On the Racist Erasure of Martin Luther King Day

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Tomorrow we celebrate the life and commitment of Martin Luther King Jr.

Most Americans will share quotes of his because of their belief in what he represented. Those same Americans, while not actively working or speaking out about civil rights and injustice, at least share in the vision of an equal society.

But then there are those who will repeat his words in an attempt to villainize those who speak up. We've been seeing it for the last several days as we do every year about this time. These same people like to use the words, "if MLK was alive today," as they proceed to talk trash about "uppity" Black folks who they argue are a disgrace to MLK.

These folks are racist.

They go on to use his words as if they are trying to prove they're not, in fact, racist. Here's the thing, if they are racist all year long, then share his words on Martin Luther King Day, they're still racists. While it may make them feel better about themselves, it doesn't change who they are and what they stand for.

Clearly, I'm not Black. But a great portion of my family is. No, they are not African-American, they are Black immigrants. When I speak on Black issues, that's who I'm speaking for along with the hundreds of Black friends I grew up with and have come to know along the way in this wonderful life.

When I share my thoughts on the Women's March being held on the same weekend as MLK Day, it's because I know how Black folks feel about it. Especially when the march has a tendency to be exclusive to mostly white women. With that being said, I appreciate the hell out of what these women are fighting for.

When I speak on Black issues it's because I'm speaking on behalf of all those people that have become a part of my life; who have supported me and held me up; who have been there for me when no one else was; who raised me in the most diverse family I have ever known.

Black folks represent a huge part of who I am and who I've become. Take it for what you will. No, I'm not about to pull a Rachel Dolezal on y'all. I am not Black. But I do know what I'm talking about. Do I make mistakes? Of course, I do. I am human after all.

Do I come off as angry? Absolutely. I don't apologize for it and never will. We may not always agree on things, but I will always try my best to listen and be respectful. But as you know, I don't tolerate being disrespected in any way, from anyone.

I don't care who you are.

Despite all I've said here, nothing bothers me more than punk-ass racists who celebrate traitors; who celebrate Confederate heroes day; who celebrate those who fought on behalf of slavers; on the same weekend that we celebrate MLK.

This is called erasure.

Confederate monuments to enemies of the United States are erasure. The jackoffs in Virginia who plan to threaten legislators with weapons of war tomorrow because of benign gun laws are participating in the same erasure. Those Confederate Flag rallies we've been seeing all weekend. Erasure. Their goal has always been to take attention away from the man who represented a movement for equality and to silence Black voices.

What they don't realize is that in the end, MLK was speaking for them too. He spoke for all poor people. He was uniting all races against oppressive systems that keep us all pinned down never allowing us to grow while the wealthy control every aspect of our lives and what we consume.

This is why he was assassinated.

Don't ever forget it.

Dr. Martin Luther King is an American hero and we can't continue to allow for the erasure of the struggle of Black and Brown people in America. The least everyone can do is speak up. It's about time.

This post was originally shared on Facebook but keeps getting taken down. I’m assuming some racist trolls are offended by it. Because of that, I decided to post it here. This is typical of what I post on my page when I’m not posting on Medium.

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Anti-racist activist, essayist, and upcoming author; advocating for equality, justice, and accountability. Support my work at patreon.com/ExtremeArturo

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