Bob Cornwall, on his “Ponderings on a Faith Journey” blog http://pastorbobcornwall.blogspot.com/, makes some interesting observations about the whole Jeremiah Wright controversy. While checking those out though, I started reading through some really interesting stuff he posted regarding the 40th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s death, on April 4.

Bob includes a link to King’s “Mountaintop” speech and excerpts a piece by Michael Eric Dyson in the LA Times as reminders that King’s calls for justice became stronger and less palatable to many in the years since his famous “I Have a Dream” speech in 1963. By 1968, he was losing popularity for his willingness to take on the Vietnam War, among other reasons, and he may have been losing hope that the nation could really make racial progress.

Since his death, as Dyson points out in his recent Time Magazine piece called “The Burdens of Martyrdom,” (http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1726040,00.html) remembrances of King tend to portray him more like he was in the early 1960s, in the “I Have a Dream” days.  Bob compiles examples of some of King’s rhetoric toward the end of his life, which sounds not all that far off from Jeremiah Wright’s.  All of this is not to disparage King, but to point out how much our collective memory has forgotten. 

Improved race relations are a great thing, but we have a long way to go and we don’t have to “whitewash” history to achieve them.

Speaking of race relations, the United Church of Christ is calling for a new national dialogue on race. (http://www.disciplesworld.com/newsArticle.html?wsnID=13237 )

Wherefore art thou, Disciples of Christ? Per my last post, now WOULD be an appropriate time for the leaders of the UCC’s partner denomination to step up. Perhaps they will.

Editor’s note: an apology for including the links in this post. WordPress switched its blog interface and it’s not allowing me to link the usual way.

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