Today is Martin Luther King Jr. day in the United States, a day when an icon of the fight against Jim Crow and for Civil Rights is remembered. For many however it’s just another holiday off, a reprieve from the regular grind of work and there is no real remembrance as such of MLK Jr.
It is also coincidentally President Barack Obama’s inauguration. President Barack Obama has now attempted to squarely co-opt the legacy of MLK Jr. through the symbolic action of being sworn into office with his hand on the great civil rights leader’s Bible. MLK Jr. was a fighter for justice and peace and he was gunned down exactly when he was effectively raising the call against the horrific carnage that the US was leveling upon the people of Vietnam, connecting the civil rights struggle to a broader, global struggle for human rights.
Obama has presided over an increasing depletion of our rights at home while also escalating tensions with nations worldwide, not to mention the killing of innocents through drone warfare.
In this must watch video, Prof. Cornel West discusses the blasphemy of Obama’s bloodsoaked hands being placed on MLK’s Bible in a quite vivid and exacting response to a question on the subject from Tavis Smiley.