Today here in the United States we celebrate the birthday a great leader of the civil rights movement of the sixties. Actually his birthday was last Friday January 15.
Being a Christian I am sure he is having a great time up in heaven with Jesus and everyone else there. Also he is in joy because in heaven he is equal with everybody else. In heaven there is no difference in color of skin.
I remember very much when he and Robert Kennedy both were assassinated pretty soon after each other. I was a bit too young to understand the whole civil rights movement and I lived so far away from the south as well. Though I did not understand the civil rights movement I had heard of Martin Luther King Jr. Now over the years it saddens me more about what was happening in that time of United States history where not all men were not considered free still though our constitution said so.
Growing up I was a big fan of baseball and Willie Mays was my favorite player. One of the first books I read was about Willie Mays while in elementary school. Though I did not understand the civil rights movement I did know the struggle Willie Mays went through while growing up in Mobile, Alabama. Also, I heard about Jackie Robinson who became the first black player in the major leagues. I find it shameful that anyone would be treated that way for any reason especially for the color of their skin.
Though civil rights have come a long ways in the last fifty years plus in the last couple years we have seen that more has to be done in how we treat our fellow man regardless of race. The shooting of young black men by white officers I find horrible to think about in any circumstances. Even if the black men are criminals being a white cop you must think heavily before shooting them; at least in my mind anyway. I believe being a cop shooting anyone regardless of race should be the last thing to do. This is especially in killing them. Even if you feel threatened by them and you had to shoot I would look at getting them in the shoulder or in the leg. At least this way they are still alive and you have immobilized them.
Another thing when I was growing up in Gig Harbor we had very few minorities living in our neighborhoods and no blacks in school. So you see the whole civil rights movement feels so foreign to me. When I played basketball our team was made up with all white players. Most of the teams we played had black players on them. The only other contacts I had with blacks as a kid was at the YMCA when we went into Tacoma. I never thought of them being black. In my mind they were other kids. It wasn’t until I graduated from high school and went to vocation school in Tacoma that I had regular contact with blacks. I really found out than they were just like me in another color. Most of them I talked to enjoyed sports like me. Of course, there were other things we talked about than just sports.
Growing up in Gig Harbor over ninety percent of the population was whites. Actually still today Gig Harbor is still at least ninety percent white though there are some blacks living here along with other races. I enjoy when I run into any blacks along with other races besides white. In my mind they may be different but that is a good thing. Not everyone has to be like me.
So we salute you and wish you another Happy Birthday Martin Luther King Jr. We hope things get even better with the youth being born here today; also, in other places of the world.