tv Martin Luther King Assassination - 50th Anniversary Commemoration CSPAN December 25, 2018 2:14pm-4:55pm EST
front 6 the preserved lorraine motel where the reverend king was mortally wounded. including remarks by leaders including andrew young and yes, siree jackson. both of whom where were dr. king at the time of the assassination and ends with the tolling of the bell exactly 50 years after the assassination.
♪ lord ♪ lord, art undone ♪ ♪ i done done what you told ♪ me to do ♪ you told me to sing ♪ i done that too ♪ you told me to sing ♪ i done that too ♪ i done done ♪ what you told me to do ♪ talking about lord ♪ i done done ♪ lord, i done done ♪ lord, i done done ♪ i done done what you told me to do ♪ ♪ lord, you told me to preach ♪ i done that too ♪ i done done
[ applause ] he was a man, a husband, a father, a son, a brother. he was a preacher and a scholar. he was a visionary. a strategist, a leader, a serve ant. a radical thinking. believer in the contest of peaceful direct action and civil disobedience to effective means to affect change. he believed in an america for all people. we hold these truths to be self-estimate that all men are created equal. endowed by their creator by certain unalienable rights among them are life, liberty and the
pursuit of happiness. he had a dream, he wasn't simply a dreamer but a man of action who made the ultimate sacrifice peace, harmony and integration were goals but so were equity, access and opportunity. economic equity. educational equity. access to housing free from environmental hazards. access to neighborhoods with health care and the opportunity to achieve the american dream and share in the prosperity that is this nation. this is the reverend who we remember today. not only the man harolded for
winning the nobel peace prize but felt much of the country turn against him in 1967 and 68. i want to thank you for joining us in this moment in time. this 50th anniversary. this afternoon, we remember the man that had a faith like none other who lived for the hope of righteousness like a stream. for whom righteousness and love were the only options. this afternoon, we reflect on the loss of this humble man who felt compelled to come to memphis to support sanation workers that were being treated as less than men. we celebrate the answer he
posed, where do we go from here