Today, as you all undoubtedly know, is Martin Luther King Day. We take this day to celebrate the accomplishment and vision of a man who spoke of justice, peace and unity among the American people. He was a civil rights leader and an activist. He spoke truth to power and challenged ideas that were wrong in their very conception. He left us with an example of the kind of person we should all strive to be. The sort of person who does not turn away from injustice, but face it head on with zeal and conviction
If He Were Alive Today
I often think to myself what would happen if leaders of the past were alive today. Like what would happen if Martin Luther King was alive and took a look at Scranton. I imagine he would reel at the stories he would hear from the locals. The stories he would hear are of this family controlling the local government, that family controlling the news paper, and that the government is controlled by a political society. I have no doubt that he would see the injustice in all of this. He would see the injustice of the countless poor living in misery; The injustice of the young being without hope; The injustice of greed and selfishness by the Scranton government and those who control it. These days corrupt governments do not seek dogs on people. They just take away your home through fines and fees. They no longer spray you with fire hoses. Today, they just raise your property tax and chase away businesses. They no longer promote obvious segregation. They just make it so you cannot have certain jobs if you are not “politically connected”.
Yes, Dr. Martin Luther King died promoting the very ideas that make us remember him today. What I wonder is do we still take those ideas seriously. Do we still believe that an injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere? Do we still believe that we should join in unity against oppressors and fight the good fight? There was a time when Americans came together to decry the injustice that existed in our nation. They were zealous and faithful to the cause of freedom. These days, we see that many of our state and local governments, like the Scranton government, engender little confidence in the America people. Nevertheless, the marches are not as grand as they used to be. We do not seem to have the same fiery zeal that Americans had in Martin Luther King’s day. I like to believe that we still would be willing to face down dogs, fire hoses and the threat or imprisonment for our fellow Americans. I like to believe that we would still stand united in the face of oppression and injustice. Am I dreaming? We, like Martin Luther King, will one day be dead. What I often wonder is what will our predecessors say about us. What will be our legacy? Will they herald our accomplishments like we herald Martin Luther King’s? Will we be examples beacons of light and gleaming towers of courage and kindness? This is only something we will answer with our deeds and our actions. Time will tell.