King would not retreat

January 20, 2013 

Martin Luther King ILLUS.jpg

300 dpi 3 col x 9 in / 146x229 mm / 497x778 pixels Jim Atherton color portrait of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Fort Worth Star-Telegram 2002

KEYWORDS: 2002 illustration ilustracion grabado contributed ft atherton dr martin luther king jr diversity mlk african-american month risk civil black rights right mlkmemorial leader history derechos africano ilustracion african american civiles holiday portrait martin americano historia grabado krtedonly


It seems astonishing to some younger folks that America once was a place where black citizens – who fought for their country in wars, who worked hard, who raised their children to be responsible people – would be attacked by fire hoses in the streets of the deep South. They were denied the right to vote. They had to send their kids to separate schools.

Martin Luther King Jr., whose life is today marked by a holiday, changed that, with nonviolent demonstrations, with eloquent speeches, with a passionate devotion to his cause.

And yet today, in the country and in North Carolina, we see evidence that there is a retreat from progress. Voter I.D. laws are in part an attempt to suppress the votes of the poor and the elderly, two groups likely to vote for more moderate Democrats. School vouchers, using public money to allow people to send their kids to private schools, would drain the public schools of resources and likely hurt poor and minority families who count on public education to fulfill their dreams for their children.

Let us hope that on this day, and others, King’s legacy will drown out the bitter bugle sounding retreat.

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