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Thread: The legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.

  1. #1
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    The legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.

    Martin Luther King Jr. was a Baptist minister and leader in the civil rights movement from 1954 until his assassination in 1968. He led the 1955 Montgomery bus boycott and in 1963 helped organize protests in Birmingham and the March on Washington. In 1957, King became the first president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. In 1964, he won the Nobel Peace Prize for combating racial inequality through nonviolent resistance. King was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal. In 1986, President Ronald Reagan signed legislation designating the third Monday in January as Martin Luther King Day, a federal holiday. Will his legacy last.....or will it be lost?

    A new Supreme Court is poised to take a chunk out of MLK's legacy
    John Blake, CNN, Jan 20 2019

    One is called the "child of the storm." Another is "the crown jewel." The third was dubbed "the voice of justice." They are the three great laws of the civil rights movement: the 1964 Civil Rights Act, the 1965 Voting Rights Act and the Fair Housing Act of 1968. A new conservative bloc on the Supreme Court though may soon treat them as something else: outdated "racial entitlements" that need to be put back in their place.

    That's the dreaded future some experts envision for these landmark laws now that Justice Brett Kavanaugh has joined the Supreme Court. They warn that, for the first time, the high court has five firmly conservative judges who were groomed to dismantle the legal legacy of these laws, which have stood for 50 years. "They will chip away at these laws until there is nothing left," says Carol Anderson, author of One Person, No Vote: How Voter Suppression Is Destroying Our Democracy. "I can see the court tilting further and further to the right until we end up with a dystopian society."

    Such steady erosion would halt what some call the "Second American Civil Rights Revolution." It would also destroy a central plank in the legacy of the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. When the nation celebrates the King holiday on Monday, much of the focus will be on his stirring speeches and dramatic marches but these three laws are as central to King's legacy as his "I have a dream" speech.

    https://www.cnn.com/2019/01/20/us/ml...urt/index.html

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    On December 22, 2018, President Trump shut down approximately one-fourth of the federel government after he and Congress were unable to agree on an appropriations bill to fund the government for the 2019 fiscal year. Congress would not give in to Trump's demand for $5.7 billion for an expensive, unnecessary border wall -- so Trump retaliated by shutting down nine government departments, leaving 800,000 federal employees either not working or working without pay. The shutdown, now in its 30th day, has affected our national parks. With park workers furloughed, trash is piling up, restrooms are filthy and vandals have been spraying graffiti and cutting down trees. Thanks to Delta Air Lines, at least one park will re-open -- and just in time for Martin Luther King Day.

    Delta grants $83,500 to re-open Martin Luther King Jr. historical site
    Business Insider, Jan 20 2019

    The National Parks Service announced that it will re-open the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historical Park despite the government shutdown, thanks to an $83,500 grant from The Delta Air Lines Foundation. The Atlanta park was previously closed because of the federal government shutdown, which has entered its fifth week, but the money from the Atlanta-based airline will open the various sites in the city's historic neighborhood including his childhood home, Ebenezer Baptist Church, Fire Station No. 6 and a visitor center. Delta CEO Ed Bastian said that upon learning of the park's closure, he "knew we had to take action. These historic landmarks represent the strength of our community and should always be made available for the public to enjoy."

    https://www.businessinsider.com/mart...re-open-2019-1

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    As a Baptist minister, Martin Luther King Jr. surely took these verses to heart: "If you give to the poor, your needs will be supplied, but a curse upon those who close their eyes to poverty." (Proverbs 28:27); "Give fair judgment to the poor man, the afflicted, the fatherless, the destitute. Rescue the poor and helpless from the grasp of evil men." (Psalm 82:3-4) -- and two ministers in 2019 are doing the same and resurrecting a movement that King started.

    A social justice movement inspired by MLK is waging a new war on poverty
    Harmeet Kaur, CNN, Jan 20 2019

    In December 2017, 50 years after Martin Luther King Jr. called for a multiracial, nonviolent army of the poor, a new generation of activists resurrected the civil rights leader's boldest crusade: the Poor People's Campaign. In its first year, the Poor People's Campaign, led by Reverend William Barber and Reverend Liz Theoharis, has made strides in its goal of bringing poverty and economic inequality to the forefront of national discourse. The movement has already established 40 state chapters led by grassroots organizers entrenched in the fight for economic justice.

    Taking on broad issues such as inequality, systemic racism, ecological devastation, the war economy and what organizers call the country's "distorted moral narrative" hasn't been without challenges but people are hungry for a movement that addresses these "interlocking" issues, Barber says, and the Poor People's Campaign is laying the foundation to change policies and give a voice to America's poor.

    More: https://www.cnn.com/2019/01/20/us/po...acy/index.html

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    Here are excerpts of an editorial in today's Los Angeles Times. The complete essay is linked below.

    We celebrate MLK for trying to rescue America's soul. Steve King reminds us the job still isn't finished.

    Since when, Representative Steve King of Iowa wanted to know, were the terms "white supremacist" or "white nationalist" offensive? It was a rhetorical question he lobbed at a reporter for the New York Times and he threw "Western civilization" into the mix, making clear his belief that racial supremacy and race-oriented nationhood are inseparable from the long march of European and American intellectual and social development.

    It capped a long résumé of racist lines from the nine-term Republican Congressman. For example, take this tweeted nugget from 2017: "We can't restore our civilization with somebody else's babies." But in the unlikely event that King's question was sincere, here's a reminder. Those words have always been deeply offensive to the essential American creed: that all men are created equal.

    "I have a dream," Martin Luther King Jr. said in 1968, "that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: 'We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.'"

    What would Martin Luther King think of that other King — the Congressman from America's heartland — and his articulation of a hateful alternative creed of racial supremacy and race-based nationalism, whose adherents continue to plague the United States by pushing back against the lofty ideals to which most of the nation still aspires?

    The civil rights leader would no doubt find the Congressman's attitude familiar. Republican leaders have long tolerated not just Steve King but President Trump, whose words — about white supremacists in Charlottesville, Central American migrants, a US-born judge of Mexican descent, African American leaders and others — give aid and comfort to the racists among us.

    In observing Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday, we acknowledge him as a rescuer of the national creed and therefore one of the founders. The words of that other King — the one from Iowa — remind us that the job still isn't finished.

    https://www.latimes.com/opinion/edit...121-story.html

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    Business Insider says Trump's visit to the MLK Memorial was "unexpected." The brevity of the visit, and Trump's refusal to answer questions, however, were not unexpected.

    "President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence visited the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial in Washington DC just after 11 AM today. The pair placed a wreath at the foot of the statue during their brief visit, which lasted only a couple of minutes. Trump did not answer a reporter's questions about the government shutdown during the visit."

    https://www.businessinsider.com/trum...emorial-2019-1

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