open thread racism

Martin Luther King Day Open Thread


It’s Martin Luther King day here in the US. I thought I’d celebrate it with an open thread, and with a passage from King’s Where Do We Go From Here (1967), which takes on an added relevance in light of a lot that has happened in the last year or so.

Whites, it must frankly be said, are not putting in a … mass effort to reeducate themselves out of their racial ignorance. It is an aspect of their sense of superiority that the white people of America believe they have so little to learn. … Loose and easy language about equality, resonant resolutions about brotherhood fall pleasantly on the ear, but for the Negro there is a credibility gap he cannot overlook. He remembers that with each modest advance the white population promptly raises the argument that the Negro has come far enough. Each step forward accents an ever-present tendency to backlash.

NOTE: As is always the case with these open threads: No MRAs, no Trolls.

H/T  — A Riot Is the Language of the Unheard’: 9 MLK Quotes the Mainstream Media Won’t Cite, by Kali Holloway on AlterNet


82 replies on “Martin Luther King Day Open Thread”

Just saw the aurora borealis, close to the abandoned fishing village of Hamningberg. This is our last night up here, and we finally saw the lights between 1-2am. Lucky!

Peaches, my sympathies!

Deborah, I understand your reaction to the “personal gain” thing, but this is an open thread; the commenters know one another and are concerned about one another’s well-being. We deal with the sorts of issues raised in that quote by King, and by his life generally, here all the time, and open threads here are traditionally a mixture of serious and not-so-serious.

I’m Canadian, so our racism is a bit different than the US . But I try to help out by signing Bernie Sanders petitions from the only zip code I know. 90210. Here is to MLK and his message of tolerance and equality, long way to go still.

I didn’t know it was MLK day and I just listened to a radio interview with Harry Belafonte talking about his time with Martin Luther King. Reasons for things! But it shouldn’t have to be his day for people to talk about him.

@peaches – Sending my best wishes as well. I hope you have caring people around you to help you through this.

@Nequam, @Cerulean – those are both awesome projects. I like the way they restore and/or reuse other art.

@dhag85 – Hey hey hey, ONLY -10 C? It’s colder than that outside my door! (Granted, it is past 10 at night, and -10 still sounds pretty cold with the windchill.) Also, I love the pictures you posted and I’m glad you had a cool (ha, ha) vacation.

Speaking of looking very cold, there’s a memorable scene from the Inuit/Canadian film Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner where the main character runs naked across the ice. If I remember from the making-of section, the actor had prosthetic things to cover his feet so they wouldn’t freeze. I looked up the Wikipedia article and people have some interesting things to say about the movie, why the director Kunuk went with this version of the story, and why it’s important for aboriginal people to see themselves represented and to represent themselves on screen (instead of being just sidekicks in a mainly-white-people movie). This is also the first movie where the dialogue is entirely in Inuktitut. …Of course, Wikipedia being Wikipedia, it retells the whole plot, so: warning for spoilers.

Thanks again. I’m coming back to this thread every now and then during the day. Sorry I’m not saying more.

@dhag, what color were the aurorae? YOU HAVE MY ATTENTION. O_O

I still remember seeing a bit of the aurora borealis down where I lived on Oct. 24, 2011. I still remember the date because I’d taken a bus ride up to a little observatory way north of town as part of a university trip, and I had no expectation of even seeing it. I saw it right as I stepped off the bus: a rich red glow–more like a blob–in the northern part of the sky that was fading from a peak reached just a few minutes before we got the the observatory. I’ve never seen it again, but the impression stuck with me. All of those high-energy particles managed to infiltrate or ride the Van Allen belts far down enough to be seen from Iowa. (Heck, I can post a link to some appropriate music if you guys want.)

The trip was also notable because I, along with other students, encountered a cat–an orange tabby–that was strolling around in the dark. It was probably an indoor cat, too, because it accepted some petting but still had other things to see or do that night.

