Today is the annual holiday in memory of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, civil rights leader who was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee on April 4, 1968. Being as that tragic event was over 43 years ago, there are many young people now who do not remember Dr. King, who was born on January 15, 1929.
I came across one of his famous quotes recently:
“Cowardice asks the question, ‘Is it safe?’
Expediency asks the question, ‘Is it politic?’
Vanity asks the question, ‘Is it popular?’
But, conscience asks the question, ‘Is it right?’
And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but one must take it because one’s conscience tells one that it is right.”
Today let us reflect about Dr. King’s legacy about what is right to do in political issues, especially this year as we embark upon another Presidential election, redistricting of current maps, civility in public discourse.
And FREE today at the Loft Cinema (3233 E. Speedway) at 5 pm.: “Do the Right Thing” 1989 movie directed by Spike Lee:
“DO THE RIGHT THING, Spike Lee’s incendiary (and controversial) look at race relations in America, circa New York City in 1989, is a joyful, tumultuous masterpiece – perhaps one of the best films ever made about race in America, revealing racial prejudices and stereotypes in all their guises and demonstrating how a deadly riot can erupt out of a series of small misunderstandings.
Set on one block in Bedford-Stuyvesant on the hottest day of the summer, the movie showcases the whole spectrum of ethnically-diverse life in this neighborhood, raises the heat to a high boil, and then leaves it up to us to decide if, in the end, anybody actually does the “right thing.” Featuring a stellar cast including Danny Aiello as Sal, the pizza parlor owner; Lee himself as Mookie, the lazy pizza-delivery guy; John Turturro and Richard Edson as Sal’s sons; Lee’s sister Joie as Mookie’s sister Jade; Rosie Perez as Mookie’s girlfriend Tina; Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee as the block elders, Da Mayor and Mother Sister; Giancarlo Esposito as Mookie’s hot-headed friend Buggin’ Out; Bill Nunn as the boom-box toting Radio Raheem; and Samuel L. Jackson as deejay Mister Señor Love Daddy.
Brash, bold and highly entertaining, DO THE RIGHT THING is a rich and nuanced film to watch, treasure, and learn from–over and over again.”
Let us remember Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. today and what he stood (and marched) for.
UPDATE: My comments on the MLK events in Tucson below in comment section.