Each year in mid-January, many Americans celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday in service, in protest, or in worship. Marking King’s birthday represents a hard-won political, cultural and moral victory in the U.S.
Yet, it is one that many of those in power voted against establishing the King holiday, including senators Chuck Grassley, Orrin Hatch, John McCain, Richard Shelby, and Johnny Isakson. The New York Times has published a definitive record of the overt, documented racism of the current occupant of the highest elected office. And, it’s no coincidence that the some of the same GOP leaders who opposed establishing the holiday for MLK are among those who defend the president.
It is unavoidably clear that white Americans are not doing their share of educating themselves about racism, a point that Dr. King made more than fifty years ago.
If you’re one of those who wants to educate themselves more, but doesn’t know where to begin, check out Raoul Peck’s award-winning documentary “I Am Not Your Negro,” which features some never-before published writing by James Baldwin who had quite a lot to say about race and racism in the U.S.