Friday, January 14, 2005

Arundhati Roy on MLK Day : "When The Saints Go Marching Out"

"When The Saints Go Marching Out," By Arundhati Roy
"When he spoke out against the Vietnam War, Martin Luther King Jr. drew some connections that many these days shy away from making. He explicitly described the interconnections between racism, economic exploitation and war. Would he tell people today that it is right for the U.S. government to export its cruelties — its racism, its economic bullying and its war machine to poorer countries?"
This column of Arundhati Roy's is actually from a couple of years ago, and not directly related to this Monday's coming celebration, but it's well worth reading to help remember King's place in world history -- and the power of non-violent political action. She writes about the shared accomplishments of Mohandas Ghandi, Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King, and the current state of their legacies in India, South Africa, and the United States. Are Colin & Michael Powell and Condoleeza Rice truly the inheritors of the dream?

Speaking of legacies, I always enjoy Ms. Roy's political writing, but I LOVED "The God of Small Things", and I wish the world would settle down enough so that she could write fiction again (so that we could ALL take a short break from politics and find out what artistic concerns used to feel central to us).

-- true blue liberal

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