Of Dr. King, we are just so proud.
That man, he always drew a crowd.
He paved the way to a much brighter day.
His dream is alive in every way.
Tamir Rice is here to tell his story.
And Sandra Bland has no need to ever worry,
that her life will be snuffed out in a cell,
because Dr. King, he rang the freedom bell.
Michael Brown is in college where he belongs.
Eric Garner is in church singing spiritual songs.
Walter Scott is still driving down the street.
Freddie Gray is sitting down to a meal to eat.
They all owe their lives to Dr. King.
He said, “Let freedom ring! Let freedom ring!”
On the mountaintop, he saw through space and time.
And yet, they killed him while he was in his prime.
We thank him for the debt he willingly paid,
and for all the sacrifices he and his family made.
But what we will never know for certain,
is how he would react when they finally raise the curtain,
on a show that is a tragedy of the darkest kind,
and where Blacks are still left so far behind.
This play will not have a happy ending,
for its ending is just like its beginning.
Behold, the face of slavery is still Black.
And as in days of old, we are under attack.
But a man had a dream for which he died.
Was it all for naught? I’ll let you decide!
Shelby I. Courtland
©2016 Shelby I. Courtland
I am posting this a little early because I want you to take some time to reflect on the question I posed. “Was it all for naught?” If Black people have made so many gains in the decades since the Civil Rights Movement, then where are they? If we as a people have ‘moved’ forward, then where are the results? #BLACKLIVESMATTER? Give me a break! If we as a people had moved, there would be no need for the #BLACKLIVESMATTER Movement, now would there? The incarceration rate for Black men is off the charts. Millions of Black people live in deep poverty and a ridiculously high number of them are Black children. Millions of Black people are jobless, homeless and hungry and lack healthcare. But here we are, about to celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Day. Celebrate what, I ask you? Tell me! What is there to celebrate? Staggering unemployment figures for Black youth and young adults? A homelessness epidemic? Mass incarceration? A school-to-prison pipeline? Out-of-control racist KKKops brutalizing and murdering unarmed Black people? Grand Juries that refuse to hand down indictments on racist thugs with badges? Gun violence in Black communities that are so impoverished as to be likened to 3rd world nation conditions?
And yet the ‘whites’ sit back and gleefully point the finger at what is going down in communities of color and point to how ‘violent they are when they know why. Whites know that this is all done by design, but it is so easy for them to live in their little ‘white bread’ world and hurl invectives and “I told you sos” when ‘whites’ are hell bent on gentrifying neighborhoods that once housed Black people because the suburbs was once the place to be if you were ‘white’. You sit somewhere with your holier-than-thou attitudes as though your shit don’t stink. You shamelessly and callously wish death on a group of people who were not responsible for being dragged to this hellhole you call, America. You strut around like proud peacocks, puffing your chests out and pretending that you’re not rotten filth when you are actually worse than that. And you have the unmitigated gall to pretend to acknowledge Dr. King with your phony ass displays of righteous indignation over the brutal treatment he received at the hands of ‘whites’. You have the nerve to speak his name, to post his “I Have A Dream” speech as though you ever did a thing to help bring his dream to fruition. You’ve done everything possible to see to it that his dream was never realized and you are not fit to read his name, much less speak it. Why you have not burst into flames upon speaking his name is a complete and utter mystery to me because all that should be left of you is ‘white’ ash!
The only thing I can say to the ‘whites’ is this, “If it were up to me…if it were up to me!!!”