MLK day is a Federal holiday celebrating the work and life of Dr Martin Luther King Jr in advancing the cause of civil rights for all. His brand of resistance was non-violent and has inspired many around the world. The older I get the more I appreciate the importance of celebrating this great man. His view of civil rights was open and expansive and included great regard and advocacy for the poor. This and his opposition to the Vietnam war is not often discussed, but is worth the time to investigate.
The life and times of MLK is a testament to the strength of the founding ideals of American democracy. The ideas are great but the execution has been lacking from the start. The continued struggle to make this a more perfect union is what makes MLK day a worthy celebration. MLK day signifies hope and dreams. Dreams that my girls can and will have the opportunities needed for a truly fulfilling life.
The MLK example in its truest sense is inclusive and expansive. His dream is the American Dream. It is not of material gain but of Liberty for all. The dream asks me to be responsible for my fellow-man. The dream asks me to be responsible for the biosphere. The dream asks me to have the foresight to dream of a time when we all can free ourselves from the mental slavery. The slavery that still continues to hold the color of a person’s skin as a reflection of his intellect. That long walk to freedom of the mind is still ongoing. I use to forget the struggles, but when you have kids there are things you cannot ignore. The anemic celebration of the ideals of MLK is one of those things that cannot be ignored. It cannot be ignored because in some quarters there is still a deep-rooted disregard and disdain for his message. Depending on where you live it may seem as if this holiday is ignored or just tolerated. Why is that? Why is it that some businesses opt out? I am slightly offended but I should not be surprised?
I celebrate in part by reflecting on the words of Bob Marley and Nelson Mandela, because it continues to be a long walk to our redemption. How will you celebrate?