Monday, January 21, 2008

The Birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King...

This morning I found myself thinking about the first time I came to know of Dr. Martin Luther King. I had arrived in the early Sixties as a young Irishman in Bible Belt country (North Louisiana). One of the first things I noticed was the large roadside billboards claiming to show King attending a meeting of the Communist Party.

It would be difficult for people who are not familiar with what was happening at that time in the Deep South to fully understand the hatred and bigotry directed towards Dr. King. I was not one bit surprised when I heard that he had been shot in Memphis, Tennessee.

I can well understand why the African American community would be defensive about any statement that seemed to diminish the contribution of Dr.King...even if that statement came from someone who is considered a friend of the African American community. Put simply, Dr. King put his life on the line.