Monday, January 21, 2008

A loyalty to Mankind as a whole: What we can learn from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr today

The great Martin Luther King Jr. paved the way for greater equality in this country and around the world. Although we have long ways to go in many aspects, his victories over racism and segregation were so immense that we now take them for granted. Thankfully it's hard to imagine this country without his influence. And Dr. King achieved such changes through non-violence, through the virtue and truth behind his words, through his sacrifice and courageous resistance of so many of his followers. He stood valiantly against the unjust war in Viet Nam. What would he say about our world today?

Senator Obama recently gave a great speech in which he said "We have scorned our gay brothers and sisters instead of embracing them," and "the scourge of anti-Semitism has, at times, revealed itself in our community," also "for too long, some of us have seen the immigrants as competitors for jobs instead of companions in the fight for opportunity." Very important words and Obama deserves a lot of credit for addressing these issues. It is unfortunate however, that unlike Kucinich, Obama doesn't back his indictment of homophobia with support for true equality for our gay brothers and sisters who deserve the right to marry under the law if not necessarily under the gods of those religions that remain homophobic for whatever reason. "We need a government determined to end discrimination" of ALL KINDS.

It baffles me when those who are part of communities that have endured discrimination, don't come together against the discrimination of all others. The fight for equality must be a fight for justice, not just self-interest.

Some people have told me that type of equality in the the United States of today is simply unrealistic. It isn't here today. But there was a time when a woman's right to vote was unlikely, and racial integration was a dream. I believe that if enough voices unite for society to completely remove prejudice from law it will be forced to.

Hope and hard work can get you real change.... And leaders and their words will continue to inspire and educate. Courageous politicians can, as in they have in the past, excise prejudice from law. It took regular people like you and me to join M.L. King's dream and create the kind of pressure that Kennedy eventually recognized and supported and that led Lyndon B. Johnson sign the Civil Rigths act of 1964 into law( following the late Kennedy's wishes). We should never forget what can be, what is worth striving for.

Dr. King's message was one of peace of tolerance. Tolerance we should have for those of different color, religion or sexual orientation.

Dr. Martin Luther King was a follower of Ghandi's teachings and like him he waged a peaceful battle against prejudice. Unlike Bush, who would have us believe that one spreads peace through violence, and democracy by bombing nations preemptively, illegally and unilaterally whenever we want their natural resources. Dr. King knew that our ways must reflect our true goals. For us to have any credibility, our words must be consistent with our actions.

I think what Dr. King would have thought of this war in Iraq is evident when we listen to him speak about the war in Viet Nam:

"Marching into the Light" by Andres Useche