derekfetters

Happy Social Justice Day

In Uncategorized on January 21, 2013 at 7:28 pm

Today is Martin Luther King day in the U.S. In my mind, it’s not just a little, “let’s get together and remember Dr. King” history lesson, but an attempt to continue his quest for social justice. That’s what, to me, this holiday really is about. It’s Social Justice Day. It’s about someone trying to get the U.S. to pay up on its promissory note of “equality and justice for all”. The problem is that people think of this as a black holiday, or that Dr. King is only important to black people. It’s because people who like simple pictures of history like to believe King’s struggle was solely about desegregation, as if not being able to use the same lunch counters was the greatest evil black people had to face. However, Dr. King was also responsible for action that led to the mandated minimum wage. He was against the Vietnam war. He was for all people receiving justice. This is why he was important. He was the person who tried to get the U.S. to pay attention to its own values and to make good on them, not just pay lip service to them. We have forgotten about this as a nation. This is why we need to remember Dr. King. I cannot communicate his message any better than he did himself. So I’ve included excerpts from his speech “Why I am Opposed to the War in Vietnam” and have posted an audio recording of the speech. Listen to what he has to say about how we’ve fallen back on our values, culturally and politically. These are the lessons we need to keep with us as we continue to shape this nation and our lives so that we may live up to the promise of America. Happy Social Justice Day, everyone.

“This is a role our nation has taken, the role of those who make peaceful revolutions impossible but refusing to give up the privileges and the pleasures that comes from the immense profits of overseas investments. I’m convinced that if we are to get on the right side of the world revolution, we as a nation must undergo a radical revolution of values. We must rapidly begin the shift from a thing-oriented society to a person-oriented society. When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, militarism and economic exploitation are incapable of being conquered.”

“It is a sad fact that because of comfort, complacency, a morbid fear of communism, our proneness to adjust to injustice, the Western nations that initiated so much of the revolutionary spirit of the modern world have now become the arch anti-revolutionaries. This has driven many to feel that only Marxism has a revolutionary spirit. Therefore, communism is a judgment against our failure to make democracy real and follow through on the revolutions that we initiated. Our only hope today lies in our ability to recapture the revolutionary spirit and go out into a sometimes hostile world declaring eternal hostility to poverty, racism, and militarism. With this powerful commitment we shall boldly challenge the status quo, we shall boldly challenge unjust mores, and thereby speed up the day when “every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low, and the rough places shall be made plain, and the crooked places straight. And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.”

 

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