Thank you for returning to Common Sense Civics and Citizenship. We take a look this week at some highly relevant thoughts from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and President Grover Cleveland. I think we forget our American heritage because we scarcely take the time to reflect on it. I hope you will find relevancy from their words the past to living in America today. Let’s being with five things we can take seriously and act upon from MLK’s legacy:
-“I look to a day when people will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”
So why have we resurrected the melatonin debate and are now teaching our youngest children to judge others by skin color? Bravo to the parents who believe Dr. King’s words and are acting upon them! When I was a young student, I heard MLK speak these words. They made sense to me-common sense if you will. Regardless of what older adults thought, I knew that this was the right way to think about human beings. Character matters.
-” I have a dream that one day the state of Alabama, whose governor’s lips are presently dripping with the words of interposition and nullification, will be transformed into a situation where little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls and walk together as sisters and brothers.”
Years after Dr. King said these words, a white girl (freshman) and a black girl (sophomore) were college roommates. She was two years older than me and treated me like a younger sister.
Another thing: If you place a toddler in a multi-racial playgroup, they know no color. We can learn lessons from infants, as well we should today. Our youngest citizens have never read the Constitution, the Bible, or other religious books, yet they know how to behave as the Creator intended. Dr. King’s dream was the same as the Creator’s intention for you and me.
-“If Americans permit thought-control, business-control, and freedom-control to continue, we shall surely move within the shadows of fascism.”
MLK wrote the above quote 68 years ago. He was correct then, and his words call out to us today. In what ways are we allowing our thoughts, businesses, or freedoms to be controlled by the State? If so, we are trading in liberty for fasc-ism. Simple as that.
-Dr. King understood his First Amendment rights. He showed us how peaceful protest is done. The people of his day did not understand how to respond to a peaceful protest. They thought it wise to treat peaceful protesters as criminals if they disagreed with Dr. King. He was jailed. His followers (our fellow Americans) were hosed down, mistreated, and more. Yet, their cause was just, and in the end, their cause brought change.
-“And when this happens, when we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children… will be able to join hands and sing… Free at last! Free at last!
Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!”
Dr. King knew t’s a matter of conviction in the human heart. Today, we can choose liberty, not division, e.quality over e.quit.y, love, rather than hate, peace rather than war as far as possible with us.
This is Common Sense Civics and Citizenship.