I Was listening to Democracy Now! yesterday — the 40th anniversary of the assassination of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. — and heard a speaker remind us that Dr. King had warned America needs to deal with the triple evils: racism, materialism and militarism.
And it struck me, here we are, 40 years later, and it’s the same old, same old.
We’re out of Vietnam and into Afghanistan and Iraq.
We’re more enamored than ever of all stuff big and bling, and our massive consumer debt proves it.
And we’ve found a new group to dehumanize and hate: Muslims.
Sure, we’ve got laws on affirmative action and desegregation, but how much progress have we really made with that old evil, racism? Finally, a black man is running for president, but there’s still talk of what folks will really do in the privacy of the voting booth. And some wonder if he’ll even make it that far — if you know what I'm saying, and I don’t want to give any of it the power of words.
Yes, there have been some changes, but has anything really changed?
I mean, other than that the system, after killing the man, perversely co-opted his movement?
Now the poor people who might stir up trouble are serving in prison and the military, or strung out on drugs. The rest have been bought off with cheap stuff, cheap jobs and subprime mortgages.
Dr. King had a dream — and many of us still do — but it seems no closer to being realized. In fact, within this dank recess known as the Bush-Cheney years, the daily dish is more akin to a nightmare.
To use a lyric from Rage Against the Machine: Wake up! Wake up! Wake up!