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16 January 2012

Praise: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

If you have time, the whole message is worth hearing.  If you have never listened all the way through, please consider doing so. This speech gives life to a rich history, good and bad, of the United States through 1963 and a compelling insight into the future, into our time. Dr. King's words inspired people then and now, including the peaceful Occupy Movement that continues around the world.  Please listen to the rhythm, the pacing, the individual words, and the references to great works that came before.  Magnificent.

Dr. King was assassinated in 1968.  His wife, Coretta Scott King, lived until 2006.  Here are a few quotes from Ms. King.
  • I support the Employment Non-Discrimination Act of 1994 because I believe that freedom and justice cannot be parceled out in pieces to suit political convenience. My husband, Martin Luther King, Jr. said, "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." On another occasion he said, "I have worked too long and hard against segregated public accommodations to end up segregating my moral concern. Justice is indivisible." Like Martin, I don't believe you can stand for freedom for one group of people and deny it to others.
    So I see this bill as a step forward for freedom and human rights in our country and a logical extension of the Bill of Rights and the civil rights reforms of the 1950s and '60's.
    The great promise of American democracy is that no group of people will be forced to suffer discrimination and injustice. I believe that this legislation will provide protection to a large group of working people, who have suffered persecution and discrimination for many years. To this endeavor, I pledge my wholehearted support.
    • Press Conference on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act of 1994, Washington D.C. (23 June 1994)
  • I still hear people say that I should not be talking about the rights of lesbian and gay people and I should stick to the issue of racial justice. But I hasten to remind them that Martin Luther King Jr. said, 'Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.' I appeal to everyone who believes in Martin Luther King Jr.'s dream to make room at the table of brother- and sisterhood for lesbian and gay people.
    • Reuters (31 March 1998)
  • Homophobia is like racism and anti-Semitism and other forms of bigotry in that it seeks to dehumanize a large group of people, to deny their humanity, their dignity and personhood. This sets the stage for further repression and violence that spread all too easily to victimize the next minority group.
    • Chicago Defender (1 April 1998)
  • I've always felt that homophobic attitudes and policies were unjust and unworthy of a free society and must be opposed by all Americans who believe in democracy.
    • Chicago Sun Times (1 April 1998)
  • Hate is too great a burden to bear. It injures the hater more than it injures the hated.
    • As quoted in Understanding Cultural Diversity in Today's Complex World‎ (2006) by Leo Parvis, p. 54
  • I'm more determined than ever that my husband's dream will become a reality.
A great man.  A great woman.  A great American family.  A day worthy of celebration.

Thanks to Secret Asian Man for the YouTube link.

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