Yesterday, I attended San Antonio’s MLK March along with 175,000 other people. Inexplicably, San Antonio has one of the smallest African-American populations of any major American city (7%), but its MLK March is one of the largest. I was prompted to attend by my best friend, a northeastern liberal who likes to bring his daughter and grand-daughter to this event to show his historical interest in the advancement of civil rights.
We arrived at the terminus of the march, Pittman-Sullivan Park in east SA, around noon, and most of the light-skinned marchers were already lined up to catch their buses home while most of the dark-skinned people stayed to listen to the speeches. About 80% of the people who stayed for the speeches were African-American. Most of the speeches were by white politicians and came off as lame, while the black speakers and musicians were inspirational.
What does this participation pattern mean? I suspect that light-skinned people, like my best friend, are showing their respect for the accomplishments of MLK, but that the current political coalition is like the Platte River in Nebraska – a mile wide and an inch deep.
p.s., one of Mayor Castro’s assistants posted an entry on Facebook about the success of the March, and I commented as follows:
Mike Kueber I wonder if the effectiveness of the march is diminished because so few of them stick around for the speeches at Pittman Park. My estimate is that 80% of those who stayed are African-American.