This M.L.K. Day, America Has a ‘Long Road Ahead’

This M.L.K. Day, America Has a ‘Long Road Ahead’

2021-01-18 12:00:05
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Joe Biden and other politicians are wary of the attack on the Capitol and have insisted that the violence does not represent "who we are". as a nation, and pledged to unite the country under shared ideals and to reject Trump's divisions once and for all.

But write last week The undefeated, the critic Soraya Nadia McDonald challenged the president-elect's claim that the country's true identity had nothing to do with what happened on January 6. "I have long found these kinds of proclamations baffling, the history of the United States, it conspicuously includes white violence, terrorism and revengeism, especially against black people, indigenous peoples and women," wrote McDonald.

This evokes King & # 39; s own words about America & # 39; s commitment to myth-making. It's not just extremists and self-proclaimed white supremacists who engage in this practice, the civil rights leader said.

"Negroes have taken the premise that equality means what it says, and they've taken white Americans at their word when they talked about it as a goal," King wrote in his 1967 book, "Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community?" However, white Americans often view equality as "a loose expression for improvement," King wrote. When it comes to the wealth gap between black and white, white America is "just trying to make it less painful and less obvious, but preserve it in most ways."

Certainly, Biden often speaks in concrete terms of his elaborate plans to invest in black wealth generation, reform the criminal justice system, and combat racism in the environment. In fact, he and Kamala Harris, the vice-president-elect, have been more than perhaps any other presidential ticket in history willing to speak explicitly about their plans to tackle systemic inequality, from an economic and a social perspective.

But along the way, they will also have to face America's addiction to the oldest myths – and the ways in which the latest technologies keep them alive and evolve.

In the days since Jan. 6, right-wing broadcasters and social media voices have begun to tell a false story about what happened in the Capitol, with left-wing groups and Black Lives Matter activists blamed for the riot. No evidence of this has emerged, of course, and the invaders had diligently stated their intention to reverse the results of the presidential election.


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