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I can’t wait to see Dr. King this coming King Holiday weekend.

He’s going to be appearing at a lot of parties around the country. Did you know that?

I’ve seen him on a bunch of party flyers, and he’s looking like he’s about to get “turnt up” or star in the latest video on 106 & Park.

I didn’t know Dr. King sagged his pants or twerked or flashed his money or wore gold chains and bling on his fingers and wrists.

Not until I saw the pictures for myself.

It was on a flyer that read “Freedom 2 Twerk” – It was an invitation to a Martin Luther King Day Weekend teen party in Flint Michigan. Dr. King is decked out in a black sweater, a gold watch, saggy jeans and a giant gold chain with what looks like a musical symbol attached.  Well, it’s almost as big as one. Oh and there’s a young lady with a letterman’s jacket standing right next to him.

And you’re in luck if you’re not going to be in Flint this weekend cause you can also go to another party in Cleveland. I saw an invitation to the MLK Weekend Shuffle.

This one shows Dr. King with his hands outstretched wearing a Guayabera or safari type shirt, a gold watch on his wrist and a pinky ring next to his wedding band.

So, if you’re not going to be in the Midwest there’s another invitation from Ontario, California- an invite to the MLK 4th annual Chocolate Affair. Chocolate candy bars appear in the photo with Dr. King.

Not out west this weekend? No problem.

An invitation from Jacksonville, Florida shows Dr. King in a photo next to a scantily clad woman in sunglasses.

According to the flyer for the MLK All Black party (meaning everyone wears black, not blacks only) ladies drink for free till midnight.

In Miami, there’s the Bad Bitch official I Have a Dream Bash put on by Boss Nigga’z Presents. Dr. King is flashing $100 bills. Two ladies in bras and panties flank him along with Ciroc vodka bottles. By the way, all Ciroc drinks are $5.

So are dances presumably from half naked ladies similar to the ones on the flyers. Yes, it is a strip club. Interesting place for a Dr. King party.

Another from Auburn, Alabama shows Dr. King in a leather jacket draped with a gold chain, standing next to a 1970’s Monte Carlo with custom rims. And there’s another naked lady and more Ciroc vodka bottles in that photo.

Hey ladies! This one you get to drink free all night, according to the flyer.

There’s another one from Pensacola with Dr. King wearing over-sized headphones standing next to Lil Wayne and a woman I don’t recognize. An old Chevy with rims and a brand new Maybach are in the background. Obviously I’m being sarcastic up until this point.

The ignorance about what Dr. King represents to some young folks is astounding. Dr. King is probably rolling over in his grave.

Luckily his daughter Bernice is here to speak for him, saying she’s outraged by the use of her father’s image in this manner.

And luckily he has a whole lot of TJMS listeners to defend him as well. More than a thousand of you responded with words ranging from ‘appalling’ to ‘disrespectful’ to ‘ignorant.’

And your calls to the event center in Michigan got an apology and the event cancelled. TJMS listener Pam Ranberg even asked, “when is there going to be a conversation about how much damage the thug image is doing to our community?”

My answer to her is right here on my commentary and on CNN. I just had that conversation this week.

And when I did people called me a sellout, an uncle tom and a race trader. That’s part of the current mentality that embraces and defends thug culture and so-called rachetness.

So perhaps the best way to sum it up comes from TJMS listener Patricia McGee who very astutely wrote, “No respect. His dying wasn’t for you to shake your butt.”

I say, Amen Patricia!

Crossing the Line? MLK Day Party Flyers
6 photos

44 thoughts on “Did Dr. King Die for Freedom of Ignorance?

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  4. Lack of Knowledge = Ignorance….If the parents are ignorant, how in the hell can you expect more from their children?? It is our responsibility to Educate ourselves and our own children. Crack babies grew up, now they are having children of their own. How do you change the ideas of a child, that was set up for failure from the start?? A large number of young people don’t have respect because it was not taught in their homes. I am from the hood. Don’t get on here acting like you don’t know the truth behind the ignorance.

  5. missjanequeen on said:

    Dr. King would’ve had nothing to do with these ignorant, disrespectful thugs. They have no idea what “sacred” means. There is no excuse or justification for using his likeness to make money.

  6. Dr. King would’ve had nothing to do with these ignorant, disrespectful thugs. They have no idea what “sacred” means. There is no excuse or justiication for using his likeness to make money.

  7. Dr. King would’ve had nothing to do with these ignorant, disrespectful thugs. They have no idea wha”sacred” means. There is no excuse or justiication for using his likeness to make money.

  8. Vonkeisha Gibson on said:

    Well if we give these teens something to look up to and relate to Maybe they would’ve used a better approach. I know is Malcolm x was on these flyers there wouldn’t be a problem. Martin Luther king Jr was awesome but he has flaws NO SCHOOL teaches his flaws! What kid can relate to a person with no flaws……exactly. therefore they made him relatable…..I think it was genius!

