Separate water fountains. Separate doors. Separate seating on buses. Separate restaurants. Separate schools. Lynchings. Hatred. Police brutality. Slurs. Church bombings. Burning crosses.
I know African-Americans were treated with great brutality and hatred, but, for the life of me, I cannot fathom why. Simply because someone’s skin color is darker than mine. Really? We’re going to hate and mistreat people over the color of their skin? We might as well segregate people based on their height or eye color or some other physical trait. God created men in His image (Gen 1:27), and He created all of mankind from one man (Acts 17:16). James, the Lord’s brother, says, “If you show partiality, you are committing sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors” (Js 2:9). Discrimination is a blight upon any people.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. greatly helped this nation move to the ideal of the Founders that all men are truly created equal. It’s only right that our nation pauses to remember his life and his work.
Doing graduate work in Montgomery, Alabama, helped me learn a great deal about the work of Dr. King. In fact, one of my doctoral classes required me to read Martin & Malcolm & America: A Dream or a Nightmare; that work, like nothing else I’ve ever read, helped me to understand the struggle for Civil Rights. Because I was in Montgomery often, I had the opportunity to visit many sites important in the history of the Civil Rights struggle – Dexter Street Baptist Church, Dr. King’s parsonage, and the bus stop where Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat. I took my boys to those sites in an effort to impress upon them the struggle some have gone through just to be accepted as human beings.
To honor the memory of Dr. King, today I’m listing my favorite quotes from MLK.
- Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’
- The time is always right to do what is right.
- Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into friend.
- I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.
- Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.
- We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.
- Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.
- I look to a day when people will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.
- Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.
- Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men.
I thank my God that Dr. King and others stood up for the rights of all mankind. May no people ever again stoop so low as to discriminate against others. Instead, may we love each other and walk with one another as we walk with God!