Today in Post-Race History: I, Too, Have a Dream
It’s the MLK holiday, which probably means that you’re not reading this. Or if you are lucky, perhaps your boss gave you the day off, which means you’ve just stumbled out of bed still hungover from that extra night of clubbing, regretting updating your status message while drunk, and contemplating whether or not to participate in that day of service with your fellow frats and/or sorors. It’s tempting, I know, but forget about it. Tutoring inner city kids in math for one day doesn’t really help at all. So just make yourself a Screwdriver and finish reading this blog. There’s a better way of showing how seriously you take the legacy of Martin Luther King, and you don’t have to listen some to black intellectual bloviate through a King Day lecture, or pretend you care enough about a cause to actually march about it. You can show your support for the King holiday by joining my campaign.
This is my third attempt. I hope it sticks this time.
I’m sick of the MLK holiday being othered, treated like the red-headed stepchild of national holidays. No true American observes real holidays with such reverance. If the third Monday in January were a real holiday, if Americans had truly embraced Dr. King, I would have seen a plethora of ads for Martin Luther King Day sales during the NFL Playoffs. That’s right. If we’re as post-racial as we delusionally claim, then it’s prime time for some three-day sales. You heard me. Serta, Sealy, it’s time to kick off your annual “I Have a Dream” Mattress Sale–with an extra 10% California King mattresses. I’m sick of gospel choirs and those ill-conceived “What if King Had Lived?” articles. I loathe that crappy McDonald’s commercial. You know the one.
I don’t want to light candles. I want a free Whopper. Are you a morning person? Why doesn’t BK start a special “Breakfast with the King” campaign? Give us a coupon for free hashbrowns and extra cream for our coffee. A holiday isn’t a holiday until you can save 30% on linens. (White sheets need to stay at full price.) Trust me. Nothing fully integrates a holiday into the fabric of Americana better than compelling us to buy things we don’t need by telling us we can save money on housewares.
So instead of serving lunch at your local soup kitchen, spend your time making real change: Protest your local La-Z-Boy store until they agree to hold a yearly sit-in sale (save up to 45% on recliners!). Instead of passing out free copies of Letter from a Birmingham Jail, pressure your favorite bar into charging 3 bucks for Alabama Slammers. If they push back, threaten to call them racists; no one wants to be called a racist these days–unless they can make lots of money being one.
Whatever you do, don’t waste your time ruminating on the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King. And for the love of God, please don’t forward any King-inspired emails, especially that “Rosa Parks sat so Martin Luther King could walk. Martin Luther King walked so Obama could run…” crap. It’s ridiculous logic, actually, and does nothing but show a real lack of critical thinking and inspire terrible art. MLK did not walk so some skinny “black” dude could cash in on his cultural capital and become president; he walked so that I could save on 1000-thread count Egyptian cotton sheets which, if laundered properly, could last a lifetime. Now that’s what I call a legacy.