Opinionated Man (OM) over at Harsh Reality is known for offending people and he’s at it again with an article most of us wouldn’t have had the balls to write entitled, “Why I don’t care for Martin Luther King Day” Yes, he went there. Another day, another Cushman crushing.
MLK like Lincoln, Washington, and Reagan, is one of American culture’s Golden Calves. You can’t even point out any wrong they did or any mistaken ideas they espoused without being labeled some kind of “ist or ism”. In this case, you would be labeled a racist. It’s almost a reverse, “guilt by association.”
Luckily for those of us with with “privilege” – in my case I only have half-white privilege – OM a.k.a Jason Cushman is a actually an Asian and an adopted one at that. People can’t label him a racist as easily and he makes full use of this and well, he just doesn’t care.
It is the personal story of Jason and many of the commentors that is worth a lengthy observation as to why and how MLK day becomes a free-for-all to actually become a racist and to judge people specifically based on their skin – social justice warriors, I’m looking at you and some of the latest vitriol, “Reading Challenge: Stop Reading White Straight Cis Male Authors For One Year”
Insert any other race, gender, ect into there and that kind of headline would have career ending effects. But I digress.
“The black friends I had were born from friendships at my 80% black school (maybe it wasn’t 80% exactly but it sure felt like 99% most days)…
My school was “pro” anything that made African Americans feel important…”
What if his school had been anything that made White or Asian Americans feel important? (Currently these are the two easiest races to pick on without career ending implications.)
“I learned with every other kid in my school the good works that Martin Luther King did and I was truly proud of his accomplishments…”
“What I could not understand was how could the Blacks at my school celebrate equality and freedom and in the same breath bash with malice an Asian kid for being Asian. It was so hypocritical to me that my disdain extended past the handful of kids tormenting me and included their whole race…”
This post by Jason is so important, because it’s rare to see anyone openly talk about MLK day in a negative light or the “racial reconciliation” that’s supposed to take place on the day.
“It did not breed hatred, at least not at this point, but what it bred was a scorn for this holiday and even this man that was not fairly handed out. But pain and suffering create feelings that are not always rational. I know this now, looking back I probably knew this at the time as well, but the result is still the same. I dislike this holiday and all I see is hypocrites.”
I honestly expect this kind of treatment and hypocrisy on racial issues to get worse over the years as we attempt “racial reconciliation” with people who proudly proclaim things such as, “There is no such thing as reverse racism,” or “Racism requires power. Without it negative racial feelings might be discriminatory but they certainly aren’t racist.” Yea, she just said that. Looks like “yellow” privilege might be coming to a social media feed soon near you.
This kind of thinking has now spread to gender, ethnicity, “cis” and every other category we can dream up to be terrible toward others, but somehow excuse it. The next time you are being beaten to death by an “oppressed group”, I’ll be curious to see who holds the power in that situation. Even then though, some people still will blame themselves, as this white college did after he was mugged. He apparently deserved it because of his privilege.
In the comments, Jason addresses the question of who and why we should hold MLK up as a hero and what he should mean to Americans,
“I disagree. He means nothing to me as an Asian. He did not end segregation for us. He did not give me any scholarships or a future where Korean Americans are valued. He did nothing for us. Was he a good man? Sure. But I hate when people try to TELL us who our heros are. He is not my hero.”
Ah the subject of cultural heroes – a very violate one in today’s climate – but that is for another post. Observe his point though. Is MLK a hero for what he did for each and every one of us or because society and popular culture tell us he was? That’s for each person to decide.
The Commentors Have Their Say
There are some telling comments in OM’s post about how much celebration of MLK day could take place and what kind of discrimination via hypocrisy people had faced. Note these comments are those of people who primarily share similar misfortune to Jason’s situation and experience.
Amanuensis – ” I am a black female mid 40’s, who was harassed, belittled and made to feel inferior by other black kids at school. The kids in my neighborhood were fine, but at school, I was called an “oreo” (black on the outside white on the inside,) I talked “white,” what is that really? I read books during recess and tried to avoid all confrontation. I was a “nerd” because I got good grades and got put into a special program for high IQ kids. I was a traitor because I had white friends. I was just happy to have friends who were like me, no matter the race.”
Ashley – “Growing up, in school, I was also teased by my own race (blacks). I got teased because I didn’t act like the rest, I was mostly quiet and felt like I couldn’t speak for a while, because of the damage. Kids can be so cruel. Im story for going on and on about my feelings, but the point I’m making, is you are not the only one who didn’t celebrate MLK bday.”
mykiasmind – it was the Black kids at home that made me feel really out of place. They made fun of me because I “talked white” and went to a “white school” and actually had to do my homework and play “white” sports. They ostracized me from all the other kids in the neighborhood and I hated them for it. Now that I’m older, I realize that it was just ignorance, lack of knowledge and understanding about anything different than what they were used to… but the damage is still done. So I get it.
Elta – Until high school, I went to school where black kids were the majority. I remember this one time where a teacher was announcing the dates we had off for school and he mentioned MLK Day. This one asshole in the class opens his mouth and says “Elta should come for HALF the day, since she’s only HALF black”. Mouthes dropped in the classroom and everyone looked at me.
… I had told him that I was half Korean and not to tell anyone because kids were usually mean to me once they found out. It happened before. Fucking asshole proceeded to then tell the class that I should keep my Black side at home but bring the Korean part to school because Martin Luther King “didn’t die for no chinks”.
Feminadazza – “Black people discriminate too. Just because one Great Black guy is celebrated he is not the embodiment of an entire race. You speak of yourself because of your experiences, and you are justified to think that way of Martin Luther King day. I don’t celebrate it, although I’m black. There are some shit stuff black people do that I’m expected to tolerate, but I find them immature – a thought that could immediately isolate me. Nevertheless, I hear you loud and clear, and respect your opinion.”
Penshift – ” I’m of mixed racial decescent. However I look very white. Because I look white I always get the accusatory end of the stick the moment the subject of discrimination comes up. In the more heated ‘discussions’ I have always loved the blame laying -_- I’m white therefore I’m personally at fault for the slaves sold into slavery; I personally ripped the ‘stolen generation’ from their kin. All this shows is that discrimnation comes in many forms and can be justified a little too easily.”
infjreflections – “I don’t get why we can celebrate some races, but not others. It is racist to celebrate any race that isn’t black. I live right next door to a playground, where 3 black boys were playing with a white kid. They said to the white kid, “If you white, you racist!” REALLY?? Is that what parents are teaching their kids? It’s no wonder race is still such an issue! We are teaching our children that your skin color alone indicates that you are racist.
Adam – I don’t care much for the Federal holiday because it does not coincide with the 15th—MLK Jr’s actual birthday. And what happened Monday? I heard more about protests than anything else, and barely anything besides maybe people talking about not working. Where is the legacy today? Hypocrisy is an understatement.
leonahenry – There is racism and bigorty within the white race, too. I’m blonde and pale skinned, but when I lived in California, I was picked on and bullied of all the time by the Anglo supremacist jerks just because I was an immigrant with an accent. If you are not WASP and have a foreign accent, you are a second class citizen in their eyes, regardless of color.