Tuesday, January 18, 2022

MLK, Jr.

Yesterday was his National Holiday.

We owe so much to his legacy and his words.

He changed our nation in important ways.

I've told you this before, but Martin Luther King's Day prompts me to tell you again.

I grew up in McDowell County, West Virginia, until I went to college. The county was nearly 50/50 between whites and blacks.

Until my senior year of high school, I never went to school with black kids. That year, before the schools were merged the next year, they sent over two smart girls and three boys good at sports to begin the process. That was 1965!

My little town was terribly segregated. I only knew three of the black people--Gene, who I worked with in my uncle's grocery store, Martha, his wife, who was my uncle's housekeeper, and Skipper, who worked for my other uncle in his Esso (yes, Esso!) station.

My first year of college I became friends with a black student who had gone to the black high school in the town where I went to high school. He would introduce me to his friends by telling them "we went to different high schools together".

Years later, at the first parish I served, a black parish in Charleston, WV, I met my friend's sister who was a member of the parish.

The second two churches I served had large black membership.

I appreciated the chance to make up for my upbringing by engaging and loving them.

There is still so much to do to honor Martin Luther King's 'dream'.

But we don't seem ready to do it. Republicans and two Democrats (one from my home state!) are blocking voting rights act and the Build Back Better bill that would make life so much better for all of us and especially people of color.

And yesterday, the new governor of Virginia took King's words out of context to justify not teaching 'critical race theory' in his stare (which wasn't being taught anyway!)

God help us.

In 25 years--I won't live to see it but wish I would--black, brown, yellow and red people will be the majority in our country.

I hope they will do better in making Martin's Dream come true.

I pray that they will.



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About Me

some ponderings by an aging white man who is an Episcopal priest in Connecticut. Now retired but still working and still wondering what it all means...all of it.