Today we remember, reflect on, and celebrate a truly inspiring and great man who picked himself and thousands up to declare that they should enjoy the same rights, opportunities, and responsibilities as everyone else in this country.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is remembered most for his famous "I have a Dream" address, but as we reflect on him we should remember more fully what he accomplished, and why that is so momentous for us.
At a time where racism and discrimination were the rule of law, he rose up, organized, and led one of the most influential movements of our nation, and did it peacefully. He engaged people to vote. He engaged people to peacefully protest in marches and through boycotts. He served and caused others to serve. He offered himself to make our nation come closer to achieving the true promise of its ideals.
He was a true hero.
Today I could say a great many things relating to how we are still trying to achieve Dr. King's dream. I could go on at length to try to relate how, despite his work and that of the Civil Rights Movement, we still have a great deal of work to do. It would all be true.
The harsh truth is that among our people, the citizens of the United States, there are groups that are treated as "not us", and worse than that as "less than us." Still.
Today, at this point, no one should have to say that "Black Lives Matter." Women should not have to march again and again to say that they have the right to their own body, or that they are equal in every way to men. Native Americans should not have to protest to have clean water. The entire LGBTQ community should not have to fight to simply be acknowledged and welcomed as human beings. No one should have to be afraid because of what their religion is.
Black Lives Matter.
Women are equal in every way to men.
Water is Life.
No matter your orientation or how you express gender, you are human, and one of us.
Freedom of religion applies to all religions, and all are welcome.
I realize that these are small and simplistic ways of describing a much larger and pervasive problem that this nation continually faces, and I don't want to be that simple, but sometimes that is the best way to grow awareness, and we need to be more aware of what we are doing.
Today We, the citizens of the United States, should be protecting and providing for all of the people in our country, embracing the diversity within that group, and celebrating as equals.
We don't. Yet.
Today We can still be, and should be, inspired and moved by a hero, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and a Dream of brotherhood and harmony.
Today.... is everyday.