Yesterday was Martin Luther King Day. At least it was the date of his birth. Today is the day of "official" observance. I put the word official in quotation marks because, most regrettably and despicably, only a tiny percentage of those whose work place is closed for the observance are employed in the private sector. It is a sad fact that for all practical purposes, only public entities set aside a day for proper recognition and reflection.
Even most of the private work places which still enjoy union representation take no time away from the usual schedule. I won't inflict on the reader the words I think most aptly apply to this criminal fact. Suffice it to say I believe that the fact alone is strong enough indictment of the continuing ignorance and deepening depravity of the popular culture. It needs no additional elaboration from me.
The foregoing is the primary reason I always find myself somewhat conflicted on this day. I am deeply embarassed and taken low by my own union and my own culture on the matter. But there is another aspect to my overall disposition on this day. I really think we should withold our collective observance for April 4th, the date on which the greatest unelected popular leader in American history was taken from us by an assasin's bullet.
I know that is not a universal view, even among those who, like myself, hold Martin Luther King in such high regard. Many would rather recognize the date on which we were gifted with his life's commencement. I understand that.
But I would hope that if we could ask him, he would choose to be remembered at the end, after all the work, after all the accomplishment, and, yes, after the ugly deed, with all that remains to be done.
I close with a brief note to the OWS movement. Popular movenments, to succeed, sooner or later take on direction and require leadership. This is not to say that leadership can be had just by wishing for it or even by not consciouly resisting it; no, it must rise up organically. And, I believe it will. So be ready, you have a long way to go, and a lot to do.
Political assasinations are carried out because they work. Popular movements were beheaded in 1968 in this country, and have not been resurrected since. Everything, now, is riding on you.