Friday, April 04, 2008

40 years ago today

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. died, the victim of a coward's act, forty years ago today.

We do well by remembering his life, his work, his words and his dream for our nation.

It is hard today not to wonder what the United States would be like had he not been cut down so early in his life. He was 39 years old.

Dr. King lost his life in Memphis, Tennessee while standing with striking sanitation workers. He had not planned to detour from his work on the upcoming Poor People's March on Washington. But, when his brothers called from Memphis, he decided to respond to their plea for help.

It cost him his life.

Forty years later the impact of his sacrifice is still very evident. Take a look at this report from CNN to hear about the affect of Dr. King's action in Memphis on one family:

Your reactions are always important. Tell us what you think and feel.



Anonymous said...

I grew up in Memphis, and was nine when he was assassinated. To say it was an awful time in the city's history is a gross understatement. From my memories as a child I can only echo how wretched the working conditions were for the sanitation workers. To whites there were just garbage men. I truly believe that if Dr. King had lived that the Civil Rights Movement would have gone in different and better directions.

Anonymous said...

"I have become increasingly convinced that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. has become the victim of identity theft. Too often we domesticate King, sanitizing his radical message and selectively choosing his words. Our nation embraces the King of Montgomery and Selma but suffers amnesia about the King of Memphis who called for a living wage, or the King of Riverside who spoke out boldly against the war in Vietnam. Dr. King would be deeply disturbed by the crass materialism and naked narcissism of American society today, and he would resist the prosperity gospel that has infiltrated our churches - a message that pimps the gospel and places the crown before the cross."

-Adam Taylor, on Sojourner's God's Politics blog

Anonymous said...

Dr. King is an American hero with a possitive message for this country to live up to her ideals. I never heard G-D America from MLK.

Anonymous said...

Well, it's clear c hand has a personal vendetta against Rev. Wright, or simply has a one track mind and can't let it go.

Seriously, let it go.

Anonymous said...

I actually have no ill will toward Rev Wright. My concern, whether you belive it or not, is for those hearing the message. MLK's way leads upward, a victimology theology leads downward.

Anonymous said...

Ironically I find c hand's incessant input to also have a distinctly descending effect.

Anonymous said...

Could it be that you are on a divergent path to the one pointed out by King.

Anonymous said...

c hand,

I see exactly what you're saying. You're definitely concerned about the white people hearing his message. You don't want them to have to get too uncomfortable and think about what racism really means for some people.

I'm pretty sure Dr. King had scathing rebukes of America during his time, but it's interesting to see how people try to "white" wash him into the poster child of happy, go-lucky Americans who seem to think everything is okay now.

Anonymous said...

On the 40th anniversary of his murder, it would be difficult to portray his message as "happy go lucky." His rebukes were real substantive and measured. His grievances could be quantified and thus addressed in real terms.
To the best of my knowledge he did not lead his flock, as Wright has done, into the fever swamps of paranoia

Anonymous said...

I was living alone with my three young while my husband was serving with the Air Force in Viet Name. I got a sitter and went to see - of all things "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner" - with a friend. She had never lived "integrated" as I had as a military wife and the movie stimulated much reflection between us. The news that night told about his death. I was very upset. Alone, carrying the burden of my husband's flying in combat in Viet Nam and remembering the black people I'd lived with only a wall separating our two apartments whom I'd come to love, being in Montgomery shortly after King moved to Atlanta and people were beaten down in Montgomery on a Saturday afternoon for marching, we went to church on the following Wednesday night after his death. I desperately needed a community to share my concerns and offer up prayers. NOT ONE WORD WAS MENTIONED, NOT ONE PRAYER WAS WORDED about the death of Martin Luther King and injustice to God's creatures. Now at 75 years of age I worship with a church of Christ that is inclusive of all races, genders, economic varities and Jesus followers. May I never forget we are all one in Christ Jesus.