Friday, April 4, 2008

It was 40 years ago today

Normally we are all about fun here at YJKOBT but every once in a while there is something a bit more serious that needs to be discussed. It was 40 years ago today April 4, 1968 that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was killed in Memphis Tennessee where he was attempting to help solve a sanitation workers strike. As a child I was told about Dr. King by my parents. They were part of the civil rights movement and part of my childhood was spent in a mostly black neighborhood in Greensboro North Carolina where my father was the pastor at a mostly black Lutheran Church. For some small part I lived part of the civil rights movement and learned of the nastiness that people in the south even during the 1970s showed towards those who supported integration and equality for African Americans.

Later when we lived in Salisbury, North Carolina we attended a church that was all white except for my sister who is bi-racial. I have never been the same since the day that my innocence was taken from me when on the phone someone claiming to be with the KKK threatened to blow our house up because in his words my dad was the "one bringing niggers into the church". I cried and asked my mom why they hated my sister so much and she answered that they were people filled with hate and not love and they were cowards to threaten children and work in secret. I was 10 years old and my innocence was lost that day and I still do not understand the hatred and racial tensions that still seem to exist in this country. We are all just people, human beings, what deep down does skin color really matter anyway? Sometimes I wonder if another "King" Rodney King wasn't onto something when he asked, "Why can't we all just get along?"

On this day let's take pause for a minute and reflect on the closing words from Dr. Kings most famous speech, The I have a Dream Speech given August 28, 1963 on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. I think the are still applicable today:

'when we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, "Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!" '

My wish for today is for each of us to do our own small part of letting freedom, TRUE freedom ring.

-Doc

24 comments:

Becky said...

What a beautiful post, Doc. Seriously gorgeous.

Lu' said...

I got shivers Doc. I am sometimes so amased at the hurtful things done to people simply becuase of their race or sexual preference for that matter. Why does it OFFEND some people enough to HURT others? I don't get and I never will.

Micky-T said...

Those words from Rodney, kinda tugs at my heart, always did!

"Why can't we all just get along?"

Jahooni said...

Well spoken Doc.

I too have several different races in my family. Black with white, white with mexican, bahraini with white, etc. etc. And I wouldn't change it for anything.

Let us all just get along...HOW ABOUT A BIG GROUP HUG?

Jeff B said...

Your mom was right when she said that the KKK and other hate filled groups are cowards.

Awesome post my friend!

Jay said...

And the Confederate Flags are flying all over my town today. Seriously, they are. The Grand Poobah of the KKK lives about 10 miles from here. This town sucks.


Great post Doc! Very touching.

Leighann said...

Doc it's too bad I'm not speaking to you. Or I'd tell you what a wonderful post this is.

Makes you stop and think.

Knight said...

I can't believe this is still happening. How can there still be a KKK? What is so threatening ? I'll never understand. Beautiful post Doc. Thank you for sharing.

Doc said...

It's good to see that the folks that I consider blog buddies/friends/family seem to agree that racial intolerance is just plain ignorant. In my opinion that should cut across ethnic, religious, and political boundaries.

I debated about sharing that story with you guys but and I am glad that I did. Thanks for letting me get that out.

Christine said...

Amen. Thanks for sharing - and reminding.

We can do it, one by one, little by little, small gestures, big smiles... Yes, Jahooni, let's have a group hug!

Single In The City said...

It is really sad here to Jay! I live in a town where there is such Arse's.

A lot of people here just don't get it and if they did I would prolly kill over.

I am looking for the day that all people can get along, am I just having a dream here? He made a impact on all of us.. It is more race against race now! I live it everyday with me being Messianic Jew and the Orthodox Jews are not like that at all!

Your post hits home! Thanks for this

Single

Lu' said...

What is sad also is that these truely hatefull biggots breed like rabbits and foster their sick belief unto their young, so this will never end, never :(

Karen said...

What an amazing post. Wow. That was really moving.

As American as Apple Pie said...

Ok, so being from the North, the KKK was never much of a reality. The only time we'd ever see a black person was if we went into the city. And I mean a BIG city.

I have never really noticed the color of people's skin, although my Aunt and mother would get freaky if we were in the city and saw a lot of black people running around. That always upset me b/c I didn't put sterotypes on people and I thought it made them look like hicks to think all black people were hoodlums.

Anyway, since moving to the South,I still don't notice the color of people's skin. I think I have somehow passed this trait on to my children. I wish I knew how this happened and I could pass along to others how we could all become more tolerant of each other.

Thank you for sharing and getting us all talking about this important topic, Doc.

Bina said...

Wow. Excellent post. I was born in raised in a small town in Ohio. I went from kindergarten to 12th with mostly the same kids, black and white, and I swear to you I never really thought of my friends as black or white, they were just my friends. It freaking amazed me when I moved to NC (due to being in the Army) and how they acted and treated blacks. My husband was 1/2 Hawaiin and 1/2 Japaneese and I was told people were racist against him for having a white wife. I either never realized it, or didn't recognize it.

My very best friend in teh whole world is married to a black man, and all five of her children are 1/2 & 1/2. I don't care, in the least. All 4 of my children are 1/2 white, and they are beautiful and I'm proud of their heritage.

If every one would learn to either like or dislike people for WHO they are, not what SKIN color they are, the world would be a much better place.

Dana said...

Having a bi-racial son from a previous relationship, I can attest to the fact that much of this still goes on today. Just last summer we went to the local dirt track to watch stock car racing and people actually GOT UP AND MOVED when we sat down. He has also been referred to as "that BLACK kid that lives down the street" - not even worthy of using his name - and this from well-educated people who definately know better.

Anndi said...

I learned about tolerance from my father, all I can do is teach my daughter.

Thank you for sharing this sweetie... it brings back memories of when I was a child.. I'll have to share something of my own soon.

SMOOCH

Hopper said...

the fight for civil rights continues every day and not just here in our home... threats to civil rights anywhere are a deadly blow to civil rights anywhere... great post doc... lots of heart...

Lu' said...

Dana, that gave me shivers and I am holding back tears. ACTUALLY GOT UP AND MOVED! Where do you live? That is terrible, just awful. I have to admit I think my family has closet biggotry but we would never ever exhibit it outwardly and hurt someone, and I know it is WRONG.

Jeff B said...

Dana, you hit on one of my pet peeves. When people refer to another as that black kid, Chinese guy, Mexican woman...etc. It's never "That white guy over there..."

How about,"The woman with the red shirt on..." or some such phrase/description?

Sorry Doc to use your blog as a sounding board, but that crap really bugs me. It's just another way for racism to seep into our culture.

Doc said...

Go ahead Jeff... Feel free to use this as a sounding board all you want.

Once again everyone, thank you for your great comments and support.

Skittles said...

Stopping by to thank Apple Pie for visiting my blog.

Beautiful post! :)

As American as Apple Pie said...

Your welcome Skittles! Stop by often.

DirkStar said...

Bravo and well done!

You make me proud...