Frank Lewis PDT Staff Writer
Dion Dimucci recorded a song that received a lot of airplay in my early days of radio. The name of the song was, 'Abraham, Martin and John," and it was about the short lives of three great men, Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King Jr., and John F. Kennedy. Actually, the song includes a segment on Robert F. Kennedy as well.
Today, we celebrate the life, ministry and message of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. He has had and will continue to have a lasting effect on the lives of people throughout the world.
His message in Washington, D.C., arguably was the single best speech by an individual in the 20th century.
I can't listen to that speech without being deeply affected by his depth of understanding of the ills that plagued this nation, and more importantly, what is needed to cure those ills.
What I am most concerned about is the possibility that his words, his message, will get lost in rhetoric.
People with all sorts of messages throw his name around like they have a right to it. I believe before a person throws his name into a speech they should have to prove which part of his address their message came from.
People calling for a separation of races use the name of Dr. King, yet his "I Have A Dream" speech was about children both black and white living together, working together.
His speech was unifying not dividing. Yet those who would return to the days of separatism claim his message.
It is unfair, and it is blasphemous.
I believe him to be one of God's greatest messengers, and he issued a warning to those living in this nation and this world of the need for unity and equality.
No man or woman should ever be discriminated against for the color of his or her skin, or for any reason, for that matter. Any such treatment should bring indignation from all of us.
Not only should no one accept second class status, but no one should tolerate anyone being treated that way by anyone else.
I am amazed at the people we have assigned "hero" status to.
Athletes and politicians. I don't know of a political figure alive today who has the grace and presence of a Rosa Parks. All the millions in the pockets of any football star do not add up to the worth, strength and dedication of W.E. Burkhardt Du Bois and his "Close Ranks."
What troubles me is there may be people in the last two generations of Americans who don't even know who these people are.
So today, we celebrate the life of Martin Luther King Jr. If you consider it simply an excuse for a day off, you are missing one of the richest parts of our heritage.
I could not, in good conscience, write this column without including a line from Dr. King's great speech, a quote that should haunt us to the core of our conscience:
"Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God's children."
FRANK LEWIS can be reached at (740) 353-3101, ext. 232.