Saturday, January 24, 2015

Martin Luther's Legacy

Well, time certainly flies like a bird or maybe a jet plane - a rocket ship? Anyway, Martin Luther King's day just passed, and I thought I'd make a comment. When I was going to Hunter College in the early 1960's, I started attending in the evenings and that year, (I'm not sure whether it was 1958, 59 or 60) the evening newspaper staff including yours truly, hired an ancient bus and trucked on down to Washington DC to support Martin Luther King's march. I'm not sure if that was the march where he gave his famous speech or not, but I do remember walking with the others in neat, orderly groups. We were all dressed as though we had come from work, our usual garments.

Our old bus had broken down on the way so I think it took us about 10 hours from NY to get there, but get there, we did. I'll never forget the faces of those African American riders on the bus - we were a mixed group. They were so grateful for the support, because in those days, it was a time of real racial inequality, unlike the manufactured riots of today, which are political stunts on the backs of people in real misery.

Peaceful protest - it was a beautiful thing. I just wish we had more leaders like Martin Luther. I think he would have tears in his eyes today at how the progress he started has been damaged. But I know there ARE many community leaders who are like Martin Luther King, who work tirelessly to make things right in a peaceful way. They just aren't out there on the news or the Internet promoting themselves for gain.

I hope people ask themselves, when they see these individuals, who benefits? Who are the real leaders?

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