    • you’re retarded, this is ok because the teachers didn’t teach about his flaws in school? To say it’s genius is to say that you’re ignorant

    • Ivan Cohen on said:

      Not too long after Spike Lee’s movie Malcolm X was released, images of him appeared in photos wearing a cap with an X on it. Some brothers and sisters who were unaware would call him, Malcolm the Tenth. So Malcolm has already been lampooned. Would these entrepreneurs have the gumption to depict Minister Louis Farrakhan in such a demeaning way? No because somebody would be getting some lumps upside their head.

  9. Very disrespectful. Now King day is a day of service and we cannot serve but party in the club over a freedom king and many others died for. Why are the youth so disrespectful? Where was the breakdown. I think if generations who walked with King, lived during the movement taught the new generations the importance of dr Kings memory, from a small child…instilled pride in them about our struggle and progress, we wouldn’t be seeing half of this foolishness in the first place. Before we call out and point fingers, what are we doing to instill respect in these future generations?

  10. Al Hester on said:

    Today’s generation has no recollection of what it meant to be black in the sixties. Black and white water fountains. That a lady refused to give up her seat for change. That young black men were hung for fun. That being a ball player or entertainer wasn’t always an option. That you couldn’t go to your locals Woolworths to get a bite to eat. They have no knowledge of the past and no hope for the future as a result. Wake up people! People fought and died for these idiots to enjoy the things they take for granted!

  11. Gracie Sadler on said:


  12. Gracie Sadler on said:


  13. Disgusted, but not at all surprised by the ignorance and lack of respect. Most young people I see I don’t even want to be around. They are truly lost to their own vices and drug-induced, …they have a sense of entitlement – think everyone is supposed to step to their beat….truly sickening..

  14. Nina Wilson on said:

    Absolutely disrespectful! But why be outraged now, when this type of ignorance among our people and the exploitation there of is visible daily???

    Dr. King did not die for our women and men to be free to Twerk, but to work…. He died for us to have equal rights, not hood fights! He died for our education, not self inflicted tribulation.

    I don’t know what the big fuss is about NOW….seeing as a lot of our people CRAP ON DR. King’s Dream daily!

    BE THE DREAM IN 2014!
    Don’t let the dream die! We are constantly fed this mess through tv, music, books, etc. Get mad at the source, not the messenger of truth! This is what our people have become!!! If you can control your mind, you can control your destiny! Get the book @!

  15. The images we see are a result of a leadership gap that has existed in Black America since Martin and Malcolm were assassinated and the Panthers were infiltrated and ultimately destroyed. With this gap not having been filled in the past 40+ years, the younger generation only know Dr. King from the yearly holiday. Materialism has replaced struggle which, for many younger people, is something from the “old times”. It’s worth noting that figures like MLK, MX and BP are important figures not just for black Americans but also persons in the struggle in places such as Brazil. This is a legacy of struggle that needs be preserved even not having accomplished its full goals.And if we don’t educate our kids about this struggle, this madness will continue!

  16. keisha on said:

    When I first saw this flyer I was highly upset. I can’t believe that it has come to the point that we as black people have no respect for what our ancestors have died fighting for. The first thing that popped in my head was the disrespect it depicted. Second that these people probably couldn’t name one thing that MLK had done. Because if they did a fucking twerk party would not have been a choice in his honor. But I am curious to know how many fools would have shown up to dishonor him. Im pretty sure that when MLK shouted the words “LET FREEDOM RING” Shaking our asses was not his intent. I can’t believe that it has come to the point that we as black people have no respect for what our ancestors have died fighting for. The beatings, hangings and marches, tell me were they a waste. The companies that made these Flyer’s was $$$ really that important you couldn’t say No. My apologies to the KING Family. My heart hurts for you.

    • I agree with you 100% it’s truly SAD that the thug culture has swallowed up a HUGE part of the black community!!! My hope and prayer is that one day soon people will lose their infatuation with HORRIBLE way of life and choose things that uplift, inspire, educate and bring together the community. I really wish there was a way we could prevent this HORRENDOUS way of life from consuming more of our children.What happen to glorifying education and having a wonderful life???

  17. VBucGreen on said:

    Young people of today have no idea of the struggles our ancestors went thru, so they could be where they are in the world today. Just Sad!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  18. Lavon pryor on said:

    I justs feel that this generation isn’t about nothing but causing chaos and trouble!!!! They are misguided by the devil and think its cool to show there buttocks and have champagne dreams with beer money pockets!!!! And for them to think its cool to disrespect a civil rights activists who made it possible for blacks and whites can be together in public!!!! It is a straight up blatant disrespect!!!!!!

