Jan 21, 2008

Why do you remember him?

Today marks the celebration of the life and work of Martin Luther King Jr, and yet I wonder how many really take the time to reflect on the life of this country's greatest civil rights activist. Yes we've all gone to school and was taught that he was a great man cause people of all races can now share a drinking fountain because of his efforts, but really we were taught little about his writings, his administration, his faith, nor his feelings on issues outside of racial equality.

Conversations rarely are formed about the legacy of King, but when they do I always get the feeling that people pay him, if you'll pardon the expression, token respect. They give him tribute, cause they feel they have to and not because they truly care.

What's worse is that so many remember the infamous speech in Washington; however no one remembers anything about King's writings or speeches on economic equality. For the last few years of his life he believed that discrimination has more to do with class than with race and he fought hard for the unions and disenfranchised workers to bring to them better pay and benefits. King understood that people of color must be treated with respect by their employers as well as their government.

For five years after he announced he had a dream King marched with striking workers demanding fair and equitable wages, but sadly his life was taken on that fateful day in Memphis. On this day I ask you to remember King and reflect on his impact on the country, but if you feel you can pull yourself from some Brittney Spears news do study the man who not only had a dream, but payed the ultimate price so that it may one day become a reality.

"A man who won't die for something is not fit to live." - Martin Luther King, Jr.

His last speech:

Martin Luther King's Neglected Legacy: Economic Justice


Miss Ash said...

You're right, people do not pay attention, myself included.

Big Ben said...

When i lived in Texas, Martin Luther King Day was not a holiday. Racist bastards.

Foster Communications said...

I was so frustrated when this weekend my nephew overheard us talking about MLK jr. day. The 11-year-old said "Oh yeah, at school we had to listen to this boring guy give a speech about some dream or something." His remark made me so sad and frustrated. Instead of just giving all school kids a day off of school I think it would be better to instead use the day to educate them about that dream, the civil rights movement, where we have been and where we're going. If we don't know our history we'll repeat it. Sorry for the long diatribe but you hit a button.