04 April 2008

40 years ago.....

If you had asked me 20 years ago if I would be reflecting on the assassination of Martin Luther King, or on Bobby Kennedy in the 40th year marking their deaths, I would have said you were crazy. But, I've grown up a little since then and can see how their influence and unrealized potential served our country greatly. And they are missed.

In the same year I mark the 40th anniversary of my birth, our country must mark the senseless murders of two men who shaped the nation. When people ask when I was born, I say "in the same year two great men were gunned down". I have to admit a private fear-it isn't lost on me that 40 years after King we have the first black man as the potential presidential nominee.....and that there are still a lot of racists out there. I often find myself saying short prayers for the Senator from Illinois, regardless of his politics.

Indiana will be forever tied by King's death to Bobby Kennedy because of Kennedy's speech in Indianapolis the day King was killed-40 years ago today. Many credit Indianapolis' calm during the riots seen in the rest of the country to Bobby's speech.

Few men have been able to inspire our country to be better than it is, to set a vision of what could be, as these men did. I see that in Obama. And we desperately need it today.

Since I'm a big fan of U2........I'll let Bono take it from here. Pray for our country.


Pride (In The Name Of Love)
One man come in the name of love
One man come and go
One man come, he to justify
One man to overthrow
In the name of love
What more in the name of love
In the name of love
What more in the name of love
One man caught on a barbed wire fence
One man he resist
One man washed on an empty beach.
One man betrayed with a kiss
In the name of love
What more in the name of love
In the name of love
What more in the name of love
Early morning, April 4
Shot rings out in the Memphis sky
Free at last, they took your life
They could not take your pride
In the name of love
What more in the name of love
In the name of love
What more in the name of love
In the name of love
What more in the name of love...

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Where do I start? What a year 1968 was and still is! I "hear" what you are saying about your prayers for Barack....what a sad commentary on how far we still have to go....I am amazed at some of the things I still hear said right here in River City on the local radio station.

Anonymous said...

Great piece on MLK. I was 11 when he was gunned down. My mother - who did not have one prejudice bone in her body -- was very much into politics. I felt I knew more about the Kennedys, Nixon, etc. that anyone my age ... but I am still amazed that I had never heard of MLK until that fateful day. Of course I quickly learned so much about his life. I am honored to be around a lot of PHS kids . . . race is not an issue with them at all! Praise God! P.S. Do like I do, don't listen to the local radio station . . . open your windows and listen to the birds sing instead. A BREATH OF FRESH AIR!

Anonymous said...

You may be right about this group of kids at PHS, they are the first ones who are actually going to school with blacks and other minorities. When I was at PHS in the early 70s we had a black student who lasted a few months,her locker was next to mine, she and her family didn't stay long. I never witnessed anthing hateful towards her but to say the least she sure wasn't welcomed with open arms. Perhaps the ground swell of support for Obama by young people is a reflection of what you may be witnessing at PHS. Lets hope that we are slowly turning the corner. One thing that will prove to me that we are changing is when we can play a basketball game and when we win against an integrated team that we don't refer to the all white team that conquered the "black" team and instead see all the boys or girls as people!

Anonymous said...

I hope that we have come farther than what I sometimes give us credit for with regard to racism, but I have to say, the comments I hear about latinos probably isn't so different from the comments heard about blacks 40 years ago.

Toward a better world, eh?

HR

justagirl said...

Hi there! I found your blog doing a search for other hikers, and see that we have some other things in common too! Archaeology is my life passion, and I am looking at going back to school in a few years to pursue a degree in historic preservation. I’m across the border from you in Ohio.

I too was reflecting on the 40th anniversary of MLK’s death today, and read a great article on the sanitation workers’ strike that was going on. I was very struck by the fact that people still behaved so barbarically here in America only 40 years ago. And then I am struck with the knowledge that even though people don't act how so demonstratively anymore, there are many who still harbor the hatred in their hearts.

Ironically enough, I popped my U2 CD into the car on the way to work this morning, and the first song was In the Name of Love! Great post. Look forward to getting to know you.

Anonymous said...

May God help us--there is no room for prejudice if you are a God-fearing Christian. I remember when MLK day started. Someone asked my opinion--do you think he deserves a day? Frankly, I was apalled. I responded that, yes I thought it was a wonderful way to honor this man.
If only we lived in a city, a country or even a home where we looked at one another as God does--not at the outward appearance, but at the heart. Can you imagine what River City would be like, if that were to happen?

Luke said...

Good thoughts Hoosier. Howard-Pitney's book "MLK, Malcolm X, and the Civil Rights Struggle..." is my favorite book on DR King in Amercian memory. I think Bono said it best so I will not try to add on.

hoosier reborn said...

luke-
thanks for the reading suggestion, I'm a little low right now on good reading material.