Thursday, January 15, 2009

Remembering Dr. King on his 80th Birthday

Today marks the birth of my on-line blog site.

This day is symbolic to me because January 15, 2009 is the 80th anniversary of the birth of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. 

I have read several accounts of people speculating about what Dr. King would think of what is happening in the world today.

During the Civil Rights struggles of the 60's people marched and protested for basic rights such as eating at a lunch counter,  attending schools in their own neighborhoods, being hired for a job for which they were qualified, and to exercise the most fundamental right of citizenship, to vote.  We demanded justice and equality for everyone, not just the chosen few.

Yes, in many ways we are a better country today, and in some ways, the nation is moving beyond 'The Dream', but a look at recent news headlines tells the real story:

     - Palestinian Death Toll in Gaza Approaches 1000 - Cemeteries Running Out of   Space

     - Bush Admin Official Admits Gitmo Prisoner Tortured

     - 4 Charged in Election Night Hate Crimes

     - 4,225 men and women from the USA have died in the current Iraq War

     - Over 500,000 Lose Jobs in December - Official Unemployment Rate at 7.2%

     - Illinois House Votes to Impeach Blagojevich

     - Oscar Grant was shot execution style by a Transit Police Officer in Oakland,     CA. He was shot in the back while facedown on the subway platform, unarmed       and posing no threat.

I believe that if Dr. King were alive today he would still be trying to make changes for basic human rights. I also believe that he would have been the person chosen to give the prayer at the upcoming inauguration :-) and that he would have been beaming with joy.

The following words were spoken by Dr. King when he was speaking out about the US involvement in Viet Nam. The words are still very relevant today:

"If we assume that life is worth living and that humans have the right to survival, then we must find an alternative to war. In a day when vehicles hurtle through outer space, and guided ballistic missiles carve highways of death through the stratosphere, no nation can claim victory in war.

The church cannot be silent while humankind faces the threat of nuclear annihilation. If the church is true to her mission, she must call for an end to the arms race.

I am convinced that if we succumb to the temptation to use violence in our struggle for freedom, unborn generations will be the recipients of a long and desolate night of bitterness, and our chief legacy to them will be a never ending reign of chaos.

Forgiveness is not an occasional act: it is a permanent attitude."

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.



Anonymous said...

Today is February 21 and it was on this date that Brother El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz was asssasinated in 1965. JBH

peacesojourner said...


I am not sure of the related connection of your comment to the birthday of Martin Luther King.

I agree that the date that you mentioned is also very important. Too many important leaders have been taken from us.