Martin Luther King Jr

Social Justice 53 Years After Martin Luther King Jr’s Assassination

On this 53rd anniversary of the Martin Luther King Jr. Assassination in Memphis, Tennessee, it is sad that we see systemic racism still alive and popular among too many Americans.

The George Floyd murder trial; the Georgia legislation that puts voting rights under attack; the anti Asian attacks that have become so prevalent in the past year; the increased threat of domestic terrorism; and the continued attack on immigrants of all backgrounds are signs of the failure of social justice to make progress after King gave up his life in the quest for equity and fairness in society.

The Presidency of Donald Trump allowed people who promote racism, nativism, white supremacy, misogyny, antisemitism, Islamophobia to flourish, as Trump was George Wallace on steroids.

When Wallace ran for President in 1968 and won five states, 46 electoral votes, and 13 percent of the popular vote, it was shocking, but at least there was no way that Wallace could win the Presidency.

But a half century later, Donald Trump was able to gather the forces of hatred and win the Presidency, despite losing the popular vote by 2.85 million votes, and would go on to marshal his forces to promote undermining of American democracy, and continues to do so by promoting the lie that he won the Presidential Election of 2020, and inciting the US Capitol Insurrection of January 6, 2021!

So the commitment of Martin Luther King Jr. to human rights and social justice must continue with a new generation of committed leaders!

An Inauguration Day Of Relief, Optimism, And Accomplishment, And Joe Biden’s “Heroes”

Inauguration Day 2021 was a day of a sense of relief that Donald Trump is gone, and a sense of optimism reigns and it is clear Joe Biden intends to be extremely activist on the level of a Lyndon B. Johnson or a Franklin D. Roosevelt!

This is perfectly understandable, as we face a series of crises unmatched since FDR, but in some ways as dangerous as Abraham Lincoln faced with the seditionists that started the Civil War 160 years ago.

Now we have a new group of seditionists, with the reality that party politics has been switched dramatically, as in the Civil War, the Republican Party was for the Union and African American freedom, while now the Republican Party is acting like the Confederate Democrats of the Civil War, displaying their treason and racism!

Meanwhile, President Biden has a group of “heroes” in the Oval Office to inspire him, and it says legions about the 46th President.

There are portraits of Alexander Hamilton, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln.

Also, there are busts of Martin Luther King, Jr, Robert F. Kennedy, Cesar Chavez, Daniel Webster, Rosa Parks, and Eleanor Roosevelt.

Death Of Civil Rights Icon John Lewis, A True Inspiration For Nearly 60 Years

This blogger and author woke up today and was shocked to discover that Civil Rights Icon John Lewis, Georgia Congressman since 1987, had passed away at age 80 of pancreatic cancer.

Lewis was a great inspiration to all of us who believe in civil rights and progressive reforms, and he personally paid the price in the early to mid 1960s, leading to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

He was arrested multiple times and bloodied and injured by Ku Klux Klansman all over the South, but he remained committed to nonviolent civil disobedience and basic human rights.

Lewis was the last speaker to survive, among those who spoke at the March on Washington on August 28, 1963, and worked closely with the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, even though he was just a young man in his mid 20s.

There is a movement on to rename the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama after him, as he was injured on “Bloody Sunday” on March 7, 1965, when marching for voting rights at that site.

Pettus was a Confederate Army General in the Civil War, a Grand Dragon of the Ku Klux Klan, and a United States Senator from Alabama. It is time to remove his name from that bridge, and rename it after John Lewis.

Lewis will be remembered in the annals of history as a truly great man, and one of the most outstanding members historically of the House of Representatives.

The Month Of April: Wars, Deaths, And Now Pandemic!

Here we are in the month of April, which historically, has been a very tragic month in so many ways!

April was the month that the American Revolution began in 1775.

April was the month that Civil War began and ended, in 1861 and 1865.

April was the month that the Spanish American War began in 1898.

April was the month that American engagement in World War I began in 1917.

April was the month of the death of Abraham Lincoln in 1865, Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1945, Martin Luther King, Jr, in 1968, and Richard Nixon in 1994.

Other tragic events in April included the San Francisco Earthquake in 1906, the Armenian Genocide by Turkey in 1915, the Rwanda Genocide in 1994, and the Oklahoma City Bombing in 1995.

And now, the CoronaVirus Pandemic, the worst since the Spanish Flu of 1918, will lead to the death of an horrific number of people in America and around the world.

Estimates are that when the Pandemic is overcome in the future, at least a low figure of 100,00 to 240,000 American will have died. But the high figure is 2 to 2.5 million Americans, more than all our wars in American history!

John Lewis, Civil Rights Icon, Seriously Ill With Stage 4 Pancreatic Cancer: Need To Pray For Recovery!

It is a shock to learn that revered Georgia Congressman John Lewis, a Civil Rights Icon, who marched with Martin Luther King Jr in 1965, is seriously ill with Stage 4 Pancreatic Cancer.

