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Posts tagged: Martin Luther King Jr.

Parting Shot: Remembering the March on Washington

The Rev. Bobby Turner of Columbus, Ohio, places his hand on the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial. President Barack Obama is scheduled to speak on the 50th anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington.

WASHINGTON – Next week, the nation’s first black president, a living symbol of the racial progress Martin Luther King Jr. dreamed about, will stand near the spot where King stood 50 years ago and say where he believes this nation should be headed.

Then, like King, President Barack Obama will step away from the hulking Lincoln Memorial and return to where this nation is now.

As civil rights activists pause to consider the great strides toward equality that the 1963 March on Washington helped to spur, they also look at the current political and racial landscape and wonder: How much of that progress is now being undone? More here.

MLK Assassination Remembered

With a statue of President Abraham Lincoln at her back, Joann Sims, of Newark, holds a sign during a rally in remembrance of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. on the 44th anniversary of his assassination today in Newark, N.J. Story here. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

Question: How has the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. affected your life?

Noon: Nazis Don’t Want Media Stories?

I need to set the record straight on an issue that seems to be being misunderstood by many. Never once did I or any members of White Knights ask for media at our events. We do not need the liberal misguiding media to send our message. As a matter of fact I would like to thank the varios media outlets that chose to not cover stories about us. I find it better for community members that see us out at demonstrations to be able to come right up to us and get solid facts right from us rather than hearing it through the media that only seems to print what they want to about a particular issue. So I ask the media to please continue to not cover our demonstrations so we can continue to get facts out to the communtiy/Shaun Winkler, White Knights of Ku Klux Klan, Spirit Lake. More here. (2001 SR file photo of Shaun Winkler, background, leaving Kootenai County Courthouse with Richard Butler in Aryan Nations bankruptcy civil trial)

Question: Do you believe Winkler when he says he doesn't want media coverage?

SP: Human Rights Deserve Holiday

I try to keep an open mind. Compassion can't be exercised without one, so I strive to understand the viewpoints of others as deeply as I can. Still, when a friend says, “I don't see why Martin Luther King Day should be a national holiday, or why human rights merit one,” and wasn't the first to say so, I struggled. Monday wasn't just MLK Day; it was also Human Rights Day in Idaho. January 1947 marked the initial drafting of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which outlines basic civil rights including marriage, voting, religion, and economic equality (many on which MLK also focused, leading to several changes in U.S. law now considered fundamental). This document was signed December of the following year, when most other states and nations celebrate Human Rights Day.  To be honest, I hadn't encountered such a viewpoint until moving to Idaho from another state, so I spent the weekend exploring why/Sholeh Patrick, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here. (AP photo for illustrative purposes)

Question: Have you encountered anyone who questioned the need for the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday?

MLK Assassination Anniversary Today

In this Aug. 28, 1963, black-and-white file photo, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. addresses marchers during his “I Have a Dream” speech at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington. Story here. (AP file photo)

Question: What impact did the life and human rights struggle of Martin Luther King Jr. have on you?

NAACP Leader To March In Spokane

The head of the nation’s largest civil rights organization will lead a march in Spokane on Sunday to commemorate the 43rd anniversary of the assassination of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., who was killed April 4, 1968. Benjamin Todd Jealous, president and CEO of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, will speak at the Demand Justice and Promote Peace event, which will include a march from the Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena to Riverfront Park. “We feel very privileged that he is going to come in,” said V. Anne Smith, president of the NAACP’s Spokane chapter. In addition, Oscar Eason Jr., president of the NAACP Alaska, Oregon and Washington State-Area Conference, will be a speaker. The event starts at 3 p.m./Kevin Graman, SR. More here.

Question: Would you feel safe marching in the parade Sunday in Spokane to commemorate the 43rd anniversary of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., only months after the bombing attempt?

