by Countable | 1.15.18
Today is Martin Luther King Day. Many people all across the country are celebrating with parades, marches, speeches, service projects and community gatherings.
Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke and FBI Director Christopher Wray attended a wreath laying ceremony at the MLK Memorial in DC. Martin Luther King III also attended with his family, and his daughter, Yolanda Renee, led the assembly in a call and response.
Wray, in his remarks, acknowledged the history of the FBI targeting the civil rights movement.
Vice President Pence was scheduled to attend, but instead opted to visit the memorial with his wife, Karen, on Sunday. President Trump is in Florida for the day and is not scheduled to make any public appearances.
Lawmakers across the country came out to public gatherings to speak on Dr. King’s legacy. Rep. Joe Kennedy III (D-MA) addressed an MLK Day gathering Monday morning,
Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO) came out in the snow to march and address a gathering in Denver. Senator Ed Markey (D-MA) attended a memorial breakfast in Boston, Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA) led a discussion on grassroots organizing and political activism at a local high school, and Senator Kamala Harris is acting as grand marshal for the Kingdom Day Parade in Los Angeles.
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— Asha Sanaker
(Photo Credit: brownpau via Flickr / Creative Commons)*
Written by Countable
In the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson wrote that "all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." That is, Jefferson declared that all citizens have the rights to be free from oppression and have equal opportunities in pursuing their goals. These ideals have been called the “American Dream”. Why is it important to keep MLK’s dream alive? 1). Dr. Martin Luther King’s life encourages us to love one another. 2). He believed that “ALL all peoples, regardless of race, color, or religion had the right to be free from opposition and have the opportunity in pursuing their goals in life. 3). The legacy of Dr. King lives in each of us and we are responsible to promote, teach and live the American Dream. He brought to the world's attention how unfairly blacks were treated. He had the help of millions of Americans, but his strong leadership and unprecedented power of speech gave people the faith and courage to keep working peacefully even when others did not. 1*15*18.
I don’t honor Martin Luther King Day at all. I find it racist to have a holiday for one man. I would honor this day if it had a different description, such as Civil Rights, or Civil Freedom Day. We used to have days honored specifically for our first President, George Washington, being raised in Illinois, I remember a state holiday for Abraham Lincoln. We took these days of honor away and changed it to Presidents Day. While MLK made a significant impact toward civil rights, he certainly was not alone. He is remembered because he strove for peaceful methods of change, in a time while others attempted the same change by violence, but he was not the only peaceful revolutionary to the civil rights movement.
I worked all day. But I have taken a few moments to consider the great work of MLK. As a cannabist I face discrimination that is sanctioned by the government, and funded by the people. It’s hard to live the way you know in your heart is right, when you live in fear. Someday I hope we will celebrate green pride day or something, to honor all those who sit in prison for weed. And the courageous medical pioneers from the west coast. And to mourn all those who suffered till the end fighting for there rights to natural health.
Well if I was still in school, I’d honor him by actually going to school. MLK Jr called for the free education of all races, but instead, schools close OR some races fail to show up at all because they believe themselves above all others because of this day. I went to public school and I kid you not, half the school didn’t show up because of this ideology. MLK Jr did a good thing by identifying a problem and finding a solution, but the kids these days fail to hear that message; the kids he fought for. Everyone shows up for Columbus Day, so everyone should come on MLK Jr day to learn the language of the speech, to learn the lessons of the past, and reshape the future. That’s how I DID honor this day, by going to school.
Today, take a moment to be thankful for the sacrifice of those that came before us, who raised their voices to say ‘we are America!’, this is America and we stand together.
I spent part of my meditations today reading "Letter from a Birmingham Jail" and sent a letter to the editor of our local paper based on that insightful essay. My theme was that active measures against the racism of the current administration and the white supremacy movement is the only way that moderates and liberals will avoid being complicit in allowing racism to flourish. Finding later that the President and Vice President abdicated their obvious duties to honor the legacy of Dr. King on what should be the most American of holidays, I hope the effort has some positive effect. I will send my letter to my representatives.