Not strictly MLK related but didn’t know where else to post it.

Good news Manmotheers! We’ve had another win in Australia against the forces of asshattery with Julien Blanc’s PUA ‘colleague’, who was planning to run seminars on how to pick up women by assaulting them both verbally and physically, being kicked out of the country.

Article here:

A, I hope, nice story about MLK Day.

I teach at a really very privileged high school in the Seattle area. (Science, if anyone’s interested.) Finals are coming up this week, and last week we had our MLK assembly and it was really quite good. Afterward, as I ambled into my last class of the day, I had a student ask me, “Hey, could we watch this video I found?”, and my mind instantly went to “I bet it’s some dumb music video or something”, but I asked, “What video?”

And he said, “It’s this compilation of newsreel footage about the three marches on Selma. It’s really powerful.” In my mind, I was ashamed for assuming so many negative things. “Sure!”, I said, and we zipped through a peer grading thing so we’d have time to watch the video. The class (Biology) watched, rapt. Horrified. Amazed. It was awesome. I am so proud of my kids.

So, friends, have hope. The 15 and 16 year old kids out there have some good impulses in them. I’ll be working to encourage that, but we should all be doing that.

Thanks Scaly Llama. I was just going to post that link.

So pleased at the result. Pretty soon it’ll be third time lucky when they decide to abandon the whole idea of coming to Australia — ever.

Who said we couldn’t have nice things?


It was pale green and I think slightly red at some points, if that’s possible? Not as bright green as it’s usually shown in pictures, but distinctly green. A lot of the light was just white or too pale to see any color, so it could be mistaken for clouds except it wasn’t shapes like any clouds I’ve ever seen. The green color started in the south, then it disappeared and reappeared in the north. Then it spread across most of the south and east of the visible sky until it eventually faded after 40 minutes or so. It might have come back if we had stayed out there, but it was 2am and we needed to get up early today, and being out on deck in those temperarures and that wind for extended periods of time was just not possible. But at least we saw it! 🙂

Peaches, so sorry to hear about your dad. I lost my dad in October. I’m to the point of thinking “dad would’ve liked/not liked that” instead of “got to tell dad about (thing)” which is both better and worse at the same time.

Can someone help me find a citation for the low percentage of false rape claims? I made the mistake of commenting on a YouTube video, and now my Google-fu has deserted me.

And hugs to peaches.


Incidentally, the only good aurora I’ve ever seen was in Lysekil, not far from Göteborg. It was in autumn 2001, when my school arranged a field trip to the Fiskebäckskil biological research station.

In the previous year, my family had visited Varangerfjord area in northeast Norway. It was in summer, a beautifully wild/wildly beautiful place. I made a watercolour painting of the landscape, albeit with only rudimentary painting skills.

@Arctic Ape

That’s interesting. I’ve lived in Gothenburg, or north of there, for almost my entire life, and I’ve never seen anything like that. Granted, I don’t spend much time staring at the sky. :p

Thanks @dhag85. That’s the one. It also led me to which quotes Kelly, Lovett, and Regan

A recent study in the UK found 8% of cases reported to the police were designated ‘false’ reports. However, internal police rules specify that only cases where either there is a strong and credible admission by the complainants, or where there are strong evidential grounds, should be classified as ‘false’. Further investigation of this figure of 8% found that only 3% of cases designated false fell within the police categories of ‘probable’ and ‘possible’ false allegations (as opposed to additionally those classed as ‘uncertain’). (Kelly, Lovett, and Regan, 2005).

I wonder whether the people demanding a citation will actually read it?

I wonder if the manosphere is going to turn mightily against Ted Cruz once they find out he was a co-sponsor of Take Back The Night rallies back when he was in college. More recently he cosponsored a bill intended to fight sexual assault in the military.

Most of the manospherians seem to prefer Trump to Cruz already; still, there could be some who are at least open to Cruz now, but won’t be once they learn about this aspect of his beliefs.

