"The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy."
Martin Luther King Jr. was born January 15th, 1929. The youngest person to win a Nobel Peace Prize, and one of the most important figures in American history, Dr. King became the figurehead of the civil rights movement in the 50's and 60's and was instrumental in the destruction of widespread segregation and legal racism. Assassinated in 1968, Dr. King remains to be a martyr, a man who lived and died for his ideals. "I'd rather die on my feet, then live on my knees" Zapata said it best and unfortunately for King this was the outcome.
Nothing's given, everything is earned and fought for. While my views on violence differ from King, he is a figure I hold in high regard. Today is no different then 50 years ago, racism, class divisions, and all other conflicts still exist. The patriot act, lack of unions, high unemployment, poor education, outsourced labor, prisoners deprived of habeas corpus, pointless wars... I could go on, but this all goes on and look how we react? There's no solidarity, what movements towards unity and knowledge exist are quashed in media coverage and struggle to get their voices out. The face of capitalism prevails, and if individuals are deprived of rights, tricked into killing and robbing each other, and completely amiss, CEOs reap the benefits and act as they wish.
While steps have been made from King's days, there's still so much ground to cover. A white male still outclasses any other minority and the common image of a black male is that of a prisoner, criminal, or thug; just watch t.v. Action must be taken, not deferred. Rarely today do we see a man ready to die for his ideals. The labor movements at the turn of the century, the civil rights movement, the anti war movement; these were such times of challenge and controversy where lives were on the line for bare necessities. This generation, however, blindly puts whatever brain power they have into a presidential candidate that is just another tool for our bipartisan system. Dr. King would be disgusted with Obama, as am I. Years of abuse, futility, and utter carelessness have created probably the most apathetic country in the world. Every action has a consequence, it can't be denied. So change must come and the only way that is to be is action, remember King, as well as other fallen comrades, those who died, so you, me, all of us may have a better life.
In 1992, the fallout of Reagen, the years of Bush Senior and terrible economy, New York based Brutal Truth debuted with Extreme Conditions Demand Extreme Responses; a hallmark in grindcore and an outcry for change. I offer it here in hopes that whoever might've missed this phenomenal release will take some time to listen, and for those who already know the album to remind themselves what the heart of grindcore, as well as much of extreme music is: to illicit a response, to create change.
Extreme Conditions Demand Extreme Responses