The litany of racist acts accelerated including murder. Worse, everyone is becoming numb. We chuckle quietly hopeful of some relief. We go about our business as if nothing has happened, as if there is nothing special about today. Most offices, even cultural institutions, are acting today as if Martin Luther King never existed.
Last year I wrote, “It’s unthinkable. I mostly expect a week from today I’ll reread these words and smile to myself, reaffirming my lack of understanding “American politics.” Running a contentious issue up to the wire somehow advantages one or other of the opposing viewpoints, or so the advocates believe. God I hope this will be the case.
“Then all we’ll have to deal with are the psychological scars, job displacement and negative economic impact all of this has had. The better of us will point out what a waste the fight was, another meaningless battle in the long and violent history of America.”
The battle didn’t end. The forces of evil embodied in the death throes of conservatism have proved so tenacious that they’ve hijacked culture. The single-most regularly watched media presentation in the world, the YouTube, PewDiePie https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-lHJZR3Gqxm24_Vd_AJ5Yw
, is an unthinkable amalgam of goofiness and racism. Yet 80 million people crave its goofiness discounting or passing on its racism.
The only watched presentation that has ever received more subscribers is the Super Bowl. But with PewDiePie’s rocket growth, as the world cuddles into its evil slime, I imagine by this time next year that will change, too.
It isn’t as if there aren’t probably millions of people like me concerned, frightened and searching for some way to halt the massive Ship of Destruction. But little enclaves of hopefulness, like the Bronx or Madison or San Antonio do not a movement make.
Today should be a day for celebrating Dr. King’s poetic prophesies, his clarity of goodness and spirit of inspiration. Instead, we go to work; art institutes and museum societies meet to discuss the next week’s programs, politicians campaign for power, children study math. Dr. King would never have imagined a world so complacent with itself.