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What MLK Would See Today

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I am writing this on the third Monday of January - Martin Luther King Jr. Day in the U.S. It is a day set aside each year to honor the birth, life, and legacy of the great civil rights leader.

And, on this day, I wonder how the Reverend Dr. King would feel about today's American politics if he were still alive.

Surely he would be delighted by the fact that an African-American family now occupies the White House. This is something I didn't think I'd see even in my own lifetime.

But surely, too, he would see the backlash.

He would see the racism on display at tea party gatherings, with signs sporting slogans such as:

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"Obama's Plan White Slavery"


"Obama-nomics: Monkey See, Monkey Spend!"

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"Obama - What you Talkin' about Willis! Spend My Money?"


"Stand Idle While Some Kenyan Tries To Destroy America? Wap!! I Don't Think So!!! Homey Don't Play Dat!!!"

He would hear Glenn Beck of Fox News accuse President Obama of being a reverse racist with "a deep-seated hatred for white people" - despite the inconvenient little detail that Obama's own beloved mother was white.

He would hear right-wing blowhard Rush Limbaugh say things like:

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"[I]n Obama's America, the white kids now get beat up with the black kids cheering."


"How do you get promoted in a Barack Obama administration? By hating white people or even saying you do."

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Mary Shaw is a Philadelphia-based writer and activist, with a focus on politics, human rights, and social justice. She is a former Philadelphia Area Coordinator for the Nobel-Prize-winning human rights group Amnesty International, and her views (more...)

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