MLK: 'Don't Believe Everything You Read On The Internet...'
On this holiday to honor the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., I'm trying out a shorter edition of my newsletter, concluding with a bonus review of Anthony Rapp's Off-Broadway musical, "Without You"
Thanks for rising up on this Monday, Jan. 16, 2023, the national holiday set aside to observe and honor the birth of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Today you will see “I Have A Dream” memes shared nearly everywhere. And you will see quotes from Dr. King that focus on the slain civil rights leader’s longing for a nation where people are judged “not by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”
Republicans have attempted to twist King’s words to their own cause against teaching about slavery and what’s been called “Critical Race Theory,” recently outlawed in Arkansas schools (even though it has never been taught there, or in any elementary school in the U.S.)
“Critical race theory goes against everything Martin Luther King Jr. taught us, [which is] to not judge others by the color of their skin,” tweeted Speaker Kevin McCarthy, back when he was the Republican minority leader of the U.S. House of Representatives. “The left is trying to take America backward.”
As The Morning Call reported this time last year, teaching America’s racial history isn’t about shaming whites for being white.
“It’s about educating everyone on the reality of race relations in America and how, despite some progress that’s been made since Dr. King’s time, there’s still work we all must do together to improve those relations,” said Ray Block Jr., associate professor of political science and African-American studies at Penn State. Cherry-picking King’s quote about his dream of a color-blind society dangerously ignores the rest of his speech about the gap that still needs to be filled between that dream and reality, Block said.
ADDENDUM: Axios reports this isn’t just a problem on the right side of the aisle. https://www.axios.com/2023/01/16/martin-luther-king-dream-speech-colorblind-racism
You can read and hear Dr. King’s full speech of August 1963, on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., by clicking here, thanks to NPR.
Here Now The News (Holiday Edition)
GOP DEMANDS BIDEN’S VISITOR LOGS (BUT NOT TRUMP’S): The A.P.
MORE DOCUMENTS FOUND AT BIDEN’S HOME OVER THE WEEKEND: CBS
CALIFORNIA PREPARES FOR MORE STORMY WEATHER: L.A. Times
SCREAMS IN THE CABIN AS PLANES NEARLY COLLIDE ON JFK RUNWAY: Business Insider
AT LEAST 68 DEAD IN PLANE CRASH IN NEPAL: CNN
DOOMED PASSENGER’S FINAL MOMENTS? This video, which thanks to TMZ and Twitter has gone viral, is reported to be from a passenger’s Facebook Live, as the plane crashed. The first 25 seconds are like any flight, and then… disaster. As of press time the video’s authenticity is unverified. WARNING: This may be too horrible for you to view:
80,000 PROTEST IN TEL AVIV, NETANYAHU SHRUGS IT OFF: Times of Israel
60,000 DEAD IN CHINA FROM COVID IN JUST OVER A MONTH: BBC
HOW DID ARMED FIRST GRADER GET GUN PAST BACKPACK SEARCH? NBC
VIRGINIA COP’S RECORD OF RACIAL PROFILING EXPOSED BY TIKTOK’ER: The Daily Beast
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MTG HOSTS ANTI-TRANS PROTEST AT CAPITOL ATTENDED BY… ALMOST A DOZEN PEOPLE: YouTube
SANTOS TRIED TO ENCOURAGE TRANS VOTERS TO SWITCH TO GOP: NYT
TRANS ACTIVIST HOPES TO HELP POLITICAL REFUGEES FLEE U.S. STATES OF HATE: LGBTQ Nation
REPUBLICAN PROPOSES BILL TO RESTRICT BUTTIGIEG TO FLYING COMMERCIAL ONLY: NewsNation
DEMOCRATS RALLY TO DEFEND BUTTIGIEG: Politico
NFL PLAYOFF CALENDAR SET: If you enjoy football, or love someone who does, here’s your guide to the 2023 postseason from CBS Sports. GO JAGS! 🏈
NEW STUDY SHOWS BLACKS MORE LIKELY TO DIE FROM UTERINE, PROSTATE AND BREAST CANCER: The Root
‘Without You’ Debuts Off-Broadway
If you’re not a paid subscriber, heads-up! THIS is the kind of content that only paid subscribers will be getting soon!
WHAT A SHOW! My youngest daughter and I were lucky enough to get tickets to see the first preview of Anthony Rapp’s autobiographical one-man musical, Without You, at the New World Stages on Saturday night, and it was PHENOMENAL! If you’re a fan of Rent, of Jonathan Larson, have lost someone you love, this is a show you will want to see. I was so moved.
Thanks to my work covering the Star Trek franchise since 2017, Rapp is someone I’ve had the great pleasure to interview a few times, and we’ve even met in person a few times.
And while of course I’ve seen video of him performing and singing, I was simply blown away to witness his incredible talent, both in singing so many memorable songs from Rent, and weaving the story of his career and his family and friends in a touching, extraordinary performance. Rapp is backed up by a superb five-piece band. Kudos to my friend Brian Heck, who is a producer with the show. Everyone connected with this production deserves applause, especially Anthony Rapp.
THE BIG SURPRISE: After the show, Rent original Broadway cast member and Tony Award Winner Wilson Jermaine Heredia (“Angel”) joined Rapp on stage and sang “Today 4 U.” WOW. I snapped photos with my iPhone and part of me regrets not recording it, but it was one of those special moments when you just want to put your phone away and simply WATCH. I’m glad I did!
Read an interview with Rapp in Broadway World by clicking here.
Now, if you’re asking, why didn’t I get a post-show interview with Rapp? Well, the man has other priorities as he is now a dad! And I applaud him for that! He did send me a kind “thank you” note, which mirrored the message that he shared with his Instagram followers:
Without You runs through the end of April at New World Stages. GO SEE IT! You’ll find information about the show and how to get tickets by clicking here.
Thanks for rising up with me today! I’ll be back tomorrow with yet another, briefer edition, going forward. Until then, may your news be good news!
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