Lewis is a true treasure, a giant figure, a model for what every member of Congress should be like in public service.

The fact that Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg survived Pancreatic Cancer in 2009, and that former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada has survived 19 months since Pancreatic Cancer surgery is a sign of the potential for survival, but most people do not last more than a few months, and many celebrities have been taken from us over the years by this cruel disease.

We all need to pray for Lewis, that he will be able to recover and continue his priceless work in the Congress in 2020 and beyond!

The March On Washington 1963, Plus 54 Years: Backtracking On Civil Rights And Civil Liberties!

Fifty four years ago, The March on Washington occurred, with the most famous moment being the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr delivering his “I Have A Dream” speech before a crowd of whites and African Americans estimated at a quarter of a million people.

The march was impetus for the passage in the following two years of the Civil Rights Act and Voting Rights, with Lyndon B. Johnson picking up where John F. Kennedy left off.

Now, a half century later, the great progress on civil rights and civil liberties has suffered backtracking, partly by the right wing Supreme Court, and partly by the policies of President Donald Trump.

It is very disconcerting and even tormenting that the progress made has been reversed.

But that means the battle to restore and expand what makes America a democracy must not be abandoned because of setbacks, but rather pursued with renewed energy and commitment, in order to fulfill the dream of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Donald Trump Has No Concern For Human Rights Or Civil Rights On 49th Anniversary Of Martin Luther King Jr Assassination

Donald Trump clearly has no concern for human rights overseas or civil rights at home.

He embraces all the authoritarian dictators in other nations, including Turkey, the Philippines, Egypt, and of course, Russia, while showing disrespect for the leaders of Great Britain, Germany, Canada, Mexico, and Australia.

He has nothing to say when his Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, moves to undermine reform of police departments in many American cities, to prevent the victimization of racial minorities, and instead claims crime is at an all time high, when it has been rapidly declining for many years.

Trump’s clear racism and white supremacy views are helping to cause growing tension among racial and religious minorities in America.

Decades of civil rights advancements are being summarily revoked, as we move back to the era of America before the civil rights movement made such great progress in the past fifty years.

Instead of uniting Americans, Donald Trump is moving to divide Americans by race, ethnicity, religion, gender and even sexual orientation.

And ironically, today is the 49th anniversary of the assassination of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, and one can be assured, that were he alive today, he would be promoting mass marches by Americans to protest the massive reversal of human and civil rights.

Historic Changes In American Currency A Great Movement Forward!

It is very inspiring to see recognition of race and gender on American currency for the first time in modern American history!

It is appropriate that Harriet Tubman be on the front of the $20 bill, with Andrew Jackson moved to the back.

It is also great that Alexander Hamilton remains on the front of the $10 bill, with Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucretia Mott, Alice Paul, and Sojourner Truth put on the back as a group, to mark their importance in the women suffrage movement.

And the back of the Abraham Lincoln $5 bill will have Marian Anderson, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Martin Luther King. Jr on it.

The only truly controversial part is Jackson being switched from front to back on the $20 bill, but realize that Jackson destroyed the National Bank; condemned abolitionists working against slavery and was a slave owner himself; and forced the removal of five native American tribes to Oklahoma, the infamous “Trail of Tears”, which caused the death of more than 10,000.

So he is not being removed, but instead being placed on the back, with Harriet Truman, the heroic former slave who saved hundreds of slaves, being given recognition that is proper.

It is important that we give tribute to more than just white males on our currency, and show our appreciation of the sacrifices of these heroes and heroines!

Israeli Statesman And Humanitarian Shimon Peres Receiving Congressional Gold Medal Today In Capitol Rotunda!

Two days ago, Congress honored the late Martin Luther King Jr. and his wife, the late Coretta Scott King, with posthumous gold medals, given to their children.

Today, Israeli statesman and humanitarian Shimon Peres will be honored in the Capitol Rotunda with a Congressional Gold Medal, as he retires from the Israeli Presidency at the age of 90 after more than 50 years of service to the Jewish nation, as Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Minister of Defense, and in other positions.

Peres always promoted peace and rational discussion, rather than war, and he stands out as a true man of principle and decency, and a model for all of us!

What a wonderful occasion to celebrate!

Congressional Gold Medal For Martin Luther King, Jr. And Coretta Scott King Today In Capitol Rotunda!

Today, Congress held a commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 in the Capitol Rotunda.

Congressional Gold Medals were posthumously given to the children of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Coretta Scott King.

Speaker of the House John Boehner and Republican Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, both trying to limit the right to vote in GOP state run governments, either by their silence or direct collusion, both looked very awkward as they jointly held hands with Democratic House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, all of them singing “We Shall Overcome”.

It was an important commemoration, and my older son, David Feinman, was privileged to be one of those who was present for the event, a treasured moment!