OUR VIEW: We must learn to live together
On Monday, the country celebrated the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Last year, our country’s wounds of racial division were opened again as we struggled to answer questions as old as this nation. There were protests and upheaval and a divisive election, on top of a historic pandemic.
Needless to say, we could all use a cooling of tensions, a recommitment to loving thy neighbor.
It has been more than 53 years since Dr. King was assassinated. It has been more than 156 since the Civil War ended.
Much progress has been made. For the young people reading this, simply ask the lifelong, elder Black residents of LaGrange what life was like here, in their youth. No doubt you will appreciate the struggles of previous generations even more.
No serious person would doubt, however, that our society continues to suffer from injustice and inequity, and that racism is alive and well across America. It is incumbent upon all of us to continue working toward a more perfect union.
Here in LaGrange, the annual MLK parade was canceled in the interest of COVID-19 safety. It was a disappointing but entirely understandable decision.
Fortunately, an awards ceremony was still held at Lafayette Square, where locals were honored for their work to advance Dr. King’s dream.
We commend their efforts, as well as all the people in our community who have forged bonds across racial lines. There has been tremendous work done here, in schools and in churches, between police and civilians, among folks of all colors and creeds. We’re proud to live in a community where so many have made a conscious effort to strive for racial reconciliation. We must never neglect the reality of our past, but we must always believe in the power of love and healing.
We hope you used the holiday to reflect on your place in this world. To revere heroes like Dr. King and pledge yourself to advancing his vision of the future. And, as a national day of service, we hope you took the opportunity to help others in your community through some small act of kindness.
There is never a bad time to be kind, never a bad time to make yourself and your community better. We challenge the people of this community to treat every day like it is MLK Day.
During this time of chaos and disunity, remember Dr. King’s words: “We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.”