Sunday, January 15, 2012

Martin Luther King Jr. Day 2012

On January 18th, 2009, I wrote: "I find it hard to believe that in a nation that has just elected its first Black President, we've placed such a low value on the Martin Luther King holiday. I've heard radio talk-show hosts call it a "pseudo-holiday" and "half a holiday" because so many businesses choose to ignore it! People would get pissed if they were suddenly ordered to go to work on Memorial Day or the 4th of July. Hopefully, President Obama will see to it that the King Holiday becomes a full-fledged REAL holiday, not only in the eyes of the Nation, but in the eyes of the private business sector."

OK - here it is 2011. Not much has changed. Has it? According to the New York Daily News, Aqueduct will be open for racing Monday for the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. The feature is the $75000 Jimmy Winkfield Stakes, which honors the last black jockey to win the Kentucky Derby.

From 1955 until his death in 1968, Martin Luther King Jr. was the dominant leader of the US civil rights movement. Following the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi, the Rev. Dr. King mastered the art of nonviolent protest. [more]

Dr. King once said that “the arc of the moral universe is long but it bends towards justice. It bends towards justice, but here is the thing: it does not bend on its own. It bends because each of us in our own ways put our hand on that arc and we bend it in the direction of justice…”

On an otherwise unremarkable Wednesday 45 years ago, Martin Luther King Jr. spent 21 minutes speaking to an audience of students, parents, and other members of the public at Glenville High School, in one of Cleveland, Ohio's poorest. [more]

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