Via American Press:
In a time when government is taking more and more control of the lives of every American, the celebration today of the life and legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. is a good reminder of what one individual can accomplish even when the government is working against you.
King was born Jan. 15, 1929, in Atlanta in a time when racial segregation was an accepted way of life in much of the United States. It was enforced by some state governments and sanctioned by the United States Supreme Court.
In the short span of his life — he was assassinated April 4, 1968, at age 39 — the Supreme Court reversed course on segregation and mandated that “separate but equal” was no longer the law of the land and all people had to be treated with equal rights and justice.
King played a key role in those historic changes, showing that when government gets off track, individual citizens can unite in a just cause and change things for the better.
By personal sacrifice, appealing to Almighty God and changing the hearts and minds of most fellow Americans, King and his supporters were able to bring about the justice that had for so long been denied to African Americans in this nation.
All people should remember that part of the King legacy is to do what is right no matter if the government has gone astray, and bring it back to the right side of God.
While we would like to think that our Constitution and government are perfect and always right, history teaches us that is not the case. But our form of government does put the ultimate power with the people who, like King and others taking part in the Civil Rights movement, can right the ship of state when it veers off course.
That is why MLK Day inspires people to the realization that they don’t have to accept what is unjust in society. It can be changed for the better by individual dedication to a just cause and a willingness to make the personal sacrifices that it takes when faced off against a seemingly all-powerful government.
President George Washington once said, “Government is not reason. It is not eloquence; it is force, like fire, a troublesome servant and a fearful master. Never for a moment should it be left to irresponsible action.”
The life and legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. is a reminder of just how true the words of our first president were.