¿Which side are you on?

Why celebration of MLK Day without legislation defangs the civil rights leader’s legacy - CNNPolitics:

(Notably, Manchin and Sinema’s intransigence calls to mind Martin Luther King Jr.’s withering observation that “the Negro’s great stumbling block in the stride toward freedom is not the White Citizens' Councillor or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the White moderate who is more devoted to ‘order’ than to justice.")

Almost every year on this day I post my favorite TEDx talk somewhere on social media. It’s by a woman named Nancy Duarte. In it, she deconstructs several famous speeches, from The Gettysburg Address to the iPhone launch, and reveals a surprising, common pattern. Her analysis of the I Have a Dream speech is particularly interesting, and worth reflecting on on a day meant to honor Dr. King’s legacy.

But we’re living in interesting times where one party is doing everything it can to not accidentally say “poll tax” out loud, and the other party is trying desperately to make voting more accessible to more legally eligible voters. In the middle of it sit two “moderate Democrats.” Two privileged, white moderate Democrats.

And it makes me angry. It’s past time to pick a side here, folks. You’re either with the party who’s fighting for restraining the practice of voting, or the party fighting for expanding it. And that’s just the way it is.

So that’s my message for MLK Day this year. It isn’t a pretty one. It isn’t a call for unity or compromise or “sensible reform” of any kind. It’s an enough-is-enough call to action. It’s a call to all the moderate liberals to quit walking down the middle and pick a damn side.

Matthew @UndamnedOne