It’s been over 50 years since thousands of individuals concerned about Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness marched peacefully to the steps of the capitol building in Montgomery, Alabama. On the last day of the rally, Dr. King said to the crowds: “The end we seek is a society at peace with itself, a society that can live with its conscience. And that will be a day not of the white man, not of the black man. That will be the day of man as man.”
As we approach a new era of leadership with the inauguration of President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris just a couple days away, I can’t help but think back to the legacy left by Dr. King, a man wholly concerned with true liberty and justice for all, not a select few. The purpose and perspective of the peaceful protests led by Dr. King paint a stark contrast to the inconceivably arrogant and embarrassing acts of violence at our nation’s capitol building not even two weeks ago. I can only wonder how Dr. King would be shaking his head right now to see the state of the hearts of Americans more concerned about their “team’s” loss than about the justice and welfare of their fellow Americans. We should do better; we can do better.
The purpose and perspective of the peaceful protests led by Dr. King paint a stark contrast to the inconceivably arrogant and embarrassing acts of violence at our nation’s capitol building just days ago.
I’d like to commend the heart and soul of Dr. King today, a man in whose very nature lay the embodiment of compassion for all people. From a prison in Birmingham to a podium in D.C., Dr. King exemplified what it meant to be an American. He wrote this in his letter from the Birmingham jail: “Nonviolent direct action seeks to create such a crisis and foster such a tension that a community which has constantly refused to negotiate is forced to confront the issue.” Did you catch that? Nonviolent direct action. Actions of peace presented with peace shout louder in the faces of the oppressors than acting just like them. May we, too, honor the legacy of Dr. King this year and rebuild a better America―for all people.