6 thoughts on “Reflection on the March: Do We Understand MLK’s Dream?

  1. Thanks for this thoughtful meditation, Tyler. It’s a powerful call for societal self-reflection and a reminder that not all aspects of our culture are consistent with the dream. I hope that, as a community, we will challenge ourselves to, as you put it, “choose love.”

  2. Tyler, I appreciate your point that some people may be losing sight of what MLK stood for, just as many people have taken Christ out of Christmas. But when you say that you are perplexed by the MLK-parade participation of several unworthy corporations (why do you only mention Citi?), I am perplexed that you think the parade should be reserved for only those with cleans hands – i.e., no history of militarism, racism, or materialism. If you exclude those who live in segregated neighborhoods or go to segregated churches or send their kids to segregated schools, you will not have a parade of 100,000 people.

    With respect to the San Antonio Family Association (SAFA), you say that their manner troubled you as much as their message, but then you fail to say anything about their manner. An accompanying photo suggests that an anti-SAFA protester stood in front of their sign, which I find troubling. Although I am nonviolent, I would be tempted to get physical with someone who blocked my sign.

    And finally, you seem to suggest that the only thing preventing your perfect world of justice and equality is the oppressive majority of white Christians. That fails to recognize that this is San Antonio, a city with a majority of Hispanics, unless you are suggesting that whites are responsible for oppressing Hispanics in San Antonio, too.

    • Hi Mike,

      I pointed out Citi only because I saw them with my own eyes. I’m certain, out of the 100,000 attendees, there were probably more. I happened to be aware of the ethical record regarding Citi’s practices and kept that in mind when I saw their marketing at the parade.

      Thanks for pointing out the crux of my relfection–indeed, is it honest for us to promote segregated school districts, prop up powers that oppress, and then pat ourselves on the back for attending a parade? I think that’s a question worth reflecting upon.

      The SAFA simply held up a sign, and did not (from what I could see) marched with the parade. It seemed to indicate to me that they were content to simply display their opinions while at the same time not living in solidarity with the marchers. The SAFA is obviously entitled to their freedoms of expression (which I support) but I thought it telling that many of us with privilege refuse to roll up our sleeves and live in community with those we disagree with instead of simply telling them why they are wrong. Yes, there were many marchers who stepped out of the parade and decided to stand in front of the SAFA sign. A few even took pictures. Eventually the SAFA group took to higher ground, in a peaceful way, and did not confront any of the protestors. I think we should appreciate the fact that two opposing groups excercised their right to protest on MLK day, and they did so (at the same time) in a peaceful manner. Seems appropriate, especially given the day.

      History has shown that those with privilege make the rules and often prop up structures that maintain their dominance. The US will continue to evolve in this manner even though we will soon experience a “minority majority” in America. I did not mean to indicate that “white Christians” were the only stumbling block towards justice, I did mean to indicate that the privileged majority are a stumbling block towards justice as long as they refuse to accept responsibility for how they treat others. And as Christians, especially the “least of these” which I argue, would include minorities.

      Thanks for your thoughtful comments.

      Tyler

    • I wouldn’t go as far as saying that Anglo-Americans are responsible for oppressing – the word carries strong connotations – Hispanics however a segment of Anglo population who have deep familial ties to the San Antonio area share the bigotry of those ties. The good old boy network is a good example of this bigotry. It is prominent in various parts of the city (and within various organizations) and has affected a good number of Hispanics and African Americans. This network and the bigots are still around. The push back has been seen in history with the confrontation between COPS and the Good Government League (GGL) that took a good portion of political power away from from the league and its powerful Anglo farmers and businessmen.

      The march and the people of San Antonio have come a long way but more needs to happen before we can truly understand MLK’s dream!

      • David, the battle between the GGL and COPS took place before I arrived in SA in 1987, and the composition of the current City Council clearly shows that the Anglos are not in charge anymore. Indeed, you could argue that Anglos are under-represented. Also, the “good old boy network” that you refer to seems to be synonymous with the term “old money,” and I suspect the old money is reluctant to share its money and power with anyone, not only Hispanics and African-Americans. In any event, especially if the old money is racially bigoted, let’s hope for the adage “A fool and his money are soon parted.”

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