Monday, January 19, 2015

Politics As Unusual

MLK Jr. represented many things to many people, and it's impossible to summarize his legacy. His Civil Rights achievements are of course monumental. But let's not forget his position on the Vietnam War. He was one of the first public figures to voice opposition on moral grounds.

Thirty-five years after his death, the U.S. embarked on another imperialist mission. In the spring of 2003, war fever gripped the nation as America prepared to invade Iraq. Anyone paying attention could see it was a fool's errand, and massive anti-war rallies were held around the country to voice that opinion. But they fell on deaf ears. The Bush administration was intent on war, even if its facilitation required lying, and no amount of protest could deter it. Fuck you very much, Mr. Bush, you goddamn idiot prick.

If I sound angry, yeah, I'm still pissed about this war. The invasion was a stupid idea in 2003 and it's still a stupid idea in 2015. We're invested in the Iraq quagmire with no solution in sight, and thousands of lives have been needlessly wasted there. But enough political ranting.

I shot the photo above at one of the anti-war rallies in March 2003 in Portland. Martin Luther King is such a powerful figure that no words are necessary. His face alone is enough to convey the message of peace, humanity, and brotherhood. Yeah, I realize that's a simplification. King had many facets. As I said above he was many things to many people. But today I want him to be my symbol for positive change. 

Thank you very much, Dr. King.


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