By Mick Holien
The major spokesman for human rights of our time is celebrated today on the third Monday of January and here living in the midst of a govern nation aside from the occasional notice and the presence of a three-day weekend, has the significance of Martin Luther King Day slipped to oblivion.
- As generations past – what is it that they say about remembering or duplicating our history.
The birthday of Dr Martin Luther King Jr., assassinated in 1968, has been long recognized, as a time to pause and recognize what Dr. King represented as the chief spokesman for non violence to protest racial discrimination.
But the move to declare the day as a national holiday did not come without controversy as in 1979 the bill fell five votes short as opponents argued against the cost of a holiday and precedent set by honoring a private citizen,
Although pres Reagan originally opposed the measure he signed the bill in 1983 although it was not celebrated till 86.
But it wasn’t until 2000 when Utah became the last state to designate a Martin Luther King Jr.
And in May, 2000 South Carolina became the last state to designate it as a paid holiday.
But it is not observed nationwide although in 2007, 33 percent of the country recognized the day, a 2 percent increase over the prior year.
I sure we all have experienced subtle discrimination but in junior college I felt the direct blunt.
My roommate was willie, a brother from Mississippi, who was a heck of a quarterback and a run-pass threat.
Since my job was to squat and put the ball through my legs to the signal caller we became quite well acquainted to say the least.
I was engaged to a young lady from a what I decided not tom identify European country and was excited for her family tom meet my good friend.
But upon going to their residence, this was in Washington state, I quickly learned the deep seated hatred and prejudice from my girl’s father.
After we left he forbid her to see me again because I had been so bold to bring an African American to his house,.
The rest I guess was history. As I think back I guess I am lucky I discovered the possibilities I faced and I think of what happened when this day of fighting discrimination yearly passes