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On Becoming Educated

January 19th, 2007

My kids have attended school eight out of the last 31 days. Eight. No wonder I can’t get their lazy little behinds out of bed.

The missed days have been because of snow, threat of snow, holiday break, various teacher planning days and MLK’s birthday. The only education that has occurred here at all was around the MLK holiday, aka The Day I Spend Crying, because I start thinking about Dr. King, which makes me think of Malcolm, and they were both the most rockingest guys… and now what do I tell my kids? “Stand up for what you believe in and you might be killed”? Yes, that is what I tell them. I tell them it’s worth the risk, even if it means you leave your little children behind. I tell them that Malcolm and Dr. King both were awesome fathers, and they wanted a much, much better world for their little babies. I tell them that is what all parents need to do. Make the world safe and fair and better. And then fix dinner. Amen.

I tell them, “You can die on your feet or live on your knees” when they ask me, “How come they got shot, if they were right?” and “Are you crying again?” The sermon on Sunday at church was about Dr. King’s thoughts on almost giving up — I’ll try to track down the text, it was incredible. Have you ever heard it? He’d had a rough day, was just climbing into bed with his wife, who was already asleep, when the phone rang, and someone was on the other end, threatening him and his family. Again.

So he made a pot of coffee and sat awake, in the middle of the night, worrying, protecting his family. And trying to come up with some reasons to go on fighting for civil rights. For human rights. He finally decided, I have to — if I falter, my followers will falter. He did not falter.

We do need to keep fighting, even if we’re struggling with the words, and the emotions, along the way.

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