President Barack Obama gives a proclamation
“The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., challenged our Nation to recognize that our individual liberty relies upon our common equality. In communities marred by division and injustice, the movement he built from the ground up forced open doors to negotiation. The strength of his leadership was matched only by the power of his words, which still call on us to perfect those sacred ideals enshrined in our founding documents.
“We have an opportunity to make America a better Nation,” Dr. King said on the eve of his death. “I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight that we, as a people, will get to the promised land.” Though we have made great strides since the turbulent era of Dr. King’s movement, his work and our journey remain unfinished. Only when our children are free to pursue their full measure of success — unhindered by the color of their skin, their gender, the faith in their heart, the people they love, or the fortune of their birth — will we have reached our destination. Today, we are closer to fulfilling America’s promise of economic and social justice because we stand on the shoulders of giants like Dr. King, yet our future progress will depend on how we prepare our next generation of leaders. We must fortify their ladders of opportunity by correcting social injustice, breaking the cycle of poverty in struggling communities, and reinvesting in our schools. Education can unlock a child’s potential and remains our strongest weapon against injustice and inequality. Recognizing that our nation has yet to reach Dr. King’s promised land is not an admission of defeat, but a call to action. In these challenging times, too many Americans face limited opportunities, but our capacity to support each other remains limitless. Today, let us ask ourselves what Dr. King believed to be life’s most urgent and persistent question: “What are you doing for others?” Visit www.MLKDay.gov to find Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service projects across our country. Dr. King devoted his life to serving others, and his message transcends national borders. The devastating earthquake in Haiti, and the urgent need for humanitarian support, reminds us that our service and generosity of spirit must also extend beyond our immediate communities. As our government continues to bring our resources to bear on the international emergency in Haiti, I ask all Americans who want to contribute to this effort to visit www.WhiteHouse.gov/HaitiEarthquake. By lifting up our brothers and sisters through dedication and service — both at home and around the world — we honor Dr. King’s memory and reaffirm our common humanity. KNOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, president of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim January 18, 2010, as the Martin Luther King Jr. federal holiday. I encourage all Americans to observe this day with appropriate civic, community and service programs in honor of Dr. King’s life and lasting legacy. IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this fifteenth day of January, in the year of our Lord
two thousand ten, and of the independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-fourth. – BARACK OBAMA More Quotes Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.
Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.
Have we not come to such an impasse in the modern world that we must love our enemies – or else? The chain reaction of evil – hate begetting hate, wars producing more wars – must be broken, or else we shall be plunged into the dark abyss of annihilation.
He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it.
History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people.
Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable… Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals.
Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted.
I am not interested in power for power’s sake, but I’m interested in power that is moral, that is right and that is good.
I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. This is why right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil triumphant.
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 that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made straight and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together.
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 together at the table of brotherhood.
I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.
I just want to do God’s will. And he’s allowed me to go to the mountain. And I’ve looked over, and I’ve seen the promised land! I may not get there with you, but I want you to know tonight that we as a people will get to the promised land.
I look to a day when people will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.
I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality… I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word.
I submit that an individual who breaks the law that conscience tells him is unjust and willingly accepts the penalty by staying in jail to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the very highest respect for law.
I submit to you that if a man hasn’t discovered something that he will die for, he isn’t fit to live.
I want to be the white man’s brother, not his brother-in-law.
If a man hasn’t discovered something that he will die for, he isn’t fit to live.