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Posts tagged ‘Martin Luther King’

16
Jan

Dr. King’s Dream – Let it Ring Some More!

English: Dr. Martin Luther King giving his &qu...

Image via Wikipedia

If collectively we didn’t have a group to hate, we’d have to invent one (to hate).

I can’t remember who said that, but sadly, I believe it’s true.

When I was born, in 1957, segregation still prevailed. There were “colored” bathrooms, beaches, water fountains and many other indignities.

Through the years, and again today, my mother said that, when I was two, I could read and I knew what the “colored only” sign over the water fountain meant, but not what it stood for.

She told me that I thought the “colored” fountain had pretty colored water, like Kool-Aid.   (Children will see things as they are, without filters or ugly meanings.)

“Did you allow me to drink from that fountain?” I asked my mom, today.  “You couldn’t have reached it. You were only two,” she explained.  “Well,” I asked her, “Could you have held me up to drink from it?”

As she thought about it, I pressed on, “Was it because of the times?”

“No, you were too little and didn’t know how to drink from a fountain,” she told me.

It was a different time; and my parents were not the type to rock the boat.

I don’t remember being told I could not drink that colored water.  I wonder if my two-year old self would have felt let-down, or maybe kind of deprived?

Little did I know that an entire population of Black Americans were deprived of much more than colored water.

We have come a long way since then, but not far enough.  I think that either we haven’t come far enough, or we’re regressing.  Personally, I think we are regressing.

We have a long way to go in regards to Human Rights, Equal Rights, and certainly with the right to marry, and Gender/Transgender Equality.

People who today will deny immigrants a place in our country have forgotten that Dr. King’s dream was for ALL rights.  Human rights, Equal rights, Equal treatment, and basic human decency towards all people.

The leaders here in Florida, in Alabama, Arizona, Georgia and elsewhere, need to abolish their bigotry towards immigrants and towards anyone who happens to be different.  If the inhumane treatment of immigrants (and the torture of our enemies), continues, it will destroy the rich history of “for and by the people democracy” that continues to make this country appealing to people from other countries who simply want to come here for a better life.

We have to have compassion all people or hate will prevail in earnest across the other States in this united land of ours, destroying the fabric that keeps our country good and strong.

The Dalai Lama talks about compassion a lot.  In his book, “Ethics for the New Millennium,” he says that without compassion for the sufferings of others, a person will not be truly happy.  He talks about how we must continue to cultivate our inner goodness.  If we do, our actions become conducive to the creation of continuous compassion for others  Things like patience, tolerance, forgiveness, humility, and so on, are the building blocks of compassion, says the Dali Lama.

The inability to have inner restraint will deny the ability to know compassion, thus happiness, he says.

With the bankruptcy of America, which was put into motion by the wealthy one percent, and by the banks who are not taking responsibility for their actions, we need Dr. King’s words now more than ever:

In a sense we’ve come to our nation’s capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the “unalienable Rights” of “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note, insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked “insufficient funds.”

And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”   ~ Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

I think it’s good that a dialogue about living Dr. King’s dream by engaging in service to others, is happening in my community.

If we lead by Dr. King’s example, our children will grow into people who are world’s better than the people of the 20th century.  Better than those who would erect signs to keep fellow human beings off of “white” beaches, out of “white” bathrooms, and unable to use “white” drinking fountains.

If Dr. King were alive, don’t you think he would tell the haters that the only way to heaven is to have compassion for all people, regardless of race, religion, gender?

Wouldn’t Dr. King tell us that God doesn’t care what your religion is, or how pretty your church is?  I think so.  I also think Dr. King would say something like this:  It doesn’t matter who you pray to, what matters to God is, did you do the right thing?    I think what matters is to have compassion for others; to stand for something, and to deny the haters an audience.

I think he’d say something like that.  I know we’d listen.  But, would the haters listen?

We can dream, right?

14
Jan

Weekly Photo Challenge: Peaceful

The WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge asks us to post a photo that speaks “peaceful,” and this one works for me.

