Monday, January 20, 2014
The liberal media, for obvious reasons, likes to portray Reverend Martin Luther King as a social reformer who fought for the rights of African-Americans in the South and then in the last 3 years of his life, took his campaign national and fought for workers' rights, and end to poverty, and an end to the War on Vietnam. Of course, this is all a falsehood.
Sure, Martin Luther King did all these things, but that represented only a small portion of his life. Like any black man in the South during the 1950s and 1960s, he got swept up in the civil rights movement. Because people knew that he could motivate people. Where did his experience as a leader come from? Mostly, it came from his campaign to beautify the South.
Martin Luther King first came to prominence in 1955 when he led the Montgomery Bus Boycott. In those days, the buses were not air conditioned and a lot of sweaty commuters in close quarters would cause quite a funk to develop on the buses. The buses were also not regularly cleaned so papers, soda cans, and old newspapers cluttered the eyes. Martin Luther King led a very successful boycott made famous when a woman named Rosa Parks refused to walk through refuse to the back of a filthy bus.
In the March from Selma to Montgomery, King joined a large contingent led by the SNCC in an effort to beautify a road that the state of Alabama was not taking care of weeds. Even the Edmund Pettus Bridge had become overgrown with weeds. Problems erupted when a white sheriff named Bull Conner who was embarrassed that black people were outcleaning the whites turned on fire hoses to quickly clean the bridge and in the process got many of the African-Americans hurt.
We recognize Martin Luther King for his dreams of painted schools and cleaned up parks. To many people try to make King out to be some kind of social reformer, but I think if he was alive today, he'd be the first one to put down the picket sign and pick up a paint brush. Would King care about voter suppression, a living wage, continued racism, or the war in Afghanistan---I doubt it. King's main focus would probably be painting. Sadly, Reverend King was shot and killed while trying to settle a garbage strike in Memphis, but he backed cleanliness to the end. Regardless of your political views, this is an Martin Luther King that we can all get behind.