Memphis Plus 43 (or: Some Things Have Gotten Better, Some Haven’t)

April 4th, 2011

In memory of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s death 43 years ago today on April 4, 1968 at 6:01 p.m., here are 43 poems about racism, hatred, intolerance, violence, and how to deal with them.

“April 4. Shot rings out in the Memphis sky. Free at last. They took your life. They could not take your pride.” — U2


Another year has passed,

With even more racism than the last.

It’s not nearly as bad as in Dr. King’s day,

But that doesn’t mean it’s gone away.

It’s been exactly 43 years since Dr. King was killed,

So here are 43 poems about people who still with hatred are filled.

Or check out our violence series (it’s quite a collection).

No time to read them all? Then here’s a selection:

  1. 50 Years of “Democracy” in DC
  2. A Tale of Two Cities
  3. A Watched Teapot
  4. Alien Attack (or, Shoot the President and Win A Prize)
  5. Angled Up in Blue (or maybe that should be Tangled Up in View)
  6. Arsonists (or, Inciting the Lesser Angels of Our Nature)
  7. Ballots Versus Bullets
  8. Because They’re Black
  9. Dallas
  10. Death of a Hater
  11. Death to Dictators (or, Is Glenn Beck Suggesting Obama’s Assassination?)
  12. Does Obama Hate His Mama?
  13. Effigy
  14. Feeding Stray Animals
  15. Gates-Gate (or, Dealing with the Brew-haha)
  16. Going Drouge
  17. Guillermo Jorton (or, They Don’t Look Like Canadian Terrorists to Me)
  18. Hail to the Rednecks
  19. Haters
  20. Health Haters
  21. I’m Not Racist (I Just Don’t Like Minorities)
  22. Immoral Equivalence
  23. In Memory of a DC Institution
  24. Is Joe Wilson a racist?
  25. Isolated Incidents (or, Your Tea Is Ready)
  26. Joe and Gerrymandering
  27. McVeigh and Today
  28. Neanderthals (or, Mixing Things Up)
  29. No Justice with this Justice
  30. Que Sherrod Sherrod?
  31. Radical Surgery
  32. Re-Joyce
  33. Rise of the Old Right (or, No Bad Idea Ever Really Dies)
  34. Southern Right Wingers
  35. Sue Shirley Sue
  36. The Base Card
  37. The Monster
  38. The Price is Wrong… Again
  39. The Race Card
  40. The Vanishing
  41. Valley Club Blues
  42. We Are All African-American Homos
  43. What’s Your Excuse? (or, The Tancredo Credo)

Is that enough racism, hatred, intolerance, and violence for you?

I thought so (it’s enough for me too).

No, it’ll never be entirely gone,

But if we can reduce it little by little, Dr. King will have



Here’s your theme music for today, U2’s Pride (In the Name of Love) from a 1984 concert.

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