This is the weekend when many Boston-area commuter rail lines cease to run (NBC). Black families that have been locked down for nearly a year, their children in the parody of education that we call “remote school”, will henceforth be unable to come out to the white suburbs/exurbs and walk around in the conservation land.
(The righteous folks of Arlington and Lexington, Massachusetts nearly all have BLM signs, but they previously fought hard to keep the core MBTA subway system from expanding in their direction, thus imposing a transportation barrier to the dark-skinned. Coronaplague has enabled white suburbanites to get a little closer to their dream of isolation from the BIPOC.)
In What would Martin Luther King, Jr. do for us today? I noted that MLK seemed to contemplate a future in which Black Americans would have jobs. Presidents Biden and Harris, though, promise to make it illegal for millions of Black Americans to work (via shutdown: CNN; also via a $15/hour minimum wage: Prospect (anyone whose skills weren’t worth at least $30,000/year would become either impractical or illegal to employ)) and instead to provide them with more welfare.
MLK organized a 1963 “March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom” (the two things that, in a typical state with shutdown orders from the governor, Black Americans have lost during coronapanic!). From the speech:
I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.
(What about those who don’t identify as “sons”? They were going to be cooking in the kitchen and then serving at the table?)
Harvard University did not get this memo:
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. I have a dream today.
…. one day right there in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers. I have a dream today.
Circling back to the “Jobs and Freedom” theme, is it fair to say, then, that coronaplague has helped white Americans take the country farther away from what MLK was hoping to see for Black Americans?
- Martin Luther King’s kind of bureaucracy: the FAA (from 2005; today, though, skin color is important: https://www.faa.gov/jobs/diversity_inclusion/ says “Diversity is integral to achieving FAA’s mission of ensuring safe and efficient travel across our nation and beyond.” (the Chinese and Japanese are thus doomed?))
- MLK, Jr. in the Age of Harvey (from 2018; MLK still hasn’t been canceled!)
- Perfect illustration of the “Less is More” principle (in which a college professor tells a student “Remember that MLK famously said that people should not be evaluated based on the ‘color of their skin.'”)
- MLK was right: a riot is the language of the unheard
- “King Wanted More Than Just Desegregation” (Atlantic, 2018): Public-school segregation has grown worse in the South, where black students’ access to majority-white schools has declined since the late 1980s. [now Black students can’t access any school!] … but racial injustice doesn’t just mean black and Latino students languishing in struggling schools. It also means white students’ parents engaging in what the sociologist Charles Tilly has called “opportunity hoarding” and actively separating their sons and daughters from children of color. [the separation has never been more complete!]