Friday, January 13, 2012

Martin Luther King for a Day

"I have a dream...that, one day, my birthday will mean 50% off fitness equipment and $300 off a new flat screen TV at KMart.  I have a dream!"


Have you been to KMart.com to see its ad for the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr Day sales?  Have you seen the TV commercials?  If anyone had told Dr. King at the March on Washington for jobs and freedom in 1963 that, one day, his birth would help some upscale white folks get a discount on patio furniture...  All I can say is "Lord, have mercy."  Look at this photo from that major event in 1960s American history:

The man right behind Dr. King, the one wearing eyeglasses, was the most trusted advisor in King's inner circle.  He was the main architect behind the March on Washington.  He brought Gandhi's principles of non-violence to Dr. King to use in the fight for Civil Rights.  He was Bayard Rustin.  Rustin was Black, a Quaker and gay.  Openly gay.  He fought for gay rights in the 1970s until he died in the 1980s.  There's a school named after him in the Chelsea section of downtown New York City.  This man was a champion in the fight for equality, diversity and acceptance.  But, oddly, his work and accomplishments are ignored on gay channels like Logo.   As a public advocate for gay and lesbian causes, he basically was doing "It Gets Better" long before anyone came up with a campaign called "It Gets Better."  Come June, Gay Pride Month, his achievements are never highlighted or praised like those of Carson Kressley, Rosie O'Donnell or castmembers of Glee. That's sad. To get a taste of Rustin's historical significance, look him up on Wikipedia.

I think Bayard Rustin is deserving of a big screen bio pic.  I'd like to see Anthony Mackie play the controversial, outspoken intellectual who was called "Brother Outsider."
Actor Anthony Mackie has roles in two Best Picture Oscar winners to his credit:  Clint Eastwood's boxing drama Million Dollar Baby ...
...and Kathryn Bigelow's The Hurt Locker.
That's my casting idea just in case anyone in Hollywood is reading this.  Happy Martin Luther King, Jr Day.  The Nobel Peace Prize recipient risked his life in the Civil Rights movement so that Black people here in the Land of the Free had the right to vote, the right to an education, the right to equal employment, the right to sit at a lunch counter and eat without fear of being lynched.  Keep that in mind if get the 10% discount on comforters this weekend at KMart.

3 comments:

  1. This is such a terrific piece. Anthony Mackie, call Bobby! Bobby, get the rights to Rustin's story and let's get this movie made. His was such an important story and not enough knew about him. And may we all celebrate, and act on, Dr. king's legacy and not only vote, but make sure the voter suppression attempts by the GOP are stopped cold. Thanks, Bobby.

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  2. You can't believe how touched and thankful I am to you for reading my piece, Nancy. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

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  3. Wow...excellent pick for casting. Thanks for turning me on to Bayard Rustin. I'd never heard of him.

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