Monday, January 18, 2021

Remembering remembering MLK

No, that's not a typo; one of my strongest memories concerning MLK is about the memorial service that was held at UT. There were hundreds, maybe thousands of students sitting on the ground in front of the Tower to listen to the speakers, and I was in the middle of that crowd. 

When a speaker announced, "We are ALL guilty of Martin Luther King's death," I stood up and made my way out of the audience. 

For years I felt modestly proud that I had stood up to groupthink and collective guilt. But recently I've been thinking that the important part of that memory is: Nobody else walked out.

My generation has not served freedom well.   


Francis W. Porretto said...

If we go by the history of encroachments on freedom that went largely unresisted, the last generation that did serve freedom well was the one that fought the War for Independence. Even the generation that fought in the Union Army is suspect, inasmuch as that was a draft army.

We have squandered our libertarian inheritance.

Jess said...

I doubt Martin Luther King would recognize the politics today. If he was sincere, his message was lost decades ago.


Nobody wants to be the tall tree.

My wife - as much as I love her - complains that I'm "awkward socially". I am. I have opinions, I'm intelligent (IQ > 150 last time it was measured, admittedly in the college years), I'm widely read, understand current events far, far more deeply than most especially with historical analogies and context, and...

1. I form my own opinions, not adopt others' opinions
2. I don't care what others think about me

I suspect many of the same things apply to our host, and most commenters too.

Hashem help us all in these coming days. To quote the ubiquitous line from the Star Wars franchise: "I have a bad feeling about this".

Georgiaboy61 said...

@ Margaret Ball

Re: "For years I felt modestly proud that I had stood up to groupthink and collective guilt. But recently I've been thinking that the important part of that memory is: Nobody else walked out."

Bravo for you learning to think for yourself at such a relatively tender age! Would that more people were like you...

About that "No one else walked out..." ... I can't speak for you, but if I were in your shoes, I'd let the experience serve as an object reminder of the power of mass psychology, brainwashing, and propaganda.

The individual people who make up crowds may very well be fine and good themselves alone, but people in large groups behave differently than those alone or in small groups. As much as the recognition of the fact might make us squirm today, we are not as far from our primordial past as we like to believe, nor as divorced from our herd and tribal instincts.

The manufacturing of consent, as the pros call it in the opinion-shaping business, has been around for a long time. Edward Bernays, regarded as the father of public relations (and thereby propaganda as well)began his methods working for the Wilson Presidency and the Committee on Public Information, whose real mission was crafting propaganda in favor of the war Wilson had sworn the U.S. would not enter. Bernays died in 1995, at age 103, but not before being decorated by Bill Clinton and recognized by "Time" magazine as one of the 100-most influential people of the 20th century.

Stop to consider the reasons behind holidays like Martin Luther King's birthday and Black History Month, and all of the public relations/propaganda and hagiography which accompany both. Are they to celebrate these things, or to keep the festering racial wounds of black people from healing? Over a century ago, the great Booker T. Washington was utterly correct when he stated,

“There is another class of coloured people who make a business of keeping the troubles, the wrongs, and the hardships of the Negro race before the public. Having learned that they are able to make a living out of their troubles, they have grown into the settled habit of advertising their wrongs — partly because they want sympathy and partly because it pays. Some of these people do not want the Negro to lose his grievances, because they do not want to lose their jobs.”

And the class of which Washington spoke is not only black;there are plenty of whites and others in it as well, most of them registered Democrats, but plenty of Republics too-cowed or well-indoctrinated into PC to challenge the orthodoxy.



The "Amazing Polly" did a video - about 23 minutes - highlighting several experiments that have been done over the years about group compliance.


I've gone beyond counting at how many times I've had people say "We're all in this together" and such. It's a MANTRA. In instances where I'm not masked I have people snarl at me "You need a mask"! and when I state I have a medical condition that prevents me from wearing one they say "Then you shouldn't be out".

One time I got confronted with "You clearly don't care about others" and "Such a good Christian you are putting others' lives at risk" and I asked where I could get a copy of the Mask Covidian hymnal, because everyone says that to me with that precise wording. It's a cult - it's a self-righteous cult that makes them feel good about "doing something".

I've only had one instance where someone was in my face. I put my hand in my pocket, turned defensively, and put out my hand STOP. "Sir, you are making me uncomfortable - please back away". He backed away. (Why do I carry pepper spray? Because I know that if I draw my gun that's a Rubicon I don't want to cross.)