Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Trying to Honor MLK

When it became evident that the city of Loveland, Colorado would have no special 2013 event to honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., I wrote a letter to the local paper. The letter incorporated two quotations (shown here in italics) from Dr. King  but, when published, only one was attributed to him. So here at least, is the document as it should have appeared.

We must rapidly begin the shift from a thing-oriented society to a person–oriented society. When machines, computers, profit motives and property rights, are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, extreme materialism, and militarism are incapable of being conquered. (Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.)

For 23 years, the wisdom and courage of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. has been celebrated in Loveland. For 23 years, a small corps of volunteers has, with cooperation from the school district, created ever-grander events. Held at Thompson Valley High School, recent celebrations included speakers and performers, prizes for elementary and middle school essay and art contest winners, non-profit information booths, and refreshments.

 But no one came forward in 2012 and this year there will be no community celebration of Dr. King. Have we learned all we need to learn from the life and words of this man? Has he become only an excuse for a day off from school and work?

I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality. (Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.)

 And I refuse to accept that Loveland will never again celebrate this man.

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