Today marks the 40 year anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. There were a ton of different glossys I could have gone with to accompany this post - the brothers pointing from the balcony in the direction of the shot, the brothers huddled around Martin's lifeless body pressing a handkerchief to the side of his face where the bullet removed half his jaw, but I prefer this one. A simple picture of Martin gettin' his laugh on.
It's hard to imagine the pressures and burdens that Martin had to deal with on a daily basis as the civil rights movement was building to critical mass, but by all accounts, Martin liked to get his laugh on as well and I'm sure it helped him as it helped many folks in the southside nation make it through those dark times - laughin' to keep from cryin'. Laughter, like love is a powerful thing, y'all. Don't underestimate it.
What's also hard to imagine is what it felt like the day Martin got shot - a man who carried the hopes of the southside nation everywhere he went, a man who the southside nation could look to and see hope. To have that snatched away so suddenly and so violently must have been nearly unbearable...
A few days ago, when Smooth Barack was campaigning in Indiana, he referred to the speech Robert Kennedy made the night he learned that Martin had been assassinated. Kennedy was campaigning at the time for the '68 Democratic Presidential nomination and the room he addressed was full of southsiders who had yet to hear the terrible news. Kennedy's handlers tried to get him to skip the event, but he attended to deliver the news and give them something to think about. It's a short speech but powerful in its message - a message that I believe that Smooth Barack is still trying to get across to this day. One passage in particular rings true for ol Ty:
"What we need in the United States is not division; what we need in the United States is not hatred; what we need in the United States is not violence and lawlessness, but is love and wisdom, and compassion toward one another, and a feeling of justice toward those who still suffer within our country, whether they be white or whether they be black."
We'd all do well to pause for the cause and absorb these words.
Sleep well, brother Martin. Rest in peace knowing that your sacrifice was not in vain and that the message you planted decades ago in soil watered by your blood and the blood of others like you is growing stronger by the day and one fall day may soon begin bearing significant fruit.