Today would have been Martin Luther King’s 88th birthday. To mark that occasion, I’d like to share some quotes and how we can apply them to the coming times ahead.
“We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.”
In the coming months and years, it does us no good to be purposely divisive. I have two major stances on the policies of Donald Trump. (1) If the policies of the President Elect and the Majority Party are truly as bad as the Opposition Party contends, they should fail on their own merit. They shouldn’t need any additional opposition. Generally speaking, the reason why an opposition party opposes any action by their counterpart is because they are afraid it will succeed and they won’t get credit. (2) We shouldn’t want Trump’s policies to fail. Remember, if Trump’s policies are successful, America is successful. Regardless of what party you ascribe to, you should want this country to be successful.
Am I saying that you should blindly accept everything that Trump does? No. But we should give his ideas the opportunity to succeed or fail based on their own merits.
“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
In this country, we have the illusion of equality. Nominally, everyone has the same opportunities. However, where things fall apart is not in the rules and laws of this country but rather the people who make up the country. Be it the manager who would rather hire a white man instead of a black man or the woman getting paid less than a man for doing the same job, injustice exists. Be it the black man having the police called on him for trying to open his own car door or the police officer being attacked for the actions of others, injustice exists. To use another Dr. King quote, we must judge someone “by the content of their character,” and nothing else.
“The time is always right to do what’s right.”
If you see the injustices described above, if you see any injustice, you must speak up. You must act. If we do not oppose that which is wrong, we cannot stand for that which is right. But, in our opposition, we must adhere to Dr King’s creed, “Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.” Do not hate your American brothers and sisters. We are all children of this great country. No one is less because of any characteristic. We are all American.
As we enter the last week of the last term of this country’s first African American President, I am reminded of the progress we have made since Dr. King’s assassination. We have made tremendous progress as a country, as a society. Dr. King once said that he had been to the mountaintop and he had seen the promised land. I don’t believe that we have reached Dr. King’s promised land yet, but it is in sight. Whether or not we get there is in our hands. We can pick up the great wagon that is this country and propel it forward or we can allow it to set on the roadside with a broken axle. I leave you with Dr. King’s words. Take them in.