MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR., FEDERAL HOLIDAY, 2011,
Barack Hussein Obama is PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA and it is part of his customary and quasi-legal duty in office to issue A PROCLAMATION on the occasion of Marin Luther King Day. Here are some excerpted words from that proclamation.
Half a century ago, America was moved by a young preacher who called a generation to action and forever changed the course of history. The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. devoted his life to the struggle for justice and equality, sowing seeds of hope for a day when all people might claim “the riches of freedom and the security of justice.”
On Martin Luther King, Jr., Federal Holiday, we commemorate the 25th anniversary of the holiday recognizing one of America’s greatest visionary leaders, and we celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. King.
Today there is a whole lot going on in the world and the country. Not the least of which is that the recent shootings in Arizona are still fresh scars and Arizona has been one of the states among these States United which has been least willing to get behind the Martin Luther King Holiday. I am writing this post about Martin Luther King Junior with some clarity of purpose and also some weary and nearly confused quality of thought. Here is a link to my post on the subject last year which was overshadowed in some ways by the Haiti earthquake. https://franksummers3ba.wordpress.com/2010/01/18/haiti-mlk-jr-notes-on-an-almost-abandoned-blog/
I once had a major setback in crucial life plans because I did not remember that the US Embassy I had to travel to in a foreign country would be closed on Martin Luther King Day which fell on a Friday and then cost me three days of delays. However, because it prevented me from doing something very risky that same frustrating incident also may have saved my life. I favor fundamental change in the socio-constitutional structure of this country. I have proposed in this blog a set of major constitutional reforms. If these changes occurred we would not become the color blind society Doctor king may have been hoping for in his marches. I think the Civil Rights struggle was largely about Black violence and lying about it, about rewarding unrest and about troops punishing white children. But I do not believe in taxation and governance of an entire race without representation and Dr. King marched and spoke to prevent such things. I believe the transit regime Rosa Parks protested was in every way superior to the one that succeeded it but a far better process than either should be the norm. I believe the de jure system of segregation was a cheap and unfair way to deal with expensive problems. I believe if we undertake the necessary expense in the end justice too can be made to pay.
President Obama said today in his proclamation:
Dr. King guided us toward a mountaintop on which all Americans — regardless of…. … skin color — could live together in mutual respect and brotherhood. His bold leadership and prophetic eloquence united people of all backgrounds in a noble quest for freedom and basic civil rights.
Inspired by Dr. King’s legacy, brave souls have marched fearlessly, organized relentlessly, and devoted their lives to the unending task of perfecting our Union. Their courage and dedication have carried us even closer to the promised land Dr. King envisioned, but we must recognize their achievements as milestones on the long path to true equal opportunity and equal rights.
I do not believe MLK’s vision was right for the country but it was not an ignoble struggle and a good America can let him remain a hero to the Negro African-Americans among us and an example of a struggling Martyr seeking to follow his principles for the rest of us. I do not think there should ever be a time when his struggle and that of those beside him is forgotten, I do not believe he deserves to belittled even by those most opposed to his political objectives.
Have a happy Martin Luther King Day whoever you are.