Today is what would have been the 86th birthday of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, a man that as Tavis Smiley once called him, the greatest American our people have ever produced.
But as we approach the MLK holiday on Monday, we are in a 2015 America that is more racially divided and contentious than it was 50 years ago. Much of that is at the hands of a conservative movement what is stirring up racist hatred of President Obama and exacerbating racial tensions no thanks to Southern Strategy 1.0 and 2.0 to secure political power for themselves so they can enact their extremist agenda.
A far too long list of African-Americans of all ages and genders are dying from negative interactions with police as the justice system repeatedly fails to hold them accountable.
The predominately white perpetrators of these death by po-po cases are also inflaming racial tensions from Ferguson to New York City and across the nation..
#BlackLivesMatter, but the justice system and elements of American society seem to have failed to get the memo.
Speaking of elements of society failing to get a memo, one of them is our own African-American community when it comes to the trans, bi, lesbian and gay members of it.
Black trans women are being killed at near genocidal rates, are facing 20% unemployment, but when we are included in human rights laws to rectify that problem, sellout black ministers in concert with white fundamentalists are fighting the advancement of those human rights.
And some of the people pimping the anti-trans lies are other Black LGB people.
Black community, Black trans people are also Black people and #BlackTransLivesMatter.
As a proud African-American who happens to be transgender, I’m going to do my part to help drive home that reality.
I would rather be in the position of helping uplift the entire community. I despise being constantly being put in the position of fighting ignorant elements of it who because of my trans status want to erase my Blackness and my femininity.
And I ain’t having it. Until they get it through their thick skulls that transpeople did not forfeit our Black cards when we transitioned, fight I will.
So yes Dr. King, we have some work to do in our Black community ranks as we seek to build the greater Beloved Community you so often spoke about.
And while we’ve had some setbacks with renewed attacks on our voting rights, advancing human rights, the war on poverty, and economic prosperity for all, we are even more determined to get to the Promised Land of freedom and equality and fight with every fiber of our beings with our allies to help make it happen..
Happy birthday Dr. King. Hopefully on your 87th birthday I’ll have better news to report as to how we’re faring as a people and a nation since you were tragically taken from us..