Monday, January 16, 2012

Martin Luther King Jr

Today, we honor a real American hero, Martin Luther King Jr. He understand the term equality. He marched peacefully even when state violence was directed at him and those who marched with him across Alabama. He spoke eloquently of the oppression blacks suffered at the hands of state policies in places like Mississippi. He spoke against the poll taxes, literacy tests, and other measures used by the state to suppress the voting rights of blacks. He spoke bravely even while around him, black churches were bombed, Freedom Riders, black leaders were murdered and states, especially Mississippi, covered up the evidence.

He died for the dream of little black and white children playing together. Most of his dreams have since come true. Even Mississippi has since prosecuted the murderers of the Freedom Riders. Little black and white children play together.

But there is an insidious force at work across the nation, especially in the South, to suppress voting rights.

After Mississippians voted for initiative 27, many voters will see their rights curtailed and suppressed. The poor, blacks, and the elderly will be the ones most affected by these changes.

Mississippi had been making such great strides to overcome its brutal past. November 11, 2011 proved we haven't quite caught on to that whole equality thing. I encouraged my friends and family on Facebook to oppose 27. I don't know how successful I was. Most people do not see it as a hardship to have to present a photo ID and most cannot imagine the feeling of intimidation some may feel when asked to show ID at the voting booth. I remember how intimidated I felt when a poll worker questioned whether I was at the right polling place even though I had been voting there for 12 years.

I can still hope and dream....
Yes, I have a dream this afternoon that one day in this land the words of Amos will become real and "justice will roll down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream."

I have a dream this afternoon that we will recognize the words of Jefferson, "that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with some inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.


Anonymous said...

MLK did some good things, BUT he was a known womanizer and Marxist. I very much resent having a national holiday in honor of him. We don't observe it.

shira said...

King David was a womanizer as well. But he still did a lot of good things.

Anonymous said...

Did you read my comment? I SAID he did some good things. So have lots of people. Doesn't mean an adulterer should get a national holiday.