I certainly am not a civil rights expert, nor am I well read on the writings of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. However, a certain energy inspired me today and I ended up writing a few thoughts in my journal about today. Let me share:
I suspect my ancestors intentionally boarded a boat, some of them with precious few belongings and they arrived in America primarily motivated by the hope of freedom.
I suspect, Dr. King’s ancestors were forced onto boat, treated like cargo and arrived in America stripped of everything including their freedom.
Since then, through the work and dreams of a great many people, through battles costing hundreds of thousands of lives, America has evolved. But this day is the ongoing voice of all those people who lived and died to create even the opportunity where Martin Luther King could stand at a microphone and voice his opinion. MLK Day is a celebration of all that progress, laying the foundation for him to promote his messages of peace, equality and civil rights.
Looking into King’s death, I found layers of mystery and conspiracy. But whether James Earl Ray did indeed kill Dr. King, or whether it was a conspiracy doesn’t change what happened. Nor does it change the message behind Dr. King’s life. He is best remembered for his dream. It is a fantastic dream that every person in America and — ideologically — around the world is charged with pursuing to the best of their ability.
In fact, just like the Statue of Liberty is America’s symbol of opportunity, Martin Luther King Day reminds us of the equity with which we must all endeavor to frame that opportunity.