I find it really hard to believe that in the 21st Century; 40 years after the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s assassination, that the United States still has to deal with this crap.

Supremacists to protest King holiday in Jena |
Dallas Morning News

JENA, La. – A march and speeches by a white supremacist group are planned Monday, in opposition to the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration.

The Nationalist Movement, a self-described “pro-majority” group headquartered in Learned, Miss., plans to stage “Jena Justice Day” on Monday. Nationalist spokesman Richard Barrett said the group plans to show its opposition to the holiday and to the Jena Six, a group of black teens accused of beating a white classmate.

Civil-rights leaders said the charges against the six were overly harsh and race-based.

Even though I am a native Californian, I grew up in the South; in Chattanooga, Tennessee, which is where most of my extended family still resides … I am used to seeing and hearing racism up close and personal, and it makes me sick to my stomach.

For the most part, my family taught me right … there are things that are done and not done, things that are said and not said. And while there was definitely a “not our kind, dear” attitude that was fairly pervasive amongst the older (and now deceased) members of my family, I am thankful that it was class-based (not economic, but attitude), and not race-based.

Yes, we judged people … but we judged people based on their actions and words, and not by their color.

And so, with that in mind, and in remembrance of a great man, on this day, I urge you to watch and listen to the following speeches.

Martin Luther King “I have a dream”

I’ve Been to the Mountaintop (part 1 of 2)

I’ve Been to the Mountaintop (part 2 of 2)