Monday, January 21, 2019
Within five years of his Lincoln Memorial speech, proclaiming “thank God Almighty I’m free at last!” Martin Luther King Jr. would become the victim of an assassination. The eerie parallels of notoriety in their generations apart and in common positions, both billowing out famous words that would play over and over in a repetitive history that deems them worth repeating, their assassinations of two who become ‘greats’ in the annals of revolutionaries, and then MLK having as his backdrop a statute of Lincoln to now there too is a statute of MLK! As he went about his life addressing ‘the majority’ MLK created iconic moments so that “free at last, free at last” to this day necessarily perpetuates. His task was probably known to be a grand cause, as indicated by other now famous words he spoke - not so long ago attesting to character instead of color as another one example. I wonder if today MLK would be pleased about the changes he and others have forged and the changes that others have assumed since his passing. For all of the 2019 glass ceilings that have ethnic correlations – and - for all of those same ceilings that appear to have been broken – what might MLK say in looking at a city such as this? In looking at a country such as this? Ethnic disparities across various cohorts remain. Also, arguments over whose fault “it” is - remain. Likely the forgone admonition of MLK would be his same call for today: “We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of Now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy.” Today sir, you are honored. Photo Credit: Jeronimo Bernot on Unsplash.