For the MLK holiday, someone I know posted a video of Mrs. Hicks, the LOA proponent who communes with an imaginary friend called "Abraham," talking to a Black woman who had concerns about discussing this day with her son. I could not let Mrs. Hicks' comments go unopposed so I wrote a generic "I strongly disagree" about the posted link. The OP asked me to elaborate, which I didn't really wanna do. I kinda hoped the generic statement that not everyone feels as Mrs. Hicks does would be sufficient. But the OP asked for elaboration, so I'll give it a shot.
I'm describing Mrs. Hicks' points as I remember them from two viewings of this video. I couldn't stand to watch it any more than that. If I've misrepresented her, I believe it's at a granular level of insignificant detail, not at a significant level. I'm gonna try to stick to specifics about the commentary concerning MLK and not let my cynicism of LOA bleed through into this post but some leakage is inevitable so let's just preface this with the admission that I think LOA is ridiculous and Mrs. Hicks is a charlatan who squeezes money from the gullible by claiming that her invisible friend is giving them advice from beyond.
I have 2 specific statements I wanna respond to.
1. Mrs. Hicks told the questioner that slavery had nothing to do with her son or his heritage. He didn't need to hear about it or feel bad about it. Well, the second part is true. I don't feel bad that I'm of Irish and German heritage and he shouldn't feel bad that his ancestors were slaves, but my heritage has a lot to do with me, as his does with him. It is not insignificant. IMO, it is especially not insignificant to know that 150 years ago, if you were Black, you were a slave. Being a slave is not a career choice, like being a carpenter, or a plumber, or a banker. Slavery is something which should not be forgotten, or even brushed casually aside, as having nothing to do with your heritage, which apparently has nothing to do with you, in Mrs. Hicks' view. Maybe she'd feel otherwise if she or her ancestors were defined as being equal to only 3/5 of a real person. So, I STRONGLY DISAGREE. We are not limited by where we came from but it's part of who we are. It can be a restraint or a springboard or merely an interesting set of facts but I don't think it can be ignored as being trivially unimportant. At the simplest level, Santayana applies.
2. Mrs. Hicks said that MLK should have vibrated with his dream in private. (Whatever the fuck that means.) That pushing it out in public was going against the larger flow. That pushing his dream out in public was something he never meant to do. That he was shot because of the inevitable backlash when he pushed his dream at those who didn't share it. No one should ever push against those who don't agree with you. Don't push and you won't get shot. All dreams are answered.
Well, why don't I start with I STRONGLY DISAGREE. Where to begin after that?
Dreaming only in private, starting in the 1860s, netted (newly) Free Persons of Color the right to get food from the back door of restaurants, to use the disgusting water fountain, to step aside and call all White men "Sir" on pain of immediate and draconian punitive measures, to risk becoming strange fruit for any number of transgressions which could be generally classified as "being an uppity nigger," to be demeaned and dismissed and degraded and denied. For a hundred years. Yeah, he shoulda kept dreaming in private cuz that was working so well. I STRONGLY DISAGREE. It was only when Blacks started taking action in public, pushing the dream of equality into society at large that things started to change. Because they were made to change. By pushing. Which leads us to the next point.
Pushing the dream of equality into the public forum went against the larger, existing flow. Hell yes. Of course it did. If you go with the flow, there is no change. I guarantee Mrs. Hicks and her astral symbiote would be pushing for change against the status quo ante flow if People With Spirit Buddies hadda use the back door at restaurants and sit in the back of the bus. We shouldn't try to push against what is and change the flow of things. I STRONGLY DISAGREE.
He never meant to push his dream into the public forum. This comment is just flat-out dumbass wrong. AAMOF, I invoke Wolfgang Pauli on this one. I STRONGLY DISAGREE. The forum of the body politic is exactly where he meant to take (push) his dream.
He was shot because of backlash he caused by pushing his dream against those who disagree. Well, I partially agree with the words; he was shot by someone who disliked his public actions and policies. However, the subtext here is that he's at fault for pushing out into the public. It's equivalent to: She was raped because she dressed "sexy." Obviously, she deserved it. He was shot because he pushed for equality. Obviously, he deserved it. Don't push and you won't get shot. Well, that may be factually accurate but I STRONGLY DISAGREE.
All dreams are answered. Really? I STRONGLY DISAGREE. James Earl Ray (or whoever, if you're a devoted conspiracy theorist) dreamed of the death of Dr. King while Dr. King dreamed of a long life with his wife and children. There were two conflicting dreams and, inevitably, only one came to fruition. The other died. Literally.