Yesterday was Martin Luther King Day and YT people did what they do best, that is misquoting/ misinterpreting MLK quotes, hijacking hashtags, and telling Black people about our history and the correct way to fight racism while asking “what would MLK do?” I’m over it.
While I’m more Malcolm than Martin, Dr. King was still a staple to the Black community and the Civil Rights Movement. For many reasons he is a jewel to our community, and we would like to keep it that way. But of course, YT people have the uncanny ability to make everything about themselves while missing the big, overarching point. Maybe because King preached peace and was more inclusive with his movement than others, YT people today think his overall goal was interracial dating, mixed babies, and for Black people to be docile. They also think his fight has been won. Those weren’t his goals and we are still fighting.
Many of us are not strangers to the weird memes of biracial children or interracial couples that usually have some caption that alludes to the end of racism. But yesterday, these posts were turned up to the max! My explore page on Instagram was FILLED with these type of posts. It looked as if YT people grabbed the closest Black person they knew, took a picture, and made some generic ass MLK hashtag. So many, oh so many white girls posted pictures with their Black boyfriends with captions, like “this is what he died for,” or “MLK’s dream.”
Now the problem is not interracial dating (like I truly don’t care who you date or marry). The problem is YT people reducing MLK’s life works to some funky little mixed relationship and baby. Dr. King’s overall goal just was not interracial dating, in fact, and I know this may come as a surprise to some, it wasn’t even one of his goals. Now it may have been a “perk,” or simply a pleasant outcome of his work, but not a focal point. I cannot recall a single quote, spoken or written, where Dr. King said “you know, this world needs more interracial dating. My life is now dedicated to mixed marriages and babies.” However, he did say “the basic aim of the Negro is not to become the white man’s brother-in-law, but his brother,” meaning he was striving for equality, not a spot on your white family tree (King, 1960, Frontier Post).
YT people love to quote “I have a dream that one day. . . little black boys and little black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls,” but often miss the part about the Negro still not being free and finding “himself an exile in his own land.” It’s the same “I Have A Dream” speech, but with everything else, people pick and choose the parts that best fit their point and ideologies. If the thing you solely choose to thank Dr. King for is interracial dating and mixed babies, despite all that he did for his people and the many of his followers that died fighting so Black people could get basic human rights, you’re being extremely disrespectful, annoying and completely missed the point of his career as an activist.
Also, is there some sort of proof out there that having mixed babies or sex with someone outside of your race automatically erases racism? If so, please point it out so I can also join you all in crediting Dr. King with this amazing feat. There are many white women who date Black men, but still practice anti-Blackness, especially in regards to Black women. There are many white people that date and hang around Black people, and yet, they still can’t comprehend why they can’t say nigga, or confused as to why Black people don’t trust police and say things like “if you just complied, nothing would happen.” Interracial sex doesn’t equate to the automatic understanding (or wanting to understand) of oppression and struggle, so miss me with that “end racism, have mixed babies” rhetoric.
Now this isn’t something that happens just on MLK Day, but yesterday really reminded me just how much YT people misquote Dr. King and use him and his works to silence Black people (how ironic). Y’all see Rob Schneider try to tell John “Mr. Civil Rights” Lewis, the man who was RIGHT THERE with MLK about MLK?? In case you were unaware, John Lewis is currently protesting Trump’s presidency and Rob Schneider, who has not made a single decent movie in his entire career, fixed his twitter fingers to tell John Lewis “you are a great person. But Dr. King didn’t give in to his anger or hurt. That is how he accomplished & won Civil Rights.”
Sir, YT people, STOP! Stop using Dr. King as a way to silence our anger! Any and every time a Black person utters just a bit of disdain, y’all be so quick to tell us how Dr. King would feel about it or what he would do. We do not need y’all to tell us Dr. King was peaceful, we are fully aware of this. But, we do need you all to realize that even though MLK was peaceful, he still was a Black man that was angry. He was angry about the racial condition that white people created in this country. He was angered that Black men and woman were not treated the same as their white counterparts, but you all forget to mention that part when quoting him, huh? MLK never once silenced Malcolm X and he disagreed with his tactics, so I doubt he’d be mad about protesting a presidency, especially one held by an incompetent reality star, but you tried it, Rob.
YT people, stop telling us what Dr. King did and what he died for. We know, but it seems y’all don’t, so allow me to tell you what he did not die for. He did not die for you to be able to publicly fetishize Black bodies and mixed babies with no shame or guilt. He did not die for y’all to use him as the token Black leader. He did not die for his name to be used to silence oppressed people, and he definitely did not die for his teachings to be misconstrued and misinterpreted. If you want to celebrate MLK Day and his legacy, do it, but do it correctly. Do not erase his Blackness and anger. Do not erase his criticisms on white people, and do not portray him in a manner that makes you comfortable and better fits your whiteness.
MLK was not liked until after Malcolm X hit the scene, and he was not loved and romanticized until after his death. Once upon a time, Dr. King was not the white man’s hero, but he has always been ours, remember that and reflect on that during your celebration.