2018-01-10 / Editorials

‘We Must Live Together As Brothers’

Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Nobel Peace Prize winner and perhaps our most venerated civil rights leader, would have turned 89 years old this Monday, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Fifty years ago, when he was only 39 years of age, he was taken from us. It is astonishing what he accomplished in those brief years. During his lifetime he was considered a controversial figure, but such was the importance of his mission – and the power of his words and leadership – that his legacy still resonates and remains with us, its power undiminished. We highly recommend all his speeches be read. Their passion and incisive wisdom are both enlightening and moving. Though he is now in the pantheon of American heroes, and much has improved since his day, King was once an extremely controversial figure. He struck a nerve in the establishment, fighting segregation as established by the Jim Crow laws which stated African Americans, though freed from slavery, would still live in this country “separate but equal” to their white counterparts. He said, perhaps most chillingly, “Never forget that everything Hitler did in Germany was legal.” In order to change those laws and more, King sought a “revolution of values,” and always emphasized peaceful demonstration. He said “Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars... Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”

We have come a long way since 1968, with many continuing his mission, but we still have far to go in achieving a more perfect union. As Dr. King said, “We must live together as brothers or perish together as fools.”

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