Tuesday, January 22, 2013

How Do You Honor Martin Luther King, Jr.?

There's no one way, right way to do it.  Did you do something?

One of my acquaintances from high school posted on Facebook that believe it or not, Martin Luther King, Jr. was a republican.  I had never heard that.  Still not sure I believe it.  But at the very least, if he was a republican, he certainly wasn't a typical one.  And a republican in the 1960's is a very different one from a republican in 2013.  Here's the article if you're inclined to read it.  Personally, I couldn't get through it on my first try.

I think the fact of the matter is that if asked, MLK wouldn't have identified himself with either of the two leading parties.  He existed outside of the political ideology.  He was more a pacifist, and an idealist, than a democrat or a republican.

That's kinda how I feel, too.  I think of myself as a liberal, a progressive, and most times a democrat.  But I'm not married to any one political party or stance.  I'm open minded and always gathering more information to find the truth that we all can share in.  I'm not looking to "win" or "beat" the opposing side.  The victory I seek is for all Americans, all citizens of the world. 

Here's some more info on MLK and a Houston group's assertion that MLK was a republican.  There are all sorts of characterizations being made based on his actions, but it seems obvious to me that he existed outside of the political realm.  The article even quotes an expert as noting that MLK made it a practice not to affiliate with any party.

Some things are bigger than politics.

I think a lot of things are bigger than politics.  And the way to finding real solutions to some of our biggest problems has to supersede party affiliation.  That is why MLK was such a radical revolutionary, and why he is remembered so glowingly.  He found the unbiased and unadulterated truth and championed that, for all to enjoy, for all to celebrate.  No political party has rights to claim such an ideal as their own. 

Looking back through some of the history listed in the articles I linked above, I wonder about their voracity, sure.  But I also am intrigued to note the differences over the years that the parties have championed.  It says to me not that one party is better than the other, or that one has shown greater courage or dignity over time, but that the process is working.  The process of debate and conversation between all voices is finding the truth for us all.  It isn't one side that has made us great and the other side that tears us down.  It is the coming together in cooperation that has brought our greatest triumphs.  Participating, actively, in the process of our government not only makes government work better, it makes our lives better.  And sometimes that means working for the establishment, and other times it means working against it.  Learning the dance is our legacy.

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