Tuesday, January 20, 2015
The theme of today’s Reclaim MLK Canpaign really resonated with me. The Martin Luther King “Day of Service” always struck me as a distortion of King’s legacy. I don’t mean to denigrate traditional service oriented volunteerism—it plays an important role in our society, but King’s legacy was primarily about social change, not individual charity.
I wanted to support a march that sought to reclaim King’s true legacy but I had that coming down with a cold feeling and wasn’t sure I wanted to drag my 70 year old body out into the cold. I thought with all the marches and demonstrations I’ve been to in my lifetime, maybe I deserve a break. Fortunately, my son encouraged me to go with him and I’m very glad I got it together to take a few aspirin and go.
It was a very diverse group of people – young and old, representative of Philly’s racial and ethnic mix. The young were the dominant group; there does appear to be a social movement developing among young people and it may have more staying power than the evanescent Occupy movement. Yes, Occupty did put income inequality on the front burner but it seems to have disappeared without much of a trace. Starting a conversation just isn’t enough.
I wish there had been more NOW signs at the event, but I'm afraid NOW doesn't resonate all that much with young folks.