Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Would Dr. King Have Supported Twerking?

Apparently Martin Luther King Jr. did not only fight for the civil rights of blacks, the poor and other marginalized groups of people, he also believed in every persons right to...twerk? Yes, I said twerk.  

In case you've been absent from the internet for the last several years and you aren’t privy to what the word twerking means, it is the obnoxiously lurid form of what some people describe as dancing. Women young and old everywhere have decided it is the best way to garner overnight internet fame. Twerking involves a woman gyrating her behind in various different styles, directions and positions. It is a highly sexual and in many cases raunchy way of dancing. Some might even go so far as to separate it from dancing altogether and label it as outright strip tease. It certainly is sexy enough to be labeled as such. Not that I regularly engage in this sort of internet entertainment….But again, unless you’ve been away from the internet over the last few years it is near impossible to miss.

So back to the original premise here, as you can see by the photo in this post, there is a Flint, Michigan based promoter who believes in the freedom to twerk, and is using Dr. King to illustrate the point….and to of course sell tickets to his party scheduled during Dr. King’s birthday weekend.

The promotional flyer for the event shows the face of Dr. King plastered on the body of rapper Meek Mill and the photoshop job isn’t too shabby. The picture actually makes Dr. King look like a rap artist, which would make it easy to believe that he would be a proponent of a persons right to twerk--an encourager even.

The party being promoted was being marketed to teens, which makes it a little better, yet much worse. Better because only someone with the mind of a child would come up with something so ridiculously offensive, yet worse because it reflects less hope in the consciousness of this upcoming generation.

Yet there is at least one person involved in this tragic drama who seems to have a shred of empathy for the memory of such a great man. Vic McEwen the owner of the Social Network Event Center, where the ‘Freedom to Twerk’ event was to be held has canceled the event, according to McEwen claims he had no idea the event was being promoted to desecrate the memory of the slain civil rights leader.

It seems like as a people blacks have become so far removed from the struggle for civil rights, that they have stopped identifying with the struggle. Each generation the level of complacency within the black community increases, and we no longer believe in carrying the torch that was destined to be handed down.

To depict Dr. King in such a way in an effort to sell tickets and make money shows that there are those of us who will stoop so low as to disrespect the very person who made it possible for them to enjoy the freedom they so carelessly take for granted.

We have been tricked into believing we are living in a post racial America, and this promotional flyer is the darkest representation of this false perception.

What are your thoughts on this flyer?

Was the owner of the venue right in canceling the event?

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