31 August 2011

MLK Memorial

The Economist: Democracy in America | W.W. | Martin Luther King: A blockheaded memorial

I'm more than a little disappointed that a man who fought so intransigently, bravely, and beautifully for equality, of all things, has been set up for worship as a towering idol, more mountain than man, in the fabricated pantheon of the officially unofficial American state religion.
Having been born in 1984, and educated in a school system which taught that only three things happened in the entire 20th century — the New Deal, the Holocaust* and the Civil Rights Movement — I'm a little boggled by the idea that MLK has ever not been seen to be some sort of monumental demigod.

(* NB: The Holocaust was about one third of my modern history education, but WWII was only mentioned in passing.  No other democides were discussed, and some were outright denied by my teachers.)

PS I can't find it now, but I read a good piece at some point this summer whose thesis was that if mixing religion and politics bothers you today, you ought to have a real big problem with MLK as well.  At least, if you're going to be consistent about things.


  1. I still get enraged when I think about the fact that my high school history class spent over a month on the Holocaust but didn't discuss the surrounding war until the day before the test. And even then, it was only to point out the "war-crimes" of Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and Dresden.

  2. Sounds like we had very similar experiences.