The other day as I helped a Walmart employee load groceries into my car, Dr. [Martin Luther] King was on my mind.
I'm white, the employee was black, and so I said to her she should be getting hazard pay during the pandemic since she's an "essential worker."
This was on Dr. King's birthday, and I said to her, "You know why they shot Dr. King?" She said she didn't.
I said, "Because his next work was going to be in organizing the poor: he'd gotten the Voter's Rights and Civil Rights Bills passed through Congress, but his next march on Washington was for the poor."
"Do you know where he was when he got shot?" She said "No."
So I told her he was in Memphis because garbagemen were on strike. Garbagemen, another essential worker.
I told her he was there because two garbagemen had been killed; it was raining one day, and the white garbagemen refused to let them inside.
The two men climbed into the back of a garbage truck, and when the rain shorted the motor, the compactor came down and crushed them.
So Dr. King went to Memphis to support the garbagemen.
I was disappointed that this young, black girl was unaware of these very important historical facts.
But I'm more disappointed in her teachers. I'm a teacher. I'm disappointed in our American education system.
I see where we fail to get into depth when teaching history...when the most some kids know about Native Americans is the First Thanksgiving, or the only speech they know of Dr King's is "I Have a Dream.”
Yeah.... We're getting rid of one bad hombre in the White House.
But it sure didn't start with him. And they don't end it.
If we don't pressure them, the same kind of stupid history just repeats itself.
We the people.
Happy Dr. King's Day