King’s message of unity still serves as a guide

Just over four months ago, a groundswell of patriotism emerged in this country. With it came a deeper appreciation for the risks taken by our forefathers to establish this nation founded in freedom.

A second, equally important element accompanied the word "liberty" and the notion of freedom in the historic Declaration of Independence — the fundamental belief that "all men are created equal."

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. understood the power of these words and rose up to challenge the long-established white definition of the phrase "all men are created equal." He fought racial intolerance with peaceful demonstrations, skillful language and heightened social awareness.

Last Thursday, over a thousand people assembled in downtown Everett to celebrate the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Unfortunately, the event, designed to honor the legacy and celebrate the birth of Dr. King, became in part a victim of its own energy. Some of the over 500 people who marched in the streets from Everett Community College were unable to join those already gathered inside The Historic Everett Theater to listen as King’s son Martin Luther King III addressed our community. There were far more people than seats to accommodate them. The disappointment was only slightly tempered by the knowledge that a single man — assassinated long before many of those marching were even born — could still invoke the kind of passion that could inspire hundreds to gather in the streets on a bitterly cold afternoon to honor his life.

His message of peaceful resolution to conflict should continue to serve as a guide to our troubled nation as we grapple with a fight thrust on us by intolerance and hatred.

The following excerpt, taken from a sermon delivered by Rev. King in Nov. of 1963, entitled "The Most Durable Power" echoes a strong reminder of the price that can be paid when justice is sought through furious violence and retaliation.

"As you press on for justice, be sure to move with dignity and discipline, using only the weapon of love. Let no man pull you so low as to hate him. Always avoid violence. If you succumb to the temptation of using violence in your struggle, unborn generations will be the recipients of a long and desolate night of bitterness, and your chief legacy to the future will be an endless reign of meaningless chaos."

Talk to us

> Give us your news tips.

> Send us a letter to the editor.

> More Herald contact information.

More in Opinion

toon
Editorial cartoons for Monday, March 4

A sketchy look at the news of the day.… Continue reading

Washington State Patrol Chief John Batiste, center, greets a new trooper during a graduation ceremony, as Gov. Jay Inslee looks on in the Rotunda at the Capitol Thursday, Dec. 13, 2018, in Olympia, Wash. The class of 31 troopers completed more than 1,000 hours of training and will now work for the WSP across the state. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Editorial: Lawmakers miss good shot for fewer traffic deaths

Legislation to lower the blood alcohol limit for drivers didn’t get floor debate and vote in Senate.

Comment: GOP’s primaries using bad math to assign delegates

If you think delegates are assigned proportionately, based on votes, take a closer look at the math.

Comment: ‘Just keep working’ isn’t a just retirement solution

A ‘Gray New Deal’ would improve jobs for older workers and restore and boost retirement security.

Having headlights on during day isn’t safe for some

I read a recent article in The Herald about cars having headlights… Continue reading

Replace Snake River dams to save salmon, orcas

Could a new Biden administration plan help save our iconic Southern Resident… Continue reading

Let states handle all immigration needs

OK, here we go again. Southern states have been screaming “state’s rights”… Continue reading

Harrop: Give Alabama credit for logical honesty regarding IVF

If life begins at conception, then frozen embryos are babies. It’s biologically false, but it’s consistent.

Saunders: Why is a once-trusted FBI informant now deemed a liar?

And why the extra effort to keep a non-violent suspect behind bars? It’s in Hunter Biden’s best interests.

Eco-nomics: Preparing for, limiting climate crisis demands a plan

Fortunately, local governments are developing and updating climate action plans to outline necessary steps.

A model of a statue of Billy Frank Jr., the Nisqually tribal fishing rights activist, is on display in the lobby of the lieutenant governor's office in the state Capitol. (Jon Bauer / The Herald.
Editorial: Two works in progress to save Columbia Basin salmon

Sculptures of an Indian fishing rights activist will guard commitments to save salmon and honor treaties.

FILE - In this Aug. 21, 2015 file photo, a tanker airplane drops fire retardant on a wildfire burning near Twisp, Wash. Three firefighters were killed battling the blaze. The story was a top Washington state news item in 2015. Public Lands Commissioner Hilary Franz has proposed a plan to strengthen the ways that Washington can prevent and respond to wildfires. Franz released the 10-year plan last week as part of her $55 million budget request to the Legislature to improve the state's firefighting abilities (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)
Editorial: Wildfire threat calls for restoring full funding

Lawmakers should restore funding for fighting wildfires and call on one furry firefighter in particular.

Support local journalism

If you value local news, make a gift now to support the trusted journalism you get in The Daily Herald. Donations processed in this system are not tax deductible.