Martin Luther King Jr. Day 2018 in the United States of America is characterized by grave incongruities. The love of his values, contributions, and sacrifices are churning in a cauldron of the darkest brew this nation has ever seen. Standing around the hideous miasma are holiday observers who once were King’s greatest enemies. Now they hypocritically pretend to exalt his memory and deeds, while millions standby in silence as the rise of racism permeates the White House and the policies of the President.
I remember the wonderful morning when Martin Luther King Jr. spoke at my middle school in the sixties. His message was truly inclusive. Before a diverse suburban crowd of students, he humbly described his lofty mission with dignity and heartfelt conviction. I was changed by his address. And, South Side Junior High public school - comprised of rich and poor, black and white students, was transformed to a school of American students – if only for a day. A few short years later, after many more speeches and events throughout the world, this wonderful man was assassinated.
People come and go every year to exalt the memory of Martin Luther King Jr. But this year, I can only imagine what he might say to a Congress and nation that remains silent as the tyranny of bigotry and racism escalates. Perhaps these are the words that are rising from his grave: “In the wake of your silence now, why commemorate my life today”?