It seems that a lot of people are upset about the movie Selma. They seem to be upset by a few things.
- Complaints that certain groups weren’t represented in the eventual march that took place.
- Others are pointing out that MLK had extra marital affairs.
- The relationship between Martin Luther King Jr. and President Johnson. Some are saying that the movie gave King more credit than he deserved, and did not give Johnson enough credit for helping pass the Voting Rights Amendment.
Let’s clear a few things up. The movie was based on a central theme of what happened in Selma, Alabama. It is about the lead up to the eventual march from Selma to Montgomery including the “Bloody Sunday” event that took place on the Edmund Pettus Bridge. The same march where Congressman John Lewis had his skull fractured. The same march that network TV showed live to a stunned nation. The same march that was covered by journalists from around the country. There is no doubt what happened on that bridge, we have the tape. So it does not surprise me that people want to pick around the edges to try and discredit this film.
About MLK having an affair or multiple affairs? Well we know he did. You know why? The US government tapped his phone, they wired his house, and they watched every move as they treated MLK and his followers as enemies of the state. That is why you know he had an affair. Let me also note that this changes nothing about what happened on that bridge, so keep trying.
There is a reason that people are harping on the Johnson part of this movie. There are white people all around who want Lyndon Johnson to be the lone hero of this story. They don’t want to live in a world where a black leader, and more important black people themselves, changed their lives and changed our nation’s history. These people don’t like the idea of African Americans having any kind of self determination. They would much rather live in a world where only white heroes like Abraham Lincoln and Lyndon Johnson can give the “negros” some rights. They want to believe that black people became free, were able to ride the bus, and now vote because the white man let them.
One last thing. Here is the holiday calendar listed on the state of Alabama’s government website today. You might notice a few things.
In case you miss it. Tomorrow when the rest of the country is celebrating the federal holiday of Martin Luther King day, the state of Alabama is also celebrating Robert E. Lee day. They also celebrate Jefferson Davis’ birthday on July 1st. That is right they are celebrating the Confederacy. Let that sink in.