I have that weird thing where it feels like the whole world is rocking, since I got off the ship. How long will this last? It’s pretty annoying. :/

@dhag85 I sympathise, and I hope it goes soon.

I once went on a small boat to see a famously beautiful cave in a sea cliff. We didn’t get to see whales or dolphin, but the cave was beautiful. The trouble was that I forgot the anti-travel sickness pills, and I spent the entire three hours upchucking. I didn’t eat dinner afterwards, and I had a very small, plain breakfast next morning. I hope you’re better than that!

Oh, and I’ve had no reply to the YouTube comment. Since they weren’t rude int he first place, silence might mean they’re digesting it or that they haven’t read it. Anyway, at least I didn’t get rape threats, and it’s there for anyone else who happens by.

Dhag & Sheila

My sympathies. I don’t get sea sickness it seems, but I’ve had a few bad boat experiences .

On the island of Gozo next to Malta there’s this ‘inland sea’ thing (more of a lake really). There’s a tunnel that leads out into the Med.

Feeling adventurous I decided to go for it.

Got quite a way in and it’s pretty dark. Then of course, coming from the opposite direction, I hear “chug, chug, chug, chug”

(Turns out that, when I’ve a fishing boat up my arse, I’m Johnny Weissmuller)

Is this sea sickness though? I don’t feel nauseous at all, it’s just that rocking feeling.

So frustrated with politics here right now. The racist party is polling at 23% and is now the 2nd largest party. The more mainstream right wing parties, and even the social democrats, are now jumping on the anti refugee bandwagon.

Recently it was decided that we will move away from issuing permanent residence permits and instead offer temporary ones. The reasoning offered in favor of this decision was basically that when the temporary residence permits expires, it might be the case that the situation in the refugee’s country of origin could have changed for the better, in which case they will be sent back. If not, then we can issue another temporary residence permit. What’s the harm, right?

Aaaand now they’re already suggesting people with temporary residence permits shouldn’t have the same rights as other people. Well, fuck.

Specifically they want to limit access to health care for refugees, while hinting that much worse suggestions will follow. They argue that refugees shouldn’t have access to health care since they “haven’t worked for it” – as if people born into citizenship have done anything at all to deserve these rights, other than be lucky.

We’re rapidly moving in the direction of turning “rights” into “privileges”. I used to be proud of this country, and now it’s all gone to shit. Sigh.

Your country is still a beacon and a guiding light to the world in many ways. It’s composed of human beings and it is not in the nature of human beings to be perfect, but you’re still an example to the rest of us.

@Sheila Crosby: Which telescope is that on your picture? I’ve asked before and didn’t see a reply, so apologies if you’ve already told me and I didn’t see it.

Thanks for live-blogging your trip. I was amazed that you took off your gloves to send your incredible photos. That’s brave!

Feel better soon!


I honestly don’t know anymore. Even up until a few months ago I would still say there was some truth to that, but now I can’t see how we’re doing any better than other countries whose mainstream politics have been taken over by racist and fascist ideology. I’ll just keep voting for the left (V) or the feminists (F!), because those are the only two parties who haven’t started to chip away at our rights. But sadly they have a combined support of maybe 6-9% of voters and even the social democrats would rather collaborate with right of center parties than with the ones to their left. There’s a major and very unfortunate shift in the Overton window going on.


It seemed like the right thing to do. :p I could’t find my touch screen compatible gloves before the trip, so I had no choice. Our lowest temperature was in the morning at Kirkenes airport before getting on the plane back, -28C or -18.4F. And I got pictures there too. 😉

Peaches, I wish I could have sent condolences sooner; I was away on vacation for a week and I do not particularly like trying to view Internet forums on my iPhone.

And belated thanks to those who had kind words for my Poe book work; a family member wished to have it and I happily gifted it to him. He loved it!

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