Living up to Martin Luther King’s dream

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Monday was a national holiday in celebration of Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday. The man behind the Civil Rights Movement was assassinated in 1968.

When Congress passed legislation declaring his birthday a national holiday, many people were opposed. Today, even those who resented the movement lead by King don’t have a problem enjoying a day off.

During the time of the nonviolent demonstrations, I was a member of the Louisiana House of Representatives. Had I been asked to cast a vote for the holiday, I probably would have voted no. It’s amazing how people resent changes, especially if it goes against the status quo.

As the years have passed and I’ve learned more about the movement and Mr. King’s nonviolent leadership, I realize he was one of the bravest men in our history. Having read and seen videos of his life, I’ve come to realize that he not only talked the talk, but he walked the walk.

Some of his famous remarks, such as “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere” should forever ring in the ears of every American. Another that describes the man is, “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in a moment of comfort, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” He definitely passed the test of a man with courage.

His familiar “I have a dream” speech will go down in history as one of the greatest of all times. He dreamed his children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.

If Martin Luther King were alive today, I think he would be disappointed with the progress we have made in that area. Yes, the Civil Rights Movement gave his people a freedom for which they were deprived. I think it’s time for all people to come together and realize that we are one nation, under God, with liberty and justice for all.

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