When I was younger, maybe first or second grade, I thought Abraham Lincoln was America’s first black President. I also though he and Martin Luther King Jr were best friends. Eventually I got my history straightened out.
Today is Martin Luther King Jr Day.
Every MLK Day, since the inception of YouTube, I spend a good chunk of this day watching old MLK speeches and interviews. I’m by no means a MLK scholar. I recognize there were a lot of intricacies and nuances in his politics, tactics and moral character I don’t even know about, but I still deem him one of the greatest men in American history. A truly inspirational man who preached equality, peace and unity.
It occurs to me, that so many great historical progressive figures that stood for the same values of King have been assassinated. Abraham Lincoln, Mahatma Gandhi, John F Kennedy, Robert Kennedy and, of course, Martin Luther King Jr himself. I know I’m not the first person to make that observation, but I think it’s an important one.
It’s a testament. A testament that these values, Equality, Peace and Unity threaten the close mined so much they are driven to murder. But more than that. It’s a testament that while the bearers of these values may perish, the legacy of these men live on. That we continue to move forward and not backwards. That equality, peace and unity are more powerful than fear, intolerance and hate. That evil cannot and will not triumph over good.
Happy Martin Luther King Jr Day.
“Nonviolence is the answer to the crucial political and moral questions of our time: the need for man to overcome oppression and violence without resorting to oppression and violence. Man must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression and retaliation. The foundation of such a method is love.” – Martin Luther King Jr