SUPERPICKS: Racist remarks viewed as trite

Hollan Holm

Opening the Herald last week shocked me. I read the Martin Luther King Jr. commentary by Zak Cummins, junior print journalism major from Fredonia, and was disgusted.

I was bewildered by the accusations of lechery and even worse — of Communism. (Emphasis on the big sickle-looking “C”). I’d never heard anything like that in my life about a man who inspired so many.

Cummins hammered out enough -ists to build a fiery cross: Marxist, leftist and black racist.

I was angry at what he had written. I wanted to tear apart his commentary clause for clause and prove it all wrong.

I went to his primary, or rather his only, source: a racist Web site. I wasn’t at all surprised to find that when the webmaster wasn’t bashing the civil rights movement, he quoted Ku Klux Klan leaders and warned of a Jewish-masterminded media conspiracy. (You probably shouldn’t believe anything else in this column from here on out because as a columnist for an award-winning student newspaper, I’m probably part of that conspiracy).

My copy of his commentary still drips with black pen marks underlining the more incendiary remarks. I tried desperately to prove that MLK was the perfect picture of a preacher.

And for the one of the many times in my life, I lost that flawless picture of a person.

From what I’ve heard from history professors and other people with valid opinions, there is truth to what Cummins said about MLK’s sexual indiscretions.

But I’m still listening to the “I Have a Dream” speech, and my thoughts still get lost in it.

One of the great things about college is that everything you learned before is proven wrong. For example, all my high school history books say the Cold War is over.

But if you celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day, you are a Communist with a capital “C,” according to Zak — maybe a better name would be — McCarthy.

I was inspired by so many letters to the editor and wondered what I could do in response to Cummins’ commentary.

The most appropriate response to such childish character attacks on people who do great things would be sticking my fingers in my ears and chanting “Na-nana-boo-boo! I cant hear you!” But then I recalled the MLK quote, “A riot is the language of the unheard.”

Then Cummins’ supporters would have to riot because they were being ignored. I couldn’t stand the thought of all five Bowling Green Klan supporters sullying their sheets as they ran from the rest of the town.

Sending in this column along with the legions of anti-Cummins pieces was the best solution I can offer. With any luck, my words will blend in with what everyone else says and people will accuse me of following the crowd. That’s fine with me because it’s a crowd that I want to join.

I suggest that anyone still upset with the Cummins commentary clip it out and keep it. In the future, if you see a Cummins’ byline in a professional paper, feel free to mail it to his employer.

Picks O’ the Week

•There’s some kind of rap concert tomorrow night, but before you go, expand your mind at the Western Opera. The presentation of “Suor Angelica” and “Gianni Schichhi” will begin at 8 tonight in the Russell Miller Theatre in the fine arts center. Tickets are $8.

•Like zombies? Like cowboys? Love zombie cowboys? Do yourself a favor and catch The Codenames playing at 7 p.m. Friday at The Great Escape comic book store. By the way, admission is free.

•Hate rap music? Go see Autobiographical perform at 9 p.m. Friday in the Faculty House. Imaginary Baseball League and Eric Wilson will perform at this free admission event. One is an emo band. One is a Western singer/songwriter. The other is a post-rock group. I’ll let you guess which.

•There are rumors that Nappy Roots will be playing in Diddle Arena at 8 p.m. Friday. Tickets are $15 for students, and if you don’t buy them all there will never be another big name group coming to Western, ever.

Hollan Holm is always searching for things to do over the weekend. E-mail him at [email protected] if you’ve got any suggestions.