Some have used the disparities between the two as a call to protest the president on the day commemorating MLK’s legacy. The Rev. Al Sharpton’s National Action Network organized a demonstration in Times Square to rally against Trump’s anti-immigration policies on Monday.
Trump reportedly referred to the homelands of the aforementioned groups as well as African nations as “s**thole countries” last week.
But MLK Day should be about the civil rights icon—not Trump. This lamentable presidency is all the more reason Monday should be used to remind ourselves that thoughtful leaders aren’t a far-fetched figment of our imagination. Nor are they a thing of the past.
MLK Day offers 24-hours’ worth of opportunity to forget about the Oval Office’s current occupants. It instead allows us to bask in the simplicity of the black and white photos of King and his family, which will appear in place of those of Trump and his robot-like kin on our Facebook feeds.
Trump-centered news cycles have led us astray in allowing our worldviews to be dictated by the sad symbolism of his presidency.
But everything ain’t about 45.
There are a plethora of ways to honor MLK’s legacy on Monday. Relearn his philosophies, further awaken yourself to the realities of racial oppression or incorporate more love into your life by adding a friendly emoji in a text or email. Nothing too extra.
But continuing to invest attention and energy into a person who’s over 70 years deep in his bigotry, elitism and cruelty is just a waste of the precious time MLK Day has offered us. It’s not every day we’re surrounded by remembrances of the radiance Dr. King projected into the world.
Trump’s contemptuous presence will be felt every day of the year. As long as he has access to the White House, he poses a grave danger to this country. We should never turn a blind eye to the threat he poses to marginalized communities. But every day cannot revolve around him and his toxic presidency, specifically MLK Day.
One of King’s most iconic quotes declared darkness can only be combated with light. There’s no better day to honor that than Monday. For today, let’s bask in his light. The battlegrounds will still be ripe for our marching feet tomorrow.