I am white, grew up in a predominantly white community in Connecticut, later moving to Rochester NY, and eventually Iowa. In Connecticut, I experienced the busing of the late 60’s and early 70’s, which was extremely difficult for all of the students. There were a lot of angry kids, parents, and tension was always high.
What Martin Luther King Jr. did in the early 60’s was nothing less than heroic. He had a powerful influence on African Americans and white America as well. My parents supported his work, and admired what he accomplished. Although he didn’t live to see a great deal of the impact he had on America, he left a great legacy to a society that needed (and still does today) to seek common ground and work for the success of all Americans regardless of skin color, faith, or political persuasion. I am proud of what our country has accomplished for Civil Rights in the 40 years since God took Martin away, and I know there is, and may always be, more to be done. We must never believe that we have attained a level of success that allows us to sit back and relax. Injustice will always exist, and we need to see it for what it is and make it right, one at a time.
I recall two events (I was too young in ’62 to remember anything) during my childhood that were painfully disturbing to my parents. One was the assassination of Bobby Kennedy. The other was the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. Either of these events could have led to a wholesale crushing of the 2nd Amendment, but thankfully did not. Restricting any of our rights in any way would dishonor King’s memory. Extending full rights and privileges, in theory and in fact (and attitude), to all citizens, honors and continues King’s great legacy.