I have a dream. I have a dream that one day…We once again celebrate the man who saved America’s soul. America’s greatest American. Unfortunately, that speech is a dream, not steeped in reality. The reality is police brutality, a fifty percent high school dropout rate in our urban districts, a broken immigration system, a white working class clinging desperately to its eroding white supremacy, white progressives clinging to the same concept, lying to themselves and their multicultural friends, and finally the demonization, emasculation, and feminization of the Black man.
My favorite MLK speech, the one that is overlooked is the 1967 speech at the Riverside Church in New York City. It displays rhetorical fury against the War in Vietnam subsequently destroying a relationship with his most powerful ally, President Johnson. He was fed up with America, losing patience with its hypocrisy. He speaks on equal distribution of wealth, brilliantly realizing that the right to vote and the desegregation of facilities means nothing without economic empowerment.
What does basketball have to do with this? As I watch the N.B.A. co-opt this man’s memory with high-priced, high-flying black men. Is this the culmination of Martin’s dream? The players on the bench wear t-shirts of Martin. During the broadcast of the game they ask ill-informed multi-millionaires about the impact of MLK on their past, present, and future. Shame on the NBA and shame on its players, who agree to play on this sacred day. Why does the offspring of the slave-experience have to run and jump on this day? Give a nigga a million-dollar contract and suddenly his historical awareness and backbone is compromised. The N.B.A. Player’s Association should refuse to play on this day. How about sending players to the hood to promote literacy and intelligence in general, before the dream becomes an American nightmare.