NYTimes Looks At MLK Day Bomb Try

William Yardley of the New York Times reports today on the fruitless effort by the FBI to find the individual who planted the sophisticated bomb along the Martin Luther King parade route a month ago in Spokane: “Nearly a month after a cleanup crew found the live bomb along the planned route of a large downtown march honoring the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the F.B.I. is investigating the incident as an act of domestic terrorism. And Spokane has cycled from shock to relief to reassessment: have the white supremacists who once struck such fear here in the inland Northwest returned at a new level of dangerousness and sophistication? “We don’t have that kind of intelligence level to make that kind of explosive,” said Shaun Winkler, a Pennsylvania native who recently returned to the region to start a landscaping company and a chapter of the Ku Klux Klan.” More here. (SR file photo: A rally in Spokane, Wash., on Jan. 17 before a march to honor the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Most people were unaware of a bomb found along the route until later in the day.)

Question: Izzit just me, or does the New York Times appear to have a propensity for tying all things Inland Northwest to the Aryan Nations and related racist groups? Is that fair?

FBI: Spokane Bomb ‘Sophisticated’

A bomb left along the route of a Martin Luther King Jr. Day parade was sophisticated, with a remote detonator and the ability to cause many casualties, an official familiar with the case said Wednesday. The bomb, which was defused without incident on Monday, was the most potentially destructive he had ever seen, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to release information about the investigation. “They haven't seen anything like this in this country,” the official said. “This was the worst device, and most intentional device, I've ever seen”/Nicholas K. Geranios, AP. More here.

Question: Is it right to guess about the individual or ideology behind the placement of the potentially lethal bomb in the backpack along the Martin Luther King parade route?

Johnson: Great Speeches Week

And, even though King made his most famous speech in August, no MLK Day is complete without remembering one of the great speeches ever delivered in the English language, his “I Have a Dream Speech” from 1963. This week also marks the 50th anniversary of two other truly memorable speeches — Dwight Eisenhower's farewell were he warned of the rise of the “unwarranted influence” of the “military-industrial complex” and John F. Kennedy's inaugural where he summoned the nation to “ask not” what the country can do for us. Remarkably these two speeches - delivered just three days apart in January 1961 — speak to us still across half a century/'Marc Johnson, The Johnson Report. More here. (AP file photo: U.S. President John F. Kennedy delivers his inaugural address after taking the oath of office at Capitol Hill in Washington on Jan. 20, 1961.)

Question: Can you recall a line from a political speech that inspired you to action?

Noon: I have a dream

“I say to you today, my friends, so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.”

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

I have a dream today. Full text.

If Martin Luther King Jr. were alive today, what do you think he’d say about how far we’ve come?

Spokane May Honor MLK w/Street

Item: Riverside extension may bear MLK name/Jonathan Brunt, SR

More Info: After nearly 20 years of discussions and debate, Spokane finally might name a street after the nation’s most prominent civil rights leader. The Spokane Plan Commission today will discuss a proposal to name a new stretch of Riverside Avenue after Martin Luther King Jr. “It’s time that we have something to honor a great American,” said Happy Watkins, pastor of New Hope Baptist Church. “We had to wait for the right time and the right moment.”

Question: Should Spokane name a street in honor of Martin Luther King Jr.? Would you like to see a street named after MLK in bigger North Idaho communities like Coeur d’Alene, Post Falls, or Sandpoint?

King’s Death Felt In Spokane

When the news of Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination hit Spokane on April 4, 1968, some lashed out in anger. “Windows Broken at 16 City Firms,” reported the Spokane Chronicle the next day. Rock-throwing vandals smashed shop windows along Third and Fifth avenues downtown. “It is unfortunate that a small group of people saw fit to copy the actions of small groups of people in other areas,” said police chief E.W. Parsons. Yet this reaction was mild compared with the riots that erupted in Memphis, Washington, D.C. and other cities. It was also mild compared to what was happening in Seattle, where a series of gasoline bombs caused 21 fires, or in Tacoma, where rioters started arson fires and looted shops/Jim Kershner, SR. More here.

Question: What were you doing when you heard about the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.?

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About this blog

D.F. Oliveria is a columnist and blogger for The Spokesman-Review. Print Huckleberries is a past winner of the Herb Caen Memorial Column contest by the National Association of Newspaper Columnists. The Readership Institute of Northwestern University cited this blog as a good example of online community journalism.

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