How NOT To Celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Birthday

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Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is a Nobel Peace Prize winner, Civil rights revolutionary, inspirational speaker, national treasure, martyr, leader… and the face of 2 for 1 drink specials!

What’s wrong with this picture?

Now it’s true, Black people have never shied away from the chance to blame it on the boogie. In fact, I’d submit that between the music and the moves, brown people in general are natural innovators when it comes to that club life. And there’s no disputing the fact that we will get together to celebrate being broke on a Tuesday and still sing; “Just got paid, Friday night…” Know it, got it, guilty as charged. Ok, we’re all in agreement, everybody on board and on the same page? Good!

Now what in the blue hell is wrong with some of us??

Why are we using the image of MLK to promote ish the man wouldn’t show up to with an invite and presidential endorsement? Didn’t you watch “Roots” on TV? Nobody showed you “Eyes On The Prize” on PBS or a movie by Spike Lee? Any episode of “The Cosby Show” or every other episode of “The Boondocks”?! When Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said he wanted we as a people to get to the promise land, he wasn’t talking about that new club downtown.

Why not use Superman or Popeye the sailor… or even Elmo?! (too soon huh?) You know why? Because with certain symbols, showing them in this light would be inappropriate, send the wrong message and basically corrupt something unnecessarily that should be able to maintain its dignity without argument. Yeah, I’m looking at YOU graphic designers!!

Adding insult injury, this adult video company decided to use this Holiday to promote their product:

No. No and hell No!

But hey, we’re not all about pulling out the rug without providing a soft place to land. Here are a few guidelines on how to properly celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday in a way that he’d approve of.

DO: Family Gathering. Quite sure Martin didn’t mind moving down the old soul train line surrounded by fam and friends. Can’t you picture the kid cutting a rug with the wife to Booker T. & the M.G.’s, “Hip-Hug Her” in between plates of BBQ and collard greens? Yeah… me too.

DON’T: Do Anything Involving A Strip Club. Thongs didn’t make the mainstream media in Dr. King’s day and I doubt Coretta would approve. (Jesse Jackson might… but I digress) Rosa Parks ain’t play the back of the bus for y’all to back it up. If you really wanna salute the King, save the damn singles for the collection plate.

DO: Get Involved With Your Community. A man who scooped a Nobel Prize for peace would surely throw his thumbs up to a few man-hours logged at the local homeless shelter. Listen, February is right around the corner, you can hit Halo on Presidents day. Get off the laptop and get busy.

DON’T: Dedicate Drink Specials: I know the alcoholics are going to hate me but dammit y’all gotstah chill! If the protesters had showed up to the marches hung over they wouldn’t have made it past the nearest park. What kind of statement can they make when everybody need to sleep it off for equal rights?

DO: Talk To The KIDS So They Don’t Grow Up To Do Ratchet Stuff Like The First 2 Don’ts. Pretty self-explanatory. The man blocked bricks with his FACE for you. The least you can do is make sure the generation after you knows who earned them the license to go ratchet. They’d probably take less pride in doing so if they understood what it cost.

*BONUS..Do watch this clip from “The Boondocks”

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