Valdosta Daily Times

What We Think

January 21, 2013

What We Think: MLK Day: An American holiday

- — Each year seems to find an increase in local events commemorating the life, the words and, most importantly, the dream of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

These events honor the ideas of King who spoke of not judging people by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. The same King who spoke for political, social and economic equality for blacks. The same King who led the tumultuous civil rights movement through the 1950s and ’60s.

These events celebrate the strides that have been made in equal rights for all Americans, no matter their race, since the days of King. And these events will note the travails that remain in regards to race within our nation.

During these events, King’s “I Have a Dream” speech has been mentioned, quoted and read. It ranks as one of the most eloquent and powerful speeches in American history.

In that speech, King spoke of many things, including, “I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slaveowners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood. ... I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will be judged not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character. ...”

While enormous strides have been made in integration from schools and theatres to the workplace and restaurants, even with the election of a black President, the MLK events likely won’t reflect such integration. The majority of these events will be attended by black participants while whites stay away.

Why such a disparity? It is hard to say. Perhaps, it is because whites do not feel welcome or they do not believe the events are for them.

But this situation is not unique to Valdosta. Throughout the nation, by both blacks and whites, Martin Luther King Day is largely perceived as a “black holiday.”

What an ironic injustice for the day commemorating the man who spoke of blacks and whites sitting together at the table of brotherhood.

Martin Luther King wasn’t just a great African-American.

He was a great American.

Martin Luther King Day isn’t an African-American holiday. It is an American holiday to honor a man who asked America to keep its long-held promise that all men are created equal.   

Martin Luther King is a man for all Americans as the day commemorating him is a day for all Americans to reflect on the nation’s past, but more importantly, think of its future.

1
Text Only
What We Think
  • Missing persons: Fill in the blanks

    Missing persons cases are tough. They are tough because they are vague.

    April 20, 2014

  • He is Risen

    Now on the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they and certain other women with them came to the tomb bringing the spices which they had prepared.

    April 19, 2014

  • Thumbs up

    THUMBS UP: To Carol Mikkelsen. Valdosta State University Opera’s “Dido and Aeneas” marks the last production before Mikkelsen’s retirement
    after 44 years with Valdosta State and the creation of the opera program. She plans to continue
    working with VSU part-time, but this weekend’s performance marks her last full-time participation with the opera productions. Ovations all around for her work.

    April 18, 2014

  • Feed the hungry, adopt a duck

    If you haven’t already adopted a duck, you have a little more than a week to do so.

    April 17, 2014

  • If I were mayor

    Each year, the City of Valdosta holds an essay contest, “If I Were Mayor,” with students in the area writing their ideas about what they would do as the head of the city.

    April 16, 2014

  • The real lessons of a mock drill

    Valdosta High School’s Students Against Destructive Decisions held a powerful mock demonstration Monday morning on the school’s campus.

    April 14, 2014

  • Kudos to VPD

    Followed by a stellar report on Sunday about the drop in the crime rate in the City of Valdosta, city police officers prove their worth once again by arresting a dangerous fugitive in our community.

    April 13, 2014

  • It just plain stinks

    After every rain event, the pungent smell of sewage can be detected around the rivers and streams of south Georgia, and Florida residents brace for more to float their way.

    April 13, 2014

  • Pennsylvania school stabbings: Why?

    The following editorial appeared in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Thursday, April 10:

    April 11, 2014

  • European bans on emails unlikely in America

    Several European countries are banning work emails to employees before and after normal working hours, between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m., in an effort to curb the perceived abuse of employees by corporations.

    April 11, 2014

Top News
Poll

Given the amount of rain recently, what's your favorite “rain” song?

Singing in the Rain
Purple Rain
Have You Ever Seen the Rain?
November Rain
Rainy Night in Georgia
Other
     View Results