I volunteered with Jersey Cares, a clearing house of volunteer opportunities within my home state, NJ. The service project was held at Dickinson HS in Jersey City, NJ. Folks from all different backgrounds assembled to paint beautification murals in the high school and created “first night” care packages for children in crisis who are entering homeless shelters. Volunteers hand decorated bags filled with hand crafted scarfs and pillows, hygiene kits, and a personal card written to show the children that the community cares. Volunteering on MLK Day has become a yearly event for me. As a lifelong union member, I realized early in my professional life that obstacles to happiness, success and a healthy life can be overcome by working together with others in my work community. Despite many differences with co-workers in my job, we are all united by our common work. If we act alone we are handicapped by isolation. However, if my co-workers come together in the workplace as a single collective force, we create a powerful united voice to stand on common ground with our employer. Dr. King exemplified that same type of dignified leadership during his life. He recognized that a single voice is impotent against a monolith of oppression, so he organized the often helpless members of the community into a single powerful voice. This collective voice empowered alienated individuals to stand up against racial oppression and expose the hypocrisy of American moral authority. How could the United States lead the world if they tolerated injustice at home? Dr. King took the high road, exposing injustice with dignified leadership and helped to change our society for the better. The saddest part of this story is that Dr. King did not live to see the fruits of his efforts. The events on April 4, 1968 in Memphis, Tennessee, where Dr. King was assassinated by a single gunman at the Lorraine Motel, cut short the life of a great American leader. However, many folks are unaware that Dr. King was in Memphis to help protest the unjust working conditions of African American sanitation workers in the city. Dr. king realized that civil rights would never be attained without full economic rights for African Americans. Furthermore, he realized that the war on poverty would never be won without a broad based people’s movement against economic and racial injustice. The last evening of his life was marked by the famous “mountaintop” speech in which he recognized that he may not see the day when all Americans enjoy the benefits of full citizenship in our society, but he seemed at ease with this fact and apparently unafraid to surrender to the forces of injustice. While he did not survive to see the fruits of his efforts, the change occurred nonetheless and his sacrifice helped fulfill the principles of freedom espoused by our founding fathers. This union worker will never forget that Dr. King sacrificed his life to help working people achieve dignity and respect in the workplace. Dr. King was a selfless leader who made it his mission to make American society inclusive. It is an honor to sacrifice but a few hours of my Martin Luther King, Jr holiday to carry on his mission of justice and equality for ALL Americans. Barry Kushnir 68 West 8th Street Bayonne, NJ 07002 291-344-7353
I remember when Congress made it official to honor MLK. But many people were not happy. I believe that MLK was an inspiration to all people but primarily to Blacks. What happened? We are the most polarized and divided Country in the World and Obama who promised to Unite the Country was the most divisive President in recent memory.
I posted an inspiring FB CoverPage and a quote of MLK on FB, what I consider the most important from his "Letter from a Birmingham Jail" : "We will have to repent in this generation not merely for the hateful words and actions of the bad people but for the appalling silence of the good people."
I would honor MLK by emulating his world view and encouraging others to do the same. That is to believe in and practice what Jesus Christ teaches us in his written word....in the Bible. If we all believed and behaved as Christ Followers, our country would be truly a Great nation as MLK wanted. Return Bible study, reading, prayers, and the 10 Commandments, to the public schools as it originally was. That’s a good beginning. Even our founders believed that Christians make the best citizens.
In whatever way I spend this day, there will be someone who will claim that they are offended. But, guess what, IDGAF. It’s your choice 🤷🏽♂️
I know Mr. King did what he could to eliminate racism. But their are so many black Americans who have done so much for this country who should also be recognized.
We must also remember him as first of all the Reverend MLK. His main message started out as the Christian pastor that he was. That God is first and states all are equal—regardless of ... That all need to put their trust in Jesus Christ as the One way to salvation and eternity in God’s presence.
Walk the talk!!