BY LINDA TURLEY
I hope that today each of us will take the time to reflect upon Dr. King, and be grateful for his leadership in allowing all of us to escape the bonds of segregation, racism and bigotry. His work has made all of us freer. So I hope that we are all appreciative of him everyday, not just today.
Dr. King dedicated his life to fighting injustice wherever he found it. While most of us are familiar with his work against racial inequality, some are less familiar with the other injustices he stood up against.
At a time when most were quiet, he stood up and told us that what we had done and were doing in Vietnam was not worthy of a great nation – it was unjust. He did this even though many in his inner circle opposed his public position.
Whether you agree with his assessment of the Vietnam War or not, he had the courage to speak against violence and injustice in any form.
When those in his inner circle told him that a trip to Memphis to stand with sanitation workers striking for a fair wage was not a big enough issue for him – a Nobel Peace Prize winner – to address, he followed his own sense of justice. He went to Memphis to be counted against economic injustice.
Had he lived, he would have been this nation’s Nelson Mandela.
So what would he say about what we see today? Indulge me for a moment – I believe he would say that there is still great injustice in this country.
I believe that like his contemporary, Congressman John Lewis, he would recognize that what is left of our courts and those that work in them is all that stands between politics thoroughly corrupted by money and unrestrained corporate arrogance and greed.
And I believe he would say that those of us who stand up for the powerless in this country should work to end the injustices visited upon the powerless everyday.
The best part of what we do in our work here is to stand for people who cannot stand for themselves – abused children, the maimed, and the widows and orphans born of arrogance and greed.
That is why I work on Martin Luther King Day. I am glad you are all here with me.
– Linda Turley is a Dallas attorney. She shared this memo with her colleagues today as we celebrate the Martin Luther King Jr. national holiday.