As we in San Jose and everywhere prepare to observe January 17th as a national holiday for Martin Luther King Jr., let’s not forget who the man really was…..an ordained man of God and practicing Christian who was also a prophet.
People can transcend who they really are as Mohammed Ali did in boxing; and became larger than life. Mahatma Gandhi of India was a practicing Hindu but transcended who he was because of his universal impact.
Revisionists are attempting to reinvent and claim King as a liberal. It’s about as silly as rewriting Mark Twain’s classic “Huckleberry Finn” with all the nigger references scrubbed out.
This writer lived King. Before it became popular, King was branded a trouble-maker by much of the media; that he should “stay in church”. King was a bible-thumping fundamentalist that believed the word of God was true.
There were evil people and evil practices that thrust King into social prominence. As a shepherd, King moved to protect his sheep and stand against those that abridged the freedoms of his flock. The struggle expanded outward.
During this time, even the mainstream churches pretty much were silent during the darker days of the civil rights movement. Those that spoke up were critical of King.
Support came consistently from Jewish Americans, something black Americans need to remember (Al Sharpton). Jewish rabbis walked arm in arm with King when it was dangerous to do so. Two of the three murdered civil rights workers, Michael Schwarner and Andrew Goodman, were young Jewish Americans. James Chaney was the other young black man slain.
This heinous act became one of the defining moments of the civil rights struggle.
The Birmingham bus boycott, Medgar Evers’ murder, King’s “I Have a Dream” speech in Washington DC, the Birmingham church bombing that murdered four children, and President John F. Kennedy’s assassination all proceeded the murder of the civil rights workers; which all became watershed moments during this turbulent time.http://www.infoplease.com/spot/civilrightstimeline1.html
Later after much filibustering and foot-dragging by the Dixie block “party”, the Civil Rights Bill Was passed in 1964. It was the old Civil War lines finally being overcome.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Civil-Rights-Act-of-1964
Four years later, King was assassinated. He prophesied that “although I might not get there with you”, King at least saw the foundation for change put into place and begin to take root.