To All The Racists Hiding Behind Martin Luther King

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Mychal Bell is a bad boy, didja know that?  He was violent.  He was a bad boy.  And because of that, no one should protest on his behalf, because if they do, they’re misguided, yes, they are misguided because it was far worse, his beating up that white boy, than it was to put some nooses on a tree.  No one was sent to the emergency room as a result of nooses on a tree.  But Mychal Bell sent a white boy to the emergency room, and he is bad.

Yep.  He was violent.  And further more, I’m no racist!  Oh no, I would be the first to say those white boys who put a noose on a tree should have been expelled!  Yes, expelled!  And those school board folks and the DA, well they should be held to account, yes they should!  But that Mychal Bell, he’s a bad boy, and you are misguided to protest on his behalf.  After all, he was violent.  What would Martin Luther King say?  He would never have marched in Jena.

And I have to say, that Mychal Bell is a lucky fellow, he’s going to have so many opportunities because of all that media attention, all that money coming his way, he’s a lucky boy and I hope he takes advantage of all these opportunities.  I wish him no ill, I just hope he realizes how lucky he is!

*****

All the sentiments above are from comments I have read both at Daily Kos and elsewhere over the Jena 6.  My response is below.

To All The Racists Hiding Behind Martin Luther King

That boy he was bad,
he hurt that other boy
he piled on with five others,
beat him with a shoe
that boy was bad,
I won’t lift a finger
for that boy

Sure, they shoulda
punished those folks
who put a noose on a tree
that was wrong,
but no one got
sent to the emergency room
as a result!
No, that boy was bad.

You bleeding hearts,
you want to reward that boy?
Reward him for such awful violence?
What would the good
Reverend Martin Luther King
have to say about that?
He abhorred violence.
He would not
have marched
in Jena.

No, no, the good Reverend
would have picked someone better
for his cause, someone who
wasn’t so bad and violent
(oh! I heard that bad boy
had done awful things before!)
No, the good Reverend
would have picked someone better
for his cause!

Yes, I sure love the
Reverend Martin Luther King,
now THAT man had it right!
Nonviolence, that’s the ticket.
Well sure, that boy should not
have been tried as an adult,
oh no, I think that was wrong.
But why are you
defending violence?

The Reverend Martin Luther King
would not have marched in Jena,
oh no, not for that bad boy.
Well, yes, those white boys
who beat up a black boy,
who pulled a gun, sure,
they should have been punished!
And those white boys who
put up the noose, they
should have been expelled!

But why should I care about
that bad black boy?
Why do you defend violence?
The Reverend Martin Luther King
would not agree, oh no, he
would  not have marched in Jena.

Malcolm?  Malcolm X?  Who’s that?

*****

From a debate at Oxford in 1964:

From Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence by Reverend Martin Luther King (please substitute the word Iraq for Vietnam and “towns across America” for “ghettos”):

My third reason moves to an even deeper level of awareness, for it grows out of my experience in the ghettoes of the North over the last three years — especially the last three summers. As I have walked among the desperate, rejected and angry young men I have told them that Molotov cocktails and rifles would not solve their problems. I have tried to offer them my deepest compassion while maintaining my conviction that social change comes most meaningfully through nonviolent action. But they asked — and rightly so — what about Vietnam? They asked if our own nation wasn’t using massive doses of violence to solve its problems, to bring about the changes it wanted. Their questions hit home, and I knew that I could never again raise my voice against the violence of the oppressed in the ghettos without having first spoken clearly to the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today — my own government. For the sake of those boys, for the sake of this government, for the sake of hundreds of thousands trembling under our violence, I cannot be silent.

Yeah, keep trying to hide behind Martin Luther King.  He wouldn’t have given a shit about Mychal Bell.  He would never have marched in Jena.

36 comments

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  1. … at the Great Orange Satan.

    • Alma on October 14, 2007 at 2:33 am

    Even though I knew those weren’t your thoughts, while I was reading the first 2 paragraphs, I was wanting to hit you. It was just the wording itself affecting me that way.

    How do these people justify things?  It churns my stomach.

    I’m glad you are bringing this hypocracy out.  The people saying such things probably think they are not in the least racist, and that they fight to end it.  Too bad they don’t have a mirror that shows them what they really are.  It’s so easy to see in others and not in yourself.

    I think your essay is as good of a mirror as possible right now.

    I hope people show me a mirror if I ever make comments like that.

    Good job Kitty

  2. the more things change,…

    • fatdave on October 14, 2007 at 5:34 am

    I wonder that as well. I refrained from commenting for a while because I have a lot of anger in my heart re: Jena. A colder and infinitely more focusable(?) anger than that which usually resides there.

    That speech at the Oxford Union took place in 1964. I was 5 and it was still considered quite normal for boarding houses in the UK’s larger conurbations to display signs which read:

    “No Irish, No Blacks, No Dogs.”

    I’d normally try to cheer you up and say “Don’t cry”, but tonight I ought to just cry right along with you.

  3. and regression, which has come over our society, and it’s bi-partisan. It is like we allowed the social progress, hard won, the beliefs in equality, compassion and brotherhood to be swallowed up by fear, greed and hatred. We know it’s wrong and yet we walk lockstep afraid to challenge it an any way that makes us  seriously confront the darkness and violence that we have become steeped in. I hear it too, people talk of zero tolerance for minor disruptions of our wraped concept of law and order. Racism is alive and well, and God forbid that we should take to the streets to stop this darkness as it might offend the now empowered bigots and haters  who have unleashed this nightmare and call it values. Great diary thanks for both  posts. 

  4. antisocial aspects to them but society creates most of its antisocial problems.  I’m reminded of a hispanic teenager who was on probation and I was his probation officer.  Sure he was willful but what teenager isn’t.  He had hit puberty sooner than most boys, worked after school and weekends for his Uncle’s contruction company and was only 15 and had oodles of pocket change and lots of adoring girls in a mostly white community. He was in trouble for pulling a knife on a bunch of white boys.  After I got to know him I asked the hard questions about why that happened on that day.  He was so tired of being taunted and threatened.  He said that everyone always says that Mexicans carry knives so he decided to show them what a crazy Mexican looks like.  Sad what we do to each other and to our children sometimes.

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