What would Martin do in today's era? (photo by Alves family/flickr)
By Jerry James
Once again we are celebrating Martin Luther King’s birthday.
Today we will remember the greatness of the man and his humanity. We will celebrate his fight to force America to live up to it greed that all men are created equal. Many speakers will paraphrase his “I have a Dream “speech. We will marvel at his vision and his hope for America, spoken with such truth, during a period of our nation’s history where injustice had been codified into law.
We will remember the courage of Dr. King who paid the ultimate price while not knowing or experiencing equal justice in this nation. He and many others gave their all, living only with the faith of freedom unseen by so many in the history of our nation. We have come a longway; we have fought and won many battles in the struggle to get our great nation to live up to the values it so proudly proclaims as the model for the world.
Today’s issues beg the question where would Martin stand. Would Martin be fighting to overturn the recent voter identification laws that were created as a measure to protect the integrity of the election process? These laws were enacted even though there are no or few cases of in-person voter fraud on record. This desire to protect the system from an imaginary attack resulted in the disenfranchisement of hundreds of thousands of voters in each state where these measures were enforced.
Where would Martin stand on the question of taxes? Would he support the demonization of the poor as a parasite that is bleeding the country dry, nothing but a bunch of takers who are standing in the way of his progress or would Martin have compassion and understanding for their plight. Would Martin see the poor as individuals that go to work every day but are held back by low wages, poor education and lack of health-care? Or would Martin side with those that believe we must give more to those that are more successful. Would he argue that the tax burden on the successful would be so great that they would be unwilling to work any harder to be more successful? Would Martin insist on offset before he would be willing to provide aid to hurricane Sandy disaster victims?
Would Martin advocate for more guns in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre? Would Martin claim there is nothing we can do? Or would he advocate for background check for all gun purchase. Would he fight to limit the size of ammunition magazines?
I wonder if Martin would think as a nation we have lost sight of our greatness. Would he think that in our quest for things we have lost sight of the fact that we are all in this together? Would Martin view our problems as something that must be solved? Would he require sacrifices from our least and greatest citizens? Would Martin know that the sacrifice should be measured to do the least harm to each?
Today we celebrate the life of Dr. Martin Luther King. We celebrate his humanity and its impact on our nation. Remember the greatness, remember the joy, and remember the feeling that there was nothing that could stop us from finally reaching the high ideals envisioned by the nation’s founders. We have come a long way, the struggle continues, become a part of it.
Jerry James is the newly elected Central Illinois Chapter BDPA Financial Officer for the 2012-2013 year. Jerry is a thirteen year State Farm employee and is currently assigned as a Network Engineer responsible for third level support for the entire State Farm network. Prior to this assignment, Jerry worked at State Farm as a Project Network Engineer responsible for providing network support.
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