26 August 2011

never confuse substance with symbolism.

I don't agree with the notion of King as the singular representative of the civil rights movement any more than I agree with the notion of West as the singular (and self-appointed) representative of all black or poor people everwhere, but this I can get on board with. Memorials should not be equated with absolution, pretending public memory, or the delusion of a complete and successful civil rights movement:

"King’s response to our crisis can be put in one word: revolution. A revolution in our priorities, a re-evaluation of our values, a reinvigoration of our public life and a fundamental transformation of our way of thinking and living that promotes a transfer of power from oligarchs and plutocrats to everyday people and ordinary citizens.
In concrete terms, this means support for progressive politicians..., extensive community and media organizing; civil disobedience; and life and death confrontations with the powers that be. Like King, we need to put on our cemetery clothes and be coffin-ready for the next great democratic battle."

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