Martin Luther King Day 2012

            Fifty years ago Martin Luther King walked the city streets and country roads of this nation giving voice to what had none, insisting that what he had to say be heard and be given presence. His message was accompanied by the sound of a multitude that lived and supported his insistent demand. That sound grew so large that it occupied the halls of government and could not be denied. Today our political leaders prefer a different sound. We witness this continuously when we hear of super PACS, campaign bundlers, trade group lobby influence, going up and down in the polls on money raised, and accumulated “war chests” meant to do battle against a political “enemy”. Evidence of this super saturation of high finance within our government can be found in laws that permit insider trading by our legislators, elected officials bestowed exceptional health and retirement packages,  revolving door hiring practices, voting maps hastily redrawn to satisfy big dollar contributors, and the continuous elimination, watering down, or blatantly negligent enforcement of legislation, regulations, and institutions drawn up primarily for the sake of the people’s education, health, consumer protection, working conditions,  and environmental quality.

            Martin Luther King is no longer present to give voice to what has none. As he said “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”

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