Monday, January 17, 2011

Even on MLK Day…

…we should remember that as potent a symbol and as powerful a spokesman as he might have been for peace, civil rights and economic justice as Martin Luther King. Jr. may have been, he was a symbol and a spokesman for something larger than any individual.

In that spirit, my own personal State Senator, Maralyn Chase, has introduced Senate Bill 5174, under which… districts are encouraged to prepare and conduct a program at least once a year to commemorate the history of civil rights in our nation, including providing an opportunity for students to learn about the personalities and convictions of heroes of the civil rights movement and the importance of the fundamental principle and promise of equality under our nation's Constitution.
People just a little younger than I am have no memory of the days when assassination and lynching, dogs and fire hoses, blazing crosses and terror were all commonplace aspects of race relations in America. Though we're not where we want to be or where we ought to be, we've come a long way from where we used to be in the realm of civil rights.

If future generations are allowed to forget where we've come from, and the sacrifices made to achieve the progress we've made, we not only dishonor those sacrifices and those who made them, but risk slipping backward and losing the precious gains we have made.

Thank you for SB 5174, Senator. You've made my MLK Day a bit more meaningful.

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