Happy Birthday, Martin

Charles Pierce has written a definitive essay on the Civil Rights movement and our sitrep in 2012:

Race has popped up in the campaign this year. Newt Gingrich tripped over it while talking about food stamps and let’s not even deal with the preposterous lie that Rick Santorum told about how he really said “blah people.” Both of them were talking in gussied-up code, and they professed to be mystified as to how anyone could possibly think such a thing. And, of course, race has been a central theme (never a subtext; don’t even try to make that case) in the irrational hatred directed at the current occupant of the White House. And it’s not possible to read Lyndon’s great speech — in which he called out  “every device of which human ingenuity is capable, has been used to deny this right” — and not think of all the smart little clerks all over the country with their smart little voter-ID laws who are so damned mystified as to why people are so upset.

For those of you with right-leaning acquaintances who will immediately bring up the unholy triumvirate of Byrd, Wallace, and whatever local bigoted Dem they can dredge up from 50 years ago, point them to these comments from Judy Clay:

In it’s simplest terms those Republicans who voted for the act became the Democrats of today and those Dems who voted against the act became the founding fathers of today’s R-thug movement. Oh yes, bigots in both parties? You betcha. George, shall you name one Democrat today who spews the invective that tumbles like sweet kisses from the frothy mouths of Republicans when it comes to immigration, race relations, voter suppression, capital punishment, non-violent drug users (ok, ya get Ron Paul, but just on that), education, disposing of toxic waste in “those neighborhoods”, oh and etc. Yup, just blame it on democrats, liberal media, revisionist history.

All in all, a great read, and fitting for MLK Day.

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