Monday, January 20, 2014


Today is Martin Luther King Jr. Day, a national holiday whose origins are steeped in politics and mollifying a minority portion of the U.S population, moreso than honoring a man who ended up giving his life to represent the cause of his people. Was Dr. King a saint, a perfect man? History shows that he certainly had a number of weaknesses and shortcomings. However, the same can be said for each and every one of us. Was Dr. King a tireless crusader who fought with everything he had to defend the humanity of each citizen? Most certainly. We all could learn a lot about what it means to have vision, to have faith, and to put our money where our mouth is by looking at the example that he lived out. While race relations in the United States are still an issue and we all still have a long way to go, due to the efforts that Dr. King made, we are most certainly a more unified and accepting people.

P.S. Living in Virginia, I have always been astounded at how deeply seated the biases of the power brokers are in this former bastion of the southern Confederacy. After Congress had passed into law the MLKJ holiday, Virginian leadership was more than unhappy. From 1984 to 2000, Virginia did not celebrate MLKJ Day, but what was termed "Lee-Jackson-King Day". Here Lee and Jackson are Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson! Ultimately the plantation-style legislature of the Commonwealth was forced to begrudgingly admit that celebrating a holiday honoring the confederacy alongside a civil rights leader was a bit incongruous. You don't say.