One of America’s greatest leaders, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., will be honored on Monday, January 17, 2011. Dr. King’s life exemplifies American courage and his fight for equality and social justice continues to inspire us today.
Dr. King was one of the most powerful forces behind the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s, energizing and compelling a new era of tolerance in America. His commitment to equality and his disdain for injustice broke ground for a new era in our democracy. And his efforts have had a lasting effect on our great nation.
As the years progress, so does the realization of many of Dr. King’s ideals – but there is still much to be done to end the discrimination, prejudice, ignorance, fear, hatred and violence that limit the personal, economic, social and civil liberties and freedoms all New Yorkers deserve.
We in the Legislature need to continue Dr. King’s dream and remain committed to eradicating discrimination on all levels and fighting against injustice. Ironically, Dr. King, an advocate to bring social progress through the use of non-violent, peaceful resistance, was the victim of violence and the very hatred and intolerance he preached against. Four decades later, we have seen in Tucson, Arizona, that violence is too often a part of our culture and social fabric.
More than ever, we must work hard in the Assembly to see Dr. King’s dreams more fully realized and to guarantee that New York is a national model of fairness and equality for all of its residents.