Tag Archive for Martin Luther King Jr

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr: “We shall always march ahead, we cannot turn back”

The day set aside to commemorate Dr. Martin Luther King’s birthday is a good day to reflect on the power of resistance, the power of peaceful demonstration, the power of We The People insisting that our government reflects our values and addresses our needs.

Last year, the Holiday Proclamation was written and signed by President Barack Obama, the first black president, and was marked with a speech by then Attorney General Loretta Lynch, the first black woman attorney general.

Today is about them – and tomorrow will be about them and every tomorrow will be about them until that day when our government once again reflects the values of her citizens.

On August 28, 1963 a quarter of a million people gathered to support civil rights, and share Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream of equality.

Dr. King:

We cannot walk alone.

And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead.

We cannot turn back.[…]

With [our] faith, we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith, we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith, we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.

Full transcript below along with a video of John Lewis, President Barack Obama’s presidential proclamation for the final Martin Luther King Day holiday of his presidency, and Attorney General Loretta Lynch’s speech in Birmingham.

Fighting Back: “You deserve A Better Deal: Better Jobs, Better Wages, and a Better Future”

The weekly Fighting Back post is also an Open News Thread.

The Weekly Democratic Party Address was delivered by Congresswoman Terri Sewell of Alabama.

(For Congresswoman Terri Sewell, the Republican Tax Scam is a stark reminder of just how far we have to go to recognize Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s vision for equality & fairness.)
Representative Sewell:

This weekend, our country will come together to celebrate Martin Luther King Day, and to remember Dr. King’s legacy of equality, compassion and action in the face of injustice.

But remembering is not enough. Fifty years after King’s death, many Americans continue to suffer from the same injustices they endured five decades ago.

Our country needs action.[…]

Our working families are facing real challenges that require immediate action, but instead of tackling these challenges, Republican leaders have spent their time pushing a tax bill that gives huge giveaways for special interests and the wealthy, while driving up costs for working and middle class Americans. […]

This weekend in honor of Martin Luther King Day, Democratic Members of Congress from across the country will be hosting events to talk with constituents about the consequences of the tax bill and our plan to fight for working families.

The American people deserve better than what they’re getting from the Republican Congress’s relentless campaign to put the wealthy and well-connected ahead of everyone else.

You deserve A Better Deal: Better Jobs, Better Wages, and a Better Future.

(CSPAN link to Weekly Democratic Address: here)

(Link to Nancy Pelosi Newsroom here)

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr: “We shall always march ahead, we cannot turn back”

Today, the day set aside to commemorate Dr. Martin Luther King’s birthday, is a good day to reflect on the power of resistance, the power of peaceful demonstration, the power of We The People to insist that our government reflects our values and addresses our needs.

On August 28, 1963 a quarter of a million people gathered to support civil rights, and share Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream of equality.

Dr. King:

We cannot walk alone.

And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead.

We cannot turn back.[…]

With [our] faith, we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith, we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith, we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.

Full transcript below along with a video of John Lewis, President Barack Obama’s presidential proclamation for the final Martin Luther King Day holiday of his presidency, and Attorney General Loretta Lynch’s speech in Birmingham.

First Lady Michelle Obama: “The surest path to progress here in America runs straight through the voting booth”

Over the weekend, First Lady Michelle Obama addressed the graduating class and guests at Jackson State University, an historically black university in Jackson, Mississippi.

(Jackson State University YouTube: Michelle Obama’s Speech at 2016 JSU Spring Undergraduate Commencement)

Michelle Obama:

Now, back in 1950, when this stadium was built, it was one of the finest stadiums in the country, quickly became the pride of Mississippi. But the story of this beautiful complex also has a darker side. For years, it stood as a steel and concrete tribute to segregation, because Jim Crow laws meant that only white teams and fans were allowed through these gates.

Back in 1962, during an Ole Miss football game, this stadium became the site of what was essentially a pro-Jim Crow rally, with fans waving Confederate flags and singing a song called “Never No Never” to protest the admission of an African American student to their university. […]

That game was just one small moment in a struggle of civil rights that enflamed this entire country, but often burned hottest right here in Mississippi, the state where a 14-year-old boy named Emmett Till was beaten and murdered. Where NAACP leader Medgar Evers was assassinated. Where Freedom Riders overflowed the jails. Where gunshots would ring out here on your campus, killing young people and littering one of your dorms with bullet holes still seen today.[…]

Several months ago, I was meeting with a group of teenage girls from Washington, D.C., and one of them asked me, “Well, what do you think Dr. King would say about everything that’s going on today?” And I told her that none of us can really answer that question. But I said that Dr. King would probably answer it with a simple question –- and that is: “Did you vote?” (Applause.) Did you vote?

Dr. King understood was that one of the surest paths to progress here in America runs straight through the voting booth. That’s been the key to every single stride we have ever taken in this country –- from fighting discrimination to passing health care. It all starts with the ballot. […]

If we fail to exercise our fundamental right to vote, then I guarantee that so much of the progress we’ve fought for will be under threat. Congress will still be gridlocked. Statehouses will continue to roll back voting rights and write discrimination into the law. We see it right here in Mississippi — just two weeks ago -– how swiftly progress can hurtle backward, how easy it is to single out a small group and marginalize them because of who they are or who they love.

Full transcript below.

Today in History: Martin Luther King, Jr. is Awarded the Nobel Peace Prize

October 14, 1964:

In 1964 Martin Luther King, Jr. was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his dynamic leadership of the Civil Rights movement and steadfast commitment to achieving racial justice through nonviolent action. King accepted the award on December 10, 1964 in Oslo, Norway on behalf of the Civil Rights movement and pledged the prize money to the movement’s continued development. At the age of thirty-five, King became the the youngest man, and only the second African American, to receive the prestigious award.

(Martin Luther King Jr. held his acceptance speech in the auditorium of the University of Oslo on 10 December 1964.)

Dr. King:

Civilization and violence are antithetical concepts. Negroes of the United States, following the people of India, have demonstrated that nonviolence is not sterile passivity, but a powerful moral force which makes for social transformation. Sooner or later all the people of the world will have to discover a way to live together in peace, and thereby transform this pending cosmic elegy into a creative psalm of brotherhood. If this is to be achieved, man must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression and retaliation. The foundation of such a method is love.[…]

I accept this award today with an abiding faith in America and an audacious faith in the future of mankind. I refuse to accept despair as the final response to the ambiguities of history. I refuse to accept the idea that the “isness” of man’s present nature makes him morally incapable of reaching up for the eternal “oughtness” that forever confronts him. I refuse to accept the idea that man is mere flotsom and jetsom in the river of life, unable to influence the unfolding events which surround him. I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality.

Full transcript below.