black Star project out of Bronzeville in Chicago, but then ish got real, careerwise, and I fell off in my mentorship mission.  I’m not going to make excuses.  I’m going to make it work.

(2) Stand up for others. Friends, family and acquaintances know that there aren’t too many bigoted, prejudiced remarks against anyone that they are going to make in front of me.  I may not change their worldviews, but I give them reason to pause before they spout off again.  Now, I don’t recommend you get up in a Klan rally and try to teach lessons from Black history month.  That’s kinda keeping it real goes wrong, but you get the idea.

(3) Challenge stereotypes.  The sh*t white girls say to black girls is going viral for a reason.  Sadly, I’ve heard 99% of these remarks. But yes, people of all races hold predetermined views about people of other backgrounds. Stop it.  Seriously.

(4) Don’t be divisive.  Blonde vs brunette.  Waif vs plus-size.  Dark skinned vs light skinned.  We have enough problems without constantly trying to find and highlight the things that make us different.

(5) Be educated and respectful of other cultures.  This may sound redundant to 3 and 4, but it’s not.  Ask this jackass who insulted Kanye West and black culture in one fell swoop.  This isn’t a one-way street, so please, get outside your circle.  Don’t be one of those jerks writing biased comments on YouTube and news stories about crime.  Those jerks make me want to turn the Internet off.

Your turn: Feel free to tell me what you are doing to observe the day, or what you pledge to do to keep the dream going from 2012 to infinity.







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