Ahh Dr.King...hero to most ...anti-hero to some ...someone who no one can deny changed the world. I like the fact that we have evolved in the States to a place where Dr. King gets a day of recognition, though am annoyed that many corporations took away Columbus Day to do this...really 1 extra day would have stopped the company?!!! I grew up learning about Dr.King ...we learned about him in middle school as far as I can remember and my kids are learning about him from nursery school on. They learn to celebrate a man who advocated equality ...not overthrow, not asking for more than anyone else...just an equal opportunity.
I can never write this blog with even 1/10th of the eloquence of the speeches Dr. King wrote but I can write and be part of the many who applaud his efforts. He reminded us that we are all entitled...yes entitled a word that has become negative in many right-wing campaigns...to have the same paths to choose from...choice another word that seems to make the far right wince. Entitlement is not a bad thing...what happened to the days when Americans believed they were entitled to race to the moon, to build great things, to be that much better off than their parents????? Choice is not a buzzword...it is the paths we go down weather right or wrong and which lead us to the evolution of who we are (oh yeah forgot evolution annoys the right also).
I think of Dr.King and his marches, and can usually be found crying as the dogs were unleashed upon these young people who wanted to do nothing more than be recognized for the wonderful people they could be. I can usually be found shoulders down when I see that there are still places in the world today where the color of your skin (not just the US), the choice of worship, sexual orientation, gender have come to stand in back of Dr.King and his marchers and still have to march while hoses, bullets, clubs and other methods are turned against them. I look at the Middle East and think they need another Dr. King who can advocate through peace and his belief that eventually people will not only listen but act to lead them toward the future. I hear my children's sad questions about why someone would shoot Dr.King and all I have as answer is "fear". People fear change, fear confronting what is not pleasant about themselves, fear of what change will mean to their station in life, fear that maybe those in power are not the best for the people around them..fear! Dr. King was not a saint, nor perfect, nor without sin or flaw or whatever you want to call his errors...he was a man who had all those but who did not let his lesser parts govern his ability to move people forward. You do not have to like Martin to appreciate and respect Dr. King.
So as we all get set to honor Dr.King maybe more than a day off we need a day on. A day on where we look at how we can treat better someone who needs more than we do, how we can admit our own prejudices and learn to dispel them, to give everyone the respect they deserve. To remember Dr. King not for the legend but for the leader who showed that one person can make a difference. We are not perfect as a country and maybe we will never be but we have come a long way from the days before Dr.King...and we can keep moving forward. I too have a dream, that my sons will inherit a legacy of hope and equality and opportunity for themselves and for all their peers. To that far-right fellow citizens I say your way is not that "right" way because it is about NO rather than about Yes we Can...I am not a bleeding heart liberal but I am a bleeding heart believer ...for that I thank those who I disagree with for showing me what I need to still work on and build for, and with, my sons and those like Dr. King whose presence in our history makes our future brighter through their courage and actions in our past.
Nonviolence is the answer to the crucial political and moral questions of our time; the need for mankind to overcome oppression and violence without resorting to oppression and violence. Mankind must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression and retaliation. The foundation of such a method is love...Martin Luther King Jr