  19. Charles on said:

    First I give credit to the young people that are making strides in this wicked nation, but to this young generation that have no understanding of the struggles, heartache, suffering that was endured by many during the civil rights movement, can’t begin to realize how you have desecrated the life, work and sacrifices that were made to allow you to be here with the freedoms you so easily trash. you are clowning yourself in front of the establishment that only see you as N******!!!!! Because you have become so caught up on fast money, killing each other over nickles and dimes, calling black women BITCHES in your music and on the street, gold chains, pants hanging off your ASS, dropping out of school in the 9th grade, and having a blunt for breakfast… you are out of touch with reality…. The reality is that you are where they want you to be…LOST!!! WAKE UP!!!

  20. Cynthia turner on said:

    The event in flint was cancelled! There are more positive things going on in flint Michigan for Dr. Kings holiday social media and the good people of flint Michigan would rather you talk about that! Thank you don lemon we would appreciate it!

  21. Susie Dean on said:

    Dear Dr. King I was only thirteen when I saw you marching arm an arm to Selma. I told
    My daddy “I say daddy could I go march?, he said “no baby your to young .” But I admired you so much Dr.king still do! I’ll never forget I have a dream speech. That’s what I live for an many of your quotes. I’m a dreamer an doer. Don’t worry there are many more of us black,white ,red,brown an yellow we believe!

  22. courtney smith on said:

    Dear Tom,

    I was saddened to see such disrespect to Dr.Martin Luther King jr as well as ignorance to his family and name. How could people do this after all Dr.King done for us to live under equality and have the same rights as white America. I live in Mobile Alabama and it’s still backwards here and it don’t give me or anyone else the right to portray Dr. King in such ignorance. I really hope the ones who’s responsible for the flyers know what Dr.King endured for us all.


  23. charles mason on said:

    Don Lemon and people like him are the ignorance ones – others don’t see things like they do. People don’t act this ignorant when they disrespect Jesus or God..FREEDOM OF SPEECH FOR ALL!!!

  24. This is an actual & fitting tribute to Dr. King: Memphis City Rain by Angie Aparo

    I am a song, I been here all along
    I’ll be here when the hatred’s gone
    Hey, can you recognize me
    I am the light of the Sun

    And if you come with me
    And if you let it be
    (On my way back home)
    And sing my melody
    Then it don’t have to wash away
    In a Memphis City Rain

    For the world a long time awaiting
    For the hatred now to be fading
    For the love to give

    I am a song but I’m not the one
    They use to march their guns
    And every child knows me
    I am the light of the Son

  25. It is a shame that some of those who have done the most to advance black progress in America are discounted, disrespected or held up to ridicule out of ignorance or simply not caring. Some of us hold too little to be sacred, in the sense of “being worthy of respect; venerable (American Heritage College Dictionary). I can think one egregious example in which a young man broke into a Detroit home in 1994, recognized his victim as Rosa Parks, but proceeded to beat and rob her of $53 anyway. Just last year, L’il Wayne came under fire for a disgusting lyric that incorporated the tortured image of Emmett Till’s body. Another, perhaps more controversial, example involved a legal duel between C. Delores Tucker and Tupac Shakur. If we do not want mainstream America to disrespect us, then we need to stop disrespecting ourselves. I am continually amazed by how upset we become when white people mock or parody our prominent figures then turn around and claim it as our right to do so if we want to. If people want to get together to celebrate Dr. King’s birthday, let us honor what he stood for and not depict him in an image that it is so obvious that he would not choose for himself.

  26. mizz.slater on said:

    I could not believe this foolishness it is so sad how Black people could make a joke out of someone of Dr King’s stature. SMH and wiping my eyes.

  27. I think the people that are responsible for this atrocity should all be rounded up and beat within an inch of their lives and then thrown in jail!!!! This is the effect of HIP-HOP RAP music(I use the term music loosely) Where youn black men and women do not respect anyone or themselves!!! How could someone commit a crime like this? What is wrong with a Large portion of the black population? If is criminal, wrong, rachet,underhanded, uneducated, embarrassing, ghetto,negative there we are!!!! Dr.Martin Luther King DID NOT Die for this BULLSHIGGERDY! When will the black community wake the F____ UP?????????

  28. Cat Daddy on said:

    No, he died so that the King family (alone) could make money off of his images! Consequently, it is not our community’s problem if the King children forgot to include “music concert flyers” in their legal licensing agreements regarding Dr. King material.

    • Ya think so or is the ignorance so widespread that they simply don’t have the resources to go after every so – called Promoter who engages in this coonery. I’ve been a Voice Over Artist for over 30 years and I’ve never voiced a commercial for this type of event. Does it take money out of my pocket ? Yes, but it’s a price I’m all too happy to pay out of RESPECT and a SENSE OF HISTORY.

  29. Laurie George on said:

    Its sad that tha young ppl an like think MLK day is about drinking it up an parting as such they need ta really git n2 their history

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