Yesterday was Martin Luther King, Jr. Day—a federal holiday only intermittently honored by workplaces and rarely treated with reverence and reflection. It’s been a half-century since the civil rights leader was assassinated, but his teachings are as urgent as ever in a country that has elected an open racist to the presidency, in which systemic oppression is dismissed as a leftist viewpoint and in which peaceful protest is considered unpatriotic. How did we get here? Or, rather, how are we still here?
To find out, Jimmy Kimmel bravely took to the streets to ask everyday citizens to weigh in on Dr. King’s Twitter beef with the president, a thing that is not occurring because it would be impossible, given the aforementioned assassination 50 years ago. As is often the case when you shove a camera in someone’s face, they begin to feel the pressure to speak authoritatively, a pressure that overrides their critical thinking faculties, leading them to soldier on, bloviating about Dr. King’s right to skip Trump’s inauguration, his stint on Celebrity Apprentice, and so on. It’s an indictment of both our education system and our immediate desire to appear knowledgeable on camera, and also proof that you probably shouldn’t trust a guy in an Oakley t-shirt about anything.