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Editorial: King’s legacy is justice via action

Last Modified: Saturday, January 19, 2013 7:37 PM

Today, Jan. 21, National MLK Day, honors a man who changed history and has made a difference in the lives of millions of Americans — the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

In his short life span — just 39 years before he was cut down by an assassin’s bullet — King changed the hearts and minds of many people about race prejudice, and and led the way to civil rights for all.

We are now living in a time where many people believe the federal government can do everything for them. But King’s life reminds us that it is the individual, not bureaucrats and politicians, who really provide the spark for changing our country for the better.

In King’s lifetime, it was the government, both federal and state, that were denying him and his people equal rights in our country. In the South, and other pockets of the country, blacks could not attend white schools and universities, white-only restaurants, hotels and even churches, and, in some instances, vote. When enough people were convinced that the status quo was wrong and had to be changed, the politicians and bureaucrats followed and the changes in law were made.

By personal sacrifice and appealing to Almighty God, King and his supporters were able to bring about the justice that had for so long had been denied to African-Americans in this nation.

Today, people who feel that injustice is still prevalent in this land, look to Dr. King as a shining example of accomplishing seemingly impossible goals.

All people should remember that the legacy of Dr. King is doing what is right and just through the action of people who are on the right side of history and on the right side of God.

That is why MLK Day inspires people even to this very day with the realization that they don’t have to accept what is unjust in society. It can be changed for the better by individual dedication to a just cause and a willingness to make the personal sacrifices that it takes when faced off against obstacles that may appear insurmountable.

The legacy of Dr. King and his family is alive and well in this country today and still inspires people to right the wrongs our our time.

• • •

This editorial was written by a member of the American Press Editorial Board. Its content reflects the collaborative opinion of the Board, whose members include Bobby Dower, Ken Stickney, Jim Beam, Crystal Stevenson and Donna Price.

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