Today is Martin Luther King Day…January 18,2016. My house takes today very seriously. And, it’s not just because MLK’s famous “I have a Dream Speech” was given on my birthday, August 28th.
I haven’t taken my kids on any marches, protests, or rallies, but their social consciousness and commitment to civic-mindedness is ingrained in them. Either I did something right, or dare I say, our educational system has done something right. I’ll go with a combination of the two.
This MLK Remembrance Day is particularly significant. We are in the middle of a historic Presidential race. A race where the outcome has the ability to polarize, not only our country, but the World at large.
I recently posted something on Facebook about how “uncool” our music is today, and it got me thinking about what’s lacking in our political and social landscape. We have no collective voice. There is no one to galvanize us. No one to inspire us. We’re drifting, on a loosely held together raft, and there is no land in site. (Too much? It sounded good in my head.)
Where is the Bob Dylan of today? David Bowie? John Lennon? Kurt Cobain? And, where the hell is our Gloria Steinem? Things are still not great for women today. Hello??? The tenuous position of Roe v. Wade? Is anyone out there monitoring what’s happening with our state by state abortion legislation? It seems like we make strides in one area, Marriage Equality (Thank You!!!), and take ten steps back in other areas.
I’m sorry, but there is something wrong with our society when Gloria Steinem has 180,251 Twitter followers, and Kim Kardashian has 39,197,788 followers. That’s right. And, Taylor Swift…She has over 69 Million followers. (KUWTK is on as background noise right now, but that doesn’t mean anything.)
I had high-hopes for Sheryl Sandberg. She seemed to be on the precipice of taking the helm from Ms. Steinem, but I feel like her voice has peetered out somewhat. Her Instagram page has 79.7 Thousand followers, while Kardashian West has 58 Million followers. And, Swifty…She has over 63 Million Instagram followers. Am I sniffing glue over here? No. Wait. Scratch that. Is everyone out there sniffing glue? WTF PEOPLE!
At least Senator Cory Booker, from New Jersey and former Mayor of Newark, has over 1 Million Twitter followers. Yay.
I’m hoping that our country is just going through a mid-life crisis. I’m hoping that we’ll snap out of this narcissistic trance. This “more for me” socio-economic framework. I’m hopeful that we will, in fact, do more for others.
Our musicians, artists, social leaders, and political activists used to play a huge role in our Nation’s social call to action. They used to help spread the word, create new platforms for change, and inspire generations to do something. But, most importantly, to speak up and demand to be heard.
And, I’m sorry, but did Lady GaGa’s “Meat Dress” at the 2010 MTV VMA’S really have an affect on our Military’s policy of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell?” Did any of you know that she was making a statement about the policy? Her “Meat Dress” was supposed to literally say that dead meat is dead meat, like if you’re gay or straight, you’re gay or straight. I didn’t make the connection. I just thought it was gross.
So, in celebrating Martin Luther King, let’s strive to do better. Be better. And, do more for others. And, maybe one day, there will be real equality for everyone. You know…a world where Martin Luther King, Jr. dreamed our children will only “be judged…by the content of their character.” A girl can hope. And, dream.
Happy MLK Day!
Do you think MLK would be happy today?