Monday, January 14, 2013

What Inspired Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s Passion to Risk His Life for the Civil Rights Movement?

During my prior eight years as a Colorado Legislator (6 as a State Representative and 2 as a State Senator) I was exposed to the annual Legislative celebration of Martin Luther King's birthday.  Each year, I saw the Republicans remain mostly silent as the Democrats made political "hay" over this great man, while they seemingly using it to draw recognition to themselves as aligning their Party to MLK and to the Civil Rights Movement.  Never once was there reference to what drove this great man to stand so firm against injustice.

Not unlike other great men and women in history such as William Wilberforce and others, something inspired MLK to put his life on the line for his beliefs.  What was that "something?"  It seemed to e that what actually gave this great man so much courage should be the main focus of any celebration, because without it there may never have been such a profound change in the civil rights movement. .  Many of us have goals we would like to fulfill, but most of those goals are not pursued because of the fear of retribution, fear of criticism, and other forms of resistance;  understanding MLK's source of drivenness may also inspire us.

So...inspired by that thought, I decided to prepare the following remarks for four Senators to be first delivered on the Colorado Senate floor, January 15th, 2009.

Senator Schultheis' remarks: