January 17, 2005
I admire people of courage.
I'm not talking about the window-smashers and the graffitti-artists who giggle through the night committing acts of vandalism, or political operatives who play dirty tricks against the opposing campaign. That's not courage. That's the behavior of a feral rat.
Martin Luther King was a courageous man. He had a set of stones on him, because he walked into situations where he KNEW that he was going to get his ass whupped, have the police set dogs loose on him and probably still spend the night in jail. He did it anyway. He was willing.
He made a difference, too. I remember the freedom marches from when I was a boy, and some Southerners said, "kill 'em and be done with it." A few of those red-neck bastards did exactly that. But others watched and thought, "This ain't right."
In MY humble opinion, that's the biggest difference Martin Luther King made in this country. WHITE SOUTHERN PEOPLE of good conscience and good will could not watch the firehoses and the beatings without thinking, "This ain't right."
It wasn't right. And Martin Luther King made it impossible to look away and ignore that crap anymore. He made America see its own face in the mirror, and a lot of people didn't like the reflection. He changed this country.
Unfortunately, his legacy has gone to the dogs. And that's a crying shame for everybody in this country, black or white.
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