Monday, January 18, 2016

Eric Kingson Reflects On The Legacy Of Dr. Martin Luther King


The day after that speech, April 4, 1968, an earlier version of a prototypical Ted Cruz/Donald Trump/Mike Huckabee supporter shot and killed Dr. King, one of the darkest moments in our country's contemporary history. Today, progressive Democrats are still carrying on Dr. King's struggle against economic inequality and much of what you hear from Bernie Sanders comes straight from Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community?, Dr. King's final book, and from his final Poor People's Campaign. Blue America always strives to find candidates who will uphold Dr. King's values and goals and honor his struggle with their own deeds, men and women like Alan Grayson, Donna Edwards, Elizabeth Warren, Ted Lieu...

The DCCC insistence on running Republican-lite or DINO candidates resulted in the loss of the very blue 24th congressional district in New York (metro Syracuse all the way to the eastern suburbs of Rochester). Obama won the district 56-42% in 2008 and 57-41% in 2010 but Chris Van Hollen and Steve Israel got it into their heads that only right-of-center fake Dems could win the congressional seat there. The D+5 district now has a conservative Republican congressman, John Katko, and the Democrats have a 3-way primary. EMILY's List and former Blue Dog Kirsten Gillibrand have put up a harmless but clueless staffer from Gillibrand's office, Colleen Deacon, and Steve Israel is pushing some apolitical lawyer with wealthy friends, Steve Williams. The progressive in the race is SocialSecurityWorks founder and Syracuse University professor Eric Kingson, who has been endorsed by Blue America. (You can contribute to his grassroots campaign here.) Today Eric reflected, briefly, on the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King.
With the rhetoric of intolerance and the drumbeat of war dominating the Republican Party’s presidential spectacle, this is an important time to reflect on how Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Movement he embodied changed for the better our nation and our lives.

Dr. King, Pope Francis, Nelson Mandela, and the millions of people engaged in nonviolent human rights struggles for justice, then and now, are beacons of strength, hope, and progress in a world often darkened by greed, hate, and violence.

Their courageous commitment to human decency and forceful opposition to injustice move us closer to what Dr. King called The Beloved Community-- where, The King Center explains: everyone would share in the earth’s bounty; commitment to human decency would not allow hunger, homelessness and poverty; all forms of bigotry and discrimination would be replaced by an understanding of our common humanity; justice and peace would trump vengeance and war.

Today’s Republican Party presidential campaign is dominated by hate, animosity, and noxious rhetoric. In Dr. King’s spirit, people of good will-- Democrats, Republicans and Independents alike-- have a responsibility to name Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, and those echoing their intolerance for what they are-- dangerous throwbacks to the bigotry of the past.

Dr. King left a legacy of love, inclusion, equality, nonviolent struggle against injustice, and-- perhaps most importantly-- of seeing the dignity in every man, woman and child.

It is ever more pressing that we do the hard work Dr. King challenged us to take on. Only together, through love and community effort, can we create the country he envisioned so our children and our children's children have equal opportunities to create the more perfect union our founders intended.
If you'd like to see a man like Eric Kingson in Congress, instead of some self-serving partisan hack of either party, please consider contributing to his campaign.

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