todays MLKs birthday

im always a little surprised when ppl say they have to work on mlk day

businesses that close for presidents day or memorial day

make their ppl come in on mlk day.

ive worked at a few of those joints.

what more does a guy have to do to earn your respect that you’ll actually honor his holiday?

when i was at LAist i drove around the country and when i was in memphis i stopped by the Lorraine Motel, it still looks exactly the same outside

but inside its a civil rights museum

and they have some deep exhibits.

mlk makes me think you can do everything you can and it still wont change some people.

which is a good thing to realize quickly.

that way you dont waste your time doing things to change people.

instead you should do things

because theyre awesome,

and maybe youre the best person to do them.

happy mlk day

what most non americans probably dont realize is even though mlk day is a national holiday and everyones supposed to have the day off,

for some reason a whole lot of america still has to work on mlk day.

in 1999 there was still four states that refused to acknowledge the holiday. the only reason arizona observed it starting in late 1993 is because they lost the Super Bowl in early 1993 because no one wanted the big game in a state so racist they would rather not have a fucking day off.

both amber and i had the day off this year, which was a treat because i was able to sleep in and we casually got it together and eventually made it out into the world. it was really windy, a little cold, but traffic wasn’t terrible. still way more cars than there should have been.

my belief is most people don’t get the day off unless they have a federal or state gig. and thats sad. what more does a guy have to do for people to really just give it up to him?

ironically, heres what i want to do next year. i want to drive around LA from 9am to 5pm and talk to people and see if they got the day off. i’ll leave their employers out of it because im not trying to shame anyone. i just want to show people how weird it is that we have a day off for a black hero, maybe the black hero, and people have to take a PTO day if they want it off, or they have to lie by calling in sick, or… they just work.

some holiday.

happy mlk day

this is a picture of MLK

and his daughter Yolanda

in their backyard.

One of my favorite baseball players was Hank Aaron​ who in his book “I Had a Hammer”

wrote that when he was a teenager he never dreamt of playing in the Major Leagues

because at that time Blacks were not allowed to play.

Hank is still alive

and a member of the MLB Hall of Fame.

Which shows you how quickly

beautiful dreams

you didn’t even know you had,

can come true.

imagine the things today’s teenagers

can’t even conceive themselves achieving today

due to a plethora of man-made rules

rooted in bizarre and old school reasons

like race or sex or religion.

And then think how much better life will be

when we destroy those artificial boundaries that hold tomorrow’s heroes back

like they’re held back today.

today is martin luther king day

it’s not his birthday, it’s his holiday.

even though it’s a federal holiday, not everyone gets it off.

but let me tell you something. progress is a slow and steady deal.

when my mother was born she couldn’t have imagined a lot of the social change that took place right in front of her eyes.

when she was a little girl she had to sit in the balcony at the movie. which doesnt sound so bad now – i love the balcony. but it sucked when you didn’t want to be up there.

you couldnt drink out of “white only” water fountains, you couldnt sit at the counter of the restaurant, you had to stand in different lines. in fact you couldnt even go to certain stores.

my parents met at an all-black college because even though there were state run colleges, even they were segregated, so even though blacks paid taxes they couldnt go to many of the state colleges where their tax dollars were being funneled to. they had to go to Historically Black Colleges (HBCs).

when i was born the picture above would have been reason enough to arrest me.

blacks were not allowed to marry whites for most of the 1960s and if a black man was seen kissing — or even looking at a white woman in public they could get beaten, harrassed, or even arrested.

just because of ones heritage.

it didnt matter if we were good people. it didnt matter if we were in love. it didnt matter if we would do anything for that person. all that mattered was one was white and one was black.

martin luther king jr fought all of that, peacefully, and all of the other things that blacks (and therefore whites) had to struggle with in regards to racism in the so-called Home of the Brave and land of the free.

this country had no idea what brave was until MLK showed up and epitomized it in so many ways.

America, before MLK, made progress through violence and other ways. how brave is it to give Native Americans blankets intentionally covered in germs intended to make them sick? how brave it is to trade beads for land? how brave it is to enslave people and stop them from being educated?

whats brave is fighting for your rights without fighting.

brave is literally turning the other cheek

over and over and over

until someone realizes

oh shit, this isn’t what this country is supposed to be like.

this isn’t what life is supposed to be like.

MLK brought us into modern times

but his work is clearly not over yet.

it is up to us to be brave.

fortunately, this is still brave’s home.

act like it.

today is martin luther king day

Martin Luther King Jr.

one of Americas greatest heroes.

a hero not just because of the words he said or the achievements he accomplished,

but how he did it.

he didn’t take anyone hostage, he didn’t gather dudes with rifles to occupy federal land, and he didn’t kill anyone in the name of any cause.

in fact he didn’t threaten anyone with violence. ever.

just the opposite: he spoke from a place of love.

love was his secret weapon, but it wasn’t a weapon at all, it was an adhesive.

love is what unified his message, his dream, and his goal with the hearts of others.

mlkwhen he was jailed, he didn’t fight, when he was punched, he didn’t punch back, when others around him were struck, he didn’t strike back.

it was the gutsiest, most punk rock move he could teach: take it.

love them for they know not what they they’re doing.

forgive them because they’re actually helping move this thing along.

it’s painful for me to see elements of this country have such a hard time accepting our first black president, because it shows me how much modern racism exists.

shrouded simply in politics, but it’s straight up ignorance and fear.

but dr. king’s ideals hold true just as much now as it did then: take it.

absorb it with love.

unite with peace.

live the example of where we want to go.

be punk rock

by being the opposite of the ignorant.

so learn.

speak so that others get it.

and come from a place of kindness.

we might not ever achieve a smidge of what mlk did individually, but if we simply walk along that path

together, we’ll get there,