Ancrene Wiseass

A would-be medievalist holds forth on academia, teaching, gender politics, blogging, pop culture, critters, and whatever else comes her way.

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Location: United States

Yes, this really is yet another blog by a disillusioned grad student. I sympathize, but that's just the way it has to be. For hints as to what my bizarre alias means, click here and here and, if needed, here and here. To get a sense of what I'm up to, feel free to check out the sections called "Toward a Wiseass Creed" and "Showings: Some Introductory Wiseassery" in my main blog's left-hand sidebar. Please be aware that spamming, harassing, or otherwise obnoxious comments will be deleted and traced.

Monday, January 16, 2006

MLK Day and a Death in Iraq

Today is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, and I'm not the first person (or the first blogger) to point out that we still have a good way to go before we become a nation that "will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: 'We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.'"

I wonder what Dr. King would have thought about the America we are today. I think there are reasons to doubt he'd be entirely happy with it.

After all, more than a thousand people--many of them poor and black--died in the Gulf Coast fewer than five months ago. Many of the poorest survivors may well lose any hope of rebuilding their homes and neighborhoods. Some experts say no one should move back to New Orleans, which was for centuries one of our most vital and vibrant cities. Its officials aren't receiving the support they need to safely rebuild--possibly, in part, because we're caught up in a stunningly expensive war.

Between 1967 and his death a year later, Dr. King repeatedly criticized U.S. involvement in a war which he--and many others--thought was an act of imperialism in which poor people suffered disproportionately. And he was labeled a coward and a traitor for saying so.

Sound familiar?

1,058 days. Possible costs of up to $2 trillion. An estimated minimum of 28,065 dead civilians. 2,220 coalition troops killed and 16,420 wounded.

On Friday, a childhood friend of mine died in Iraq. Unlike me, he thought this war was a just one. I'm glad he at least died as part of something he believed in.

But I sure do hope we can find a way to end it soon. And I hope we can learn to better fulfill Dr. King's dream while we're at it.