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April 4, 2023

A Day that Changed Many Lives

Today marks the 55th anniversary of a moment that changed my life forever.

It was around 7:00 that night when we gathered in the family room to listen to “Uncle Walter” for his evening broadcast on CBS when the news came in about the assassination of Dr Martin Luther King.

Sitting in a chair behind my mother, I could not believe what came out of her mouth next:
Good! I’m glad somebody finally shot that n*****!”

Only 8 years old at the time, my mind could not comprehend how someone who supposedly loved my sister and me would revel in the death of a person who preached peace, working for the equality of the oppressed.
That took many years to understand, however I nevertheless forgave her for her ignorance

This particular incident has haunted me even to this day.
I took a friend’s advice to visit the National Civil Rights Museum located at the Lorraine motel in Memphis where Dr. King was assassinated.
It took me almost 3 hours, but I came away crying, as I am even writing this.

You see, even as a young child, my mother plopped me in front of the TV as a babysitter, even now remembering distinctly and vividly hearing Dr. King’s speech on the mall in Washington DC, being moved even at that early age by its content.
Only later after hearing his sermon at Ebenezer Baptist Church the night before his assassination, did I truly comprehend that this person was indeed truly special

Dr. King followed in the footsteps of giants and he paid the price because of someone else’s hatred and ignorance.

Today we have a name for this: “White nationalism”.

We should remember, these days especially: “All men [context] are created equal and are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights, those being life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”

Our founding fathers did not say that only “White, male, married, cis-gendered land owners” should have rights, but that ALL people in our Republic be given consideration. These days that seems to be in question.

STICK TO THE BASIC TRUTHS OF WHAT BUDDHA, JESUS, MUHAMMAD, GANDHI, AND MARTIN LUTHER KING TAUGHT: none of us will be free until we lay down our arms of violence against one another in so many forms, thought word and deed

So all you haters out there, do I consider myself “woke”?
You’re damn right I do.
I acknowledge that historically, we as a country and people have wronged others.
Not just black, but also Indians, Irish, Chinese, and now Latinos

Haters going to hate, but I choose the higher path as I hope you do as well


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