In Honor of Martin Luther King, Jr.

MLK-Memorial

 

Few Americans have impacted our nation to the degree like that of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. This holiday is always an important one, especially in light of the recent, racial turmoil over several police shootings between 2014-2015. For me, it’s both a sober day and a hopeful one. One never knows how much good is possible until making the effort. There are other instances where very little headway is made at all. In the end, I live in the space between both poles. It is a place of tension. The same goes for my fellow Americans and the rest of humanity throughout the globe. Thank you, Lord, for Dr. King, Jr. and the gift of his life.

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Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Today our nation honors a man who gave his life for seeing freedom visited upon the African-American. By sacrificing his life for the few, Dr. King paved the way for the many: all Americans who will ever live in this nation post-Civil Rights Era. It is with great sadness and aggravation that I sit behind an office desk on such a day. I live, work, and become in the United States in large part because of Dr. King’s sacrifice. At the very least, I could take one day to honor his sacrifice. Instead, I sit behind a desk and work; therefore, I write this post. It might not be much, but at least I can honor him with these few words. The rest I leave to Dr. King himself.

Here is an excerpt from Dr. King’s justifiably famous “I Have a Dream” speech (http://www.archives.gov/press/exhibits/dream-speech.pdf):

“We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality.

We can never be satisfied as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities.

We cannot be satisfied as long as the Negro’s basic mobility is from a smaller ghetto to a larger one.

We can never be satisfied as long as our chlidren are stripped of their selfhood and robbed of their dignity by signs stating “for whites only.”

We cannot be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote.

No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.

I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and tribulations. Some of you have come fresh from narrow jail cells. Some of you have come from areas where your quest for freedom left you battered by the storms of persecution and staggered by the winds of police brutality. You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive.”