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Corrine McConnaughy @cmMcConnaughy
, 16 tweets, 4 min read Read on Twitter
This is as awful as I expected.
From the message to the messenger - whose bio is no happenstance in the intended effect on the Fox News audience - this is shameful.
#MLK was a leader of a movement not for blind unity, but for true unity based on justice fulfilled. Justice.
My husband - who, yes, is black - has taken me on a privileged journey over our 18 years through my own ignorance. He comes from rural Louisiana and from a family that sharecropped and worked domestic jobs to invest in that one family member who might rise.
That one family member was my father-in-law, who went from one-room segregated school house to college and then law school on the aspirations and sacrifices of an entire community. And those aspirations? They were for bringing to reality the promise of full humanity.
Those aspirations were not for white people to be nice to them. They were not for invitations to someone's party or participation in their club. They were for acknowledgement of systems of brutality--economic, social, political brutality--that took and took and took from them.
They were for America to have a reckoning with itself. For it to make amends, not to make nice. Amends do not even begin when white Americans will not even bother to listen, let alone repay. What insult to take this day to say "America, do not listen."
So what did my father-in-law do with his community's aspirations? He invested in the movement and the work we are supposed to be honoring this day. And he did that at incredible personal cost. And he kept doing it every functional day of his life.
He, like so many who gave to this movement, will come to his final resting day with no fame or special remembrance. This day, #MLKDay is the only celebration of that.
And what rage I feel against the idea that this day is thought of as something less than a day to see America's failings--our continued participation in this still unfulfilled dream of reckoning with a system that destroyed so many for the gain of others.
My husband is now a political scientist. He studies black politics not because he is incapable of some other intellectual pursuit. He would likely be in a hard science field if he followed his own simple interests. But he cannot.
And what rage I still feel, every day when I see others make presumptions. When I see that this man commits his intellect and energy to trying to keep the promise made to those who invested in his father. Do the work to bring justice. Never mind the personal cost.
Look around you, white liberals, quoting Fox News tweets and scoffing them off. That's not the work #MLK asked of you. That will bring no justice. I, like you, once thought my rejection of such racist tropes was work for the cause. It is not.
You have opportunities to do so much better. They come in moments no one is looking to congratulate you. They involve real cost. They require you listening. They make you some enemies. But why should your contributions to justice be so much less than those to whom it is owed?
My father-in-law is now dying - with the generation of #MLK he is leaving us, day by day. He will end his days with no peace at a dream fulfilled, but having handed off duty, resilience, sacrifice, and courage. I have blessed to have been witness. I wish for many to seek the same
So, no, today is not about unity. But neither is it celebration of dreams. It is a time for renewed focus on reckoning. To whom have you denied full humanity, with your unwillingness to listen, learn, and see?
What work will you today, tomorrow, with your lifetime? What luxury is that to be able to so freely choose! What will you do that is actually better than those before you? Please do it knowing, like many, your efforts may never be seen.
But see your power and USE it. For if communities with so little could pool all they had by yet more sacrifice among them to send off one man to be a weapon for the cause of justice...what's asked of you is so little and yet somehow more than you can see.
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