Sunday, April 6, 2008

Remembering the King.

40 years ago, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., was murdered in Memphis, TN during a visit to support striking sanitation workers. I spent this weekend in Memphis soaking up the spirit of Dr. King and reflecting on the dreamer and the dream deferred. I thought it was poignant that Dr. King died in the midst of the labor struggle, this is a point many people forget. Many people also forget the year before his death he gave his famous speech vilifying the Vietnam War. We too often romanticize the legacy of Dr. King and forget how he had moved far beyond the silo of racial justice to broader issues of social justice including: economic justice, anti-militarism, supporting workers rights, etc.

I spent this past weekend in Memphis with the country's emerging progressive leaders discussing the next phase of the civil rights struggles: connecting the social justice movement to the environmental movement. We can no longer afford to exist in silos, the planet is in peril. We can save the planet and shift the global economy in way that ensures wealth, natural resources and access clean land, water and air is available to all 6 billion members of the human family. This is our moral obligation of the 21st century.

I am convinced that the future of our human existence depends on the next 100 years. I am convinced we have much more in common, than we have differences. I am convinced we share a common destiny. We shall either prosper or perish together. In these coming days embrace your "higher angels", if not for yourself, do it for those who await us in the next world. Do it for those who have yet be born. Dr. King once said: I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. This is why right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil triumphant.

Let us begin our long journey together.


Bram Reichbaum said...

I am very happy with how the anniversary of the King assassination played in the media this year. First of all, it was attended to more than I can remember, and secondly, the focus more than ever before was on the GARBAGE WORKERS. Even at the time, the focus wasn't on the garbage workers, so I'm glad we returned to that issue. I've never heard so many explanations of the "I am a Man" placards.

Also good was to get familiar with King's last speech. Not just for the chilling spooky effect, but for the fact that it is something different that I Have a Dram. It is a fuller look at the man.

Somewhere on YouTube is a very good audio recording of his speech against the war in Vietnam.

biko said...