The Glasgow Courier - Serving Proudly As The Voice Of Valley County Since 1913

By Alec Carmichael
I Digress 

Observing Martin Luther King Day


This coming Monday is a federal holiday, and much like most of the others, it seems that the only exciting thing about it is that some government employees get the day off. In reality, and much like many of the other holidays, we are celebrating a man who gave his life for this country. Just like Memorial Day, Veterans’ Day, Presidents’ Day and even Christmas, we are honoring a person who sacrificed dearly to advance the safety, justice and conscience of our country. Martin Luther King Jr. Day is no exception to that rule.

And, unfortunately, just like every other holiday, we need to remind every generation that the day matters for far more than a day off. Similar to Memorial Day, reminders of what the day means is needed and I am going to attempt to remind everyone that this holiday should be celebrated for its truth and beauty.

Literally, just over 40 years ago this country was bitterly divided by race. This division prompted a movement lead by people of peace, to progress the conscience of our country forward into a new age. That movement faced a backlash from all facets of America, and in many ways still does.

They sought freedom from oppression and hatred, they sought equality, justice, and love. They sought to live in their country with the promised equal protection, under the law that our country’s founders promised. They sought to be free from harassment or wrongful death. They sought all of this, mind you, as peacefully as possible, despite attacks trying to incite the opposite. In the end, they gained traction and the following 40 years has been a slow multi-person march towards equality.

Martin Luther King Jr. would give his life for this ideal, this “dream” that someday we would all be equal, and none of us would be judged by the color of our skin. This dream, I am sorry to say, is far from achieved, but with hope, with compassion, with love, and most importantly with understanding, that dream can be achieved.

In a day in age where white supremacists, anti-Semitics, and Dylan Roofs exist, the dream for which Martin Luther King Jr. died must be guarded daily by all of us. We must stand watch over what has been earned and never let complacency take hold. We must never allow negative actors untie the protective restraints we have placed on evil. We must continue to fight for justice, equality, and freedom for all people, not just for Americans, or for white people, or for black people, or for Asians, or for Hispanics, or for Arabs, but quite simply for all people.


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