Friday, April 04, 2008

Early evening, April 4 ...

The point can be made in a non-ironic sense that he literally died for our sins. But maybe the larger question would be, four decades on, what would he think of what we as a society have done since that horrible day in Memphis? Like most things in life, it's a mixed bag. If you had told him on April 3, 1968 that 40 years later this nation would be on the verge of seeing a person of color nominated for president by a major party, or that the most powerful media figure in the land would be a black woman, he would indeed be proud. At the same time, poverty remains a serious problem, as does crime and a persistent level of racism and classism. I think he, at age 79, would on the front lines protesting the war in Iraq and pleading for a solution to global warning. And I don't think he would be a fan of some of the hip-hop being churned out.

So was his death worth it? In terms of him being savagely murdered before he could see his kids grow up, absolutely not. Because for all the good that he did in his life, and the changes that have taken place since he was killed, we sure could have used at least 40 more years of his energy and courage.

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