This is Pompano Beach, Florida, which is my home.  Well, I don’t live on the ocean and this is not my view, unfortunately (or fortunately, during hurricane season!).

Although yesterday was an incredible day, it was hardly peaceful for me!

Yesterday began with a 7:30 am breakfast-tribute to the memory of Martin Luther King, Stand for Something.

The Broward County YMCA puts on this Martin Luther King Inspirational  Breakfast program each year.  This year J.R. Martinez – Iraq war Veteran, and more recently, winner of the Dancing with the Stars show, was the Keynote Speaker.

And, former Dancing with the Stars contestant and newly retired Miami Dolphins football great, Jason Taylor was honored with the Spirit Award, from the YMCA.

I’ll write about the event tomorrow – it was very special.

Then, I had a phone interview with Microsoft.  Yes, THE Microsoft!!

The other day I wrote something about all the applications and jobs that I have on the burner and how I didn’t want to accept anything from Acme Computers if Microsoft called…. And…

Well….,

They called!

Who would have thunk it?  They saw my resume online and called ME?  OMG!

Well, I don’t have the job – yet.  And, although I want to keep really positive about getting it….well, I’m realistic, too.

And I had another great interview with a firm that I like very much…

Then, last night, I saw a wonderful play about, of all things, wrestling!  I am hardly anyone who enjoys wrestling – but I have a new-found respect for the show-business side of it now.

If you happen to be in the South Florida area, GO SEE this play.  You will love it!

The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity

Playing at the Caldwell Theatre, Boca Raton, FL

 

23
Nov

random notes from orlando

We arrived in Orlando last night a few minutes past 6:00 pm.  My brother lives in Maitland, a suburb of Orlando.  His neighborhood is tree-lined with nice ranch-style homes.  There is a lot of room between homes and all have big front and back yards.

There is not a single street light in the neighborhood and so the stars are visible and bright.

Tim has a dog, Buster.  He’s an 8 month old black Lab mixed with a lot of other breeds, but mostly Lab. Buster is as fun and as affectionate as he is big.

Jazz (my dog) is completely beside himself and horrified that Buster would dare look at me when Jazz is anywhere in the room.  The fact that Buster would dare touch Jazz’s food, water, or toys turns Jazz into a monster-maniac snapping – growling machine.  I believe Jazz, who faces Buster like a boxer, thinks he’s a much bigger dog than he really is.  Buster is easily 10 times the size of Jazz, too.  No matter – Jazz is large and in charge.

Tim got a package from my niece with a “Flat Stanley” picture – it’s a cut-out figure that’s been laminated.  Her first grade class is doing one of those popular kid projects where people take the cut-out to different places and take pictures of Flat Stanley as they travel.

Buster and Flat Stanley

Here’s a picture of Buster in my car with Flat Stanley.  Buster apparently enjoys car rides – he jumped into my car the moment the door opened.  Doesn’t it seem  as if he wants the keys so he can go go go?

News from Orlando

I’ve looked at the news here and see that poor Zenaida Gonzalez went through a 12 hours deposition yesterday.

Charles Greene, the attorney for Casey Anthony in the civil suit, in a Baez-like weird manifestation of showiness, charged that the attorneys Morgan and Morgan, are paying Zenaida to continue the case!!  Oh really?  (Hah! I wouldn’t put it past them!)

WESH quotes Greene as saying:

I’m not going to get into specifics. I don’t think it will be appropriate, but I believe the video will be available to you after the deposition is complete.

So, that deposition tape will be available, but Casey Anthony’s deposition is sealed?

There will be a hearing December 8th to decide whether Morgan can depose Anthony, forcing her to answer questions versus taking the Fifth.
It was interesting driving in Orlando last night because I saw an “Amscot” on the Sameron highway – or maybe it was on Chickasaw, I’m not sure.  Anyway,  I don’t know it is “the” Amscot where Casey Anthony left her car.

It was funny to drive on roads and highways that were often referred to in the Casey Anthony case discovery.

YMCA News

On a separate note, I heard that J.R. Martinez won the Dancing with Stars competition!  I don’t know too much about him, other than seeing him once or twice on the show.  He does seem like a super-nice, very energetic, guy.

J.R. will be our guest for a  YMCA tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King.  He’s going to talk about his journey and his drive to get to where he is today.  I believe the date of that event is the Friday before the MLK holiday.

So, that’s it from Orlando!  Not sure yet what our day will look like as we’re still drinking coffee and relaxing.

I’ll keep you posted!

21
Sep

a stay for Troy Davis’ execution is only temporary

Supporters of Troy Davis, who was scheduled for execution this evening at 7:00pm, erupted in joy at the news that a stay had been granted at the eleventh hour for Troy.

Unfortunately, it is a temporary stay so the Supreme Court has an opportunity to review additional issues brought forth by Troy Davis’ defense attorneys

The “warrant” for Troy’s death is still valid until September 28, 2011.  Until then, there is still hope.

The torture of waiting to die

All in all, Troy has gotten a total of 4 stays since being on Death Row.  Three times before, Troy has had to ready himself emotionally and psychologically,  to die.

Ed Pilkington, writing for The Guardian, reflects upon what this “torture” does to a person in his article for The Guardian.  The article lists 10 reasons why Troy should not be executed, below is reason number ten:

Even if you set aside the issue of Davis’s innocence or guilt, the manner of his execution tonight is cruel and unnatural. If the execution goes ahead as expected, it would be the fourth scheduled execution date for this prisoner. In 2008 he was given a stay just 90 minutes before he was set to die. Experts in death row say such multiple experiences with imminent death is tantamount to torture.

ReadTroy Davis: 10 reasons why he should not be executed

Texas kills – again

Tonight, Texas murdered another prisoner.  It happened at 6:21 Texas time.  Lawrence Russell Brewer, 44, was on death row for the racially charged murder of James Byrd, Jr.

The murder of Mr. Byrd is so heinous that I don’t wish to discuss it.

Suffice it to say that someone like Lawrence Russell Brewer is no better than an animal – no, most animals behave better.  This murderer is the worst of the worst, but not worthy of state sponsored murder.

No one should be willfully executed – ever.   It is barbaric and the United States is, or should be, better than this.

Civil societies do not murder their people, therefore the US states that sponsor the death penalty are uncivilized, barbaric and clearly mad.

A comment left today by Colleen on another of my posts about the death penalty, reminded me that in order to put the practice of the death penalty into focus, you should consider this:  There are four other countries that impose the death penalty on its people:  Iran, Yeman, North Korea, and the United States.  That’s the company we keep.   Update: there are quite a few other countries that allow the death penalty.  According to Amnesty International, this list reflects areas where the death penalty is in place:   See http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0777460.html

Those of us who want to act and change how laws are applied in this country need to speak out about it. Protest. Get involved. Stop the death penalty!  It has proved over and over again that it is NOT a deterrent for criminal behavior, and it costs millions of dollars to impose.  The costs are much extensive than keeping a prisoner locked up for life.

I joined the NAACP and Amnesty International because I am sick of allowing state governments to trample on our basic human rights.  I think now is the time to speak loud about the death penalty.

With every execution that is allowed to occur in our country, we chip away at the civil rights that others fought or died for.  Individuals such as  Martin Luther King, Bobby Kennedy, Rosa Parks, The Little Rock Nine, Thurgood Marshall, and the example of the famous case, Brown v. The Board of Education, must not be forgotten.   We are doomed to repeat history if the lessons from it are forgotten.

For those who cannot appreciate the struggle for equality that some groups face, I would say:  Who will stop that hate-train when your rights are trampled on?  Trouble for one is trouble for all when it comes to freedom, equality and choice.

Speak out!

16
Jan

full version Martin Luther King’s: I have a dream

This is the entire Martin Luther King “I Have a Dream” speech.  It’s 17 minutes.

“Now is the time to rise,” he says, “to make justice a reality for all of God’s children…”

We have come a long way with regards to Civil Rights, but not far enough – not yet. But, as he says: “Let us not wallow in the valley of despair.”

We can dream.

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