Martin Luther King, Jr.
This Monday we celebrate the birth of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. In 1955 Dr. King began his work for civil rights in Montgomery, AL and continued until his assassination in 1968 in Memphis, TN. He advocated for non-violence and conversion of the hearts of those who would discriminate and deny equal rights to others.
Dr. King was one of the organizers of the Poor People’s March to Washington, DC. It was a wagon and mule team march to the national capitol in 1968. Marks, MS was chosen as the starting point because it was the poorest county in the poorest state in the nation.
The march was to demonstrate that although the Civil Rights Act of 1964 outlawed discrimination, the effects of discrimination continued. People of color – African-Americans, Hispanics and native Americans – continued to have inferior schools, low wage jobs, and lack of affordable, quality health care.
Much has improved since then, but more still needs to be done. Race and poverty go hand in hand. Let us honor Martin Luther King’s memory by working for quality education for all children, jobs that pay a living wage for all, and quality/affordable health care for all. Let us eliminate racism by working together to eliminate the root causes of poverty.
Msgr. Elvin Sunds