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Editorial: King’s message particularly timely in 2019

January 18, 2019

“All we say to America is, ‘Be true to what you said on paper.’ If I lived in China or even Russia, or any totalitarian country, maybe I could understand the denial of certain basic First Amendment privileges, because they hadn't committed themselves to that over there. But somewhere I read of the freedom of assembly. Somewhere I read of the freedom of speech. Somewhere I read of the freedom of the press. Somewhere I read that the greatness of America is the right to protest for right.” - Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., April 3, 1968, on the eve of his assassination

This coming weekend, people of all stripes will once again brave cold weather for the annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Parade in Lewes as part of a commemorative weekend in honor of the birthday of the civil rights activist and leader.

As with similar organizations across the country, those involved want to make sure that the message of nonviolent activism espoused by Dr. King is neither forgotten nor ignored. Dr. King preached and lived a message of love, respect and standing up courageously for what is right.

He shone light into dark corners of the American experience with a persistent hope that eventually we - as a nation - would become more tolerant, understanding and unified in our appreciation and celebration of the diversity that strengthens the fabric of our communities.

Celebrating his life and message freely and openly as our nation’s Constitution allows is what ultimately gives this nation its strength and serves as a constant reminder that the real power in a democracy belongs to the people.

In a time when government leaders are so divided they can’t even keep the government open, we need the persistence and unity demonstrated by the civil rights movement, and steadily rising voices.

It’s up to us, in the mold of Dr. King, to pressure our politicians to reach an agreement to reopen the government so we can turn to properly addressing the problems of our time.

  • Editorials are considered by the editorial board and written by Dennis Forney, publisher, and Laura Ritter, news editor, with occasional contributions from other board members: Trish Vernon, editor; Dave Frederick, sports editor emeritus; Jen Ellingsworth, associate editor; Nick Roth, sports editor; and Chris Rausch, associate publisher.