Monday, January 19, 2009

MLK, Jr. Day

Little kids get it sometimes. I had never even seen a black person in real life and I knew that people were people and that treating some different on account of skin color was wrong. I heard adults around me in my conservative rural home town make cracks that I just knew were wrong. I heard snippets of speeches on the radio and on the black and white television that had to warm up before you could watch it and I saw photographs in magazines and I knew there were important people out there risking everything to make the world a little more fair and just. I cheered them on in my young head. Years later when there was talk of making this day a national holiday, I again heard voices saying things like 'Why does it have to be a holiday?" or "He was just a trouble maker" and again, I cheered on those working for a better world. A little bolder by that age, I actually took a verbal stand for the idea now and then. I am glad I raised my kids in a time when things are nearer to fair and proud that they are both supporters of Barrack Obama and proud that they talk to me about such things. Maybe by the time they have kids, the little ones will come to their old grandma to ask about the 60s, incredulous that a time could have ever been when skin color meant a person was treated poorly. Can we hope for such progress when little kids can hardly believe that such a thing happened?
Happy Martin Luther King, Junior Day! Enjoy your day off and ponder the future with me.

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