Am I the only one who thinks Michael Eric Dyson is silly?
I know he’s rocking a Ph.D. from Princeton and has authored 16 books. But whenever I see Prof. Dyson on TV, he always confirms my earliest impressions of him as an attention-whoring gasbag and a paint-by- numbers ultraliberal.
Dyson’s latest book is “April 4, 1968: Martin Luther King Jr.’s Death and How It Changed America,” which ends with a bizarre exercise of literary license. Dyson imagines himself interviewing MLK on the occasion of King’s 80th birthday.
That is to say, Michael Eric Dyson conjures a world where Martin Luther King wasn’t martyred in Memphis in 1968... so as to speculate on how Dr. King would’ve lived the latter half of his life.
Dyson, without inhibition, puts many words in Dr. King’s mouth. He fantasizes that Dr. King, during the 1980s, would have publicly acknowledged a long battle with depressive illness... complete with obesity and a drinking problem.
Also, Dyson imagines the elderly Dr. King being a full-throated advocate for gay marriage. (Seriously.)
I don’t know how this “interview” works on the printed page, because I downloaded the audiobook. In the audiobook, Dyson “acts” both parts of the Q&A. He literally speaks as an 80-year-old Martin Luther King.
I am streaming a 7½-minute excerpt on my Vox blog. Click here to listen. (This excerpt begins with Dyson speaking as Dr. King.)
It is mind-boggling.