Yes, it's a blog about reading.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

January New Yorkers

January Issues:
12/26-1/2 – missing in action.
1/9/06 – read it but I don’t really remember it.
1/16/06 – in progress
1/23-1/30/06 – Nothing remarkable in this issue. The review of the 3rd volume of the MLK biography (“At Canaan’s Edge” by Taylor Branch) had some interesting tidbits about the relationship between MLK and LBJ, and also what MLK was trying to do on the fronts of poverty and inequality that went beyond voting rights. The 1/15/06 edition of the Boston Globe had an editorial decrying the current image of MLK as a “Benneton-esque teddy bear” which makes it easy to ignore “his increasing focus on economic equality and his launch of his Poor People's Campaign, a challenge to the most fundamental patterns of the US economy and caste system. ‘Now our struggle is for genuine equality, which means economic equality,’ he told garbage workers in Memphis the month before his assassination.” The editorialists make the point that it’s easy to celebrate MLK (and Rosa Parks) because racial inequality is now considered un-American, while economic inequality is given a pass because supposedly we have equal opportunity for all. The Globe editorial points out that the gap between the wealthiest and poorest in our society has more than doubled since 1960, that more children are growing up poor in America than in any other industrial nation and recent cuts to student aide puts more limits on the opportunities available to low and middle-income families. I was recently accused of being anti-capitalist because I was advocating for the children of undocumented immigrants in Massachusetts to be able to attend state universities and colleges at the residential rate. Isn’t this kind of opportunity the engine that drives capitalism? Isn’t giving people a chance to improve their situation the reason why our country has grown and prospered?

Back to the New Yorker review: He alienated Johnson by speaking out against the war in Vietnam, (the reviewer draws a great analogy by likening them to Henry II and Thomas a Becket.) and finally: “He rose above the particularism of his own people in an almost quixotic and ultimately tragic attempt to deliver the entire country from racism, war, and greed” (pg. 91).


Post a Comment

<< Home