Remarks from the 2018 Martin Luther King, Jr. Prayer Breakfast

Remarks from the 2018 Martin Luther King, Jr. Prayer Breakfast

17 January 2018

"Good morning and welcome to the annual MLK, Jr. Prayer Breakfast.

Recently, I was contacted by the Daily Journal and asked a series of questions...........one being how I thought Dr. MLK, Jr, would review where we are today as a society.

My response was that I believe he would be disappointed.

Dr. King valued our history.

He did not run from the ugly truth of how this country was built.

A country that considered brown people, women, Native Americans, and immigrants in our United States constitution to be less than the human value of their white, male, counterparts.

He did not run from the fact that when we value wealth, power, and influence more than human life and dignity, we have become diseased in our hearts, minds, and souls.

As we all know, Dr. King fought against the evils of this country: all the isms - racism, sexism, and classism.

In fact, he was on an anti-poverty campaign with sanitation workers when he was assassinated in Memphis, Tennesee.

Although he was not a sanitation worker, he was there.

He was there because he valued human life.

He understood that economics is linked to the many struggles people face - under and unemployment, crime, and social ills.

That when people have access to sustainable living wages, they can support their families and thrive.

Today, I urge you to review our history - as painful as it is because it is repeating itself and will not stop unless we take up the fight to stop it.

Today there is a sense of urgency.

For the legacy of Dr. MLK, Jr. and those who stood, fought, and died in struggle is at stake.

And if we don't pay attention and more importantly, RESPOND to what is going on, history will repeat itself.

There is an attack on the poor and the working class, on women, on people of color, on immigrants.

There are efforts to divide us.

There are efforts to continue through the implementation of public policy, the practices of oppression.

I urge you today to eat, enjoy the fellowship of those around you, but more importantly, to ACT.

Dr. MLK, Jr. stated, "everybody can be great because anyone can serve."

Given the challenges we face today, there are plenty of opportunities to serve.

I challenge you to find your fight because we are in one.

And how we choose to respond today will impact our history tomorrow.

Find your fight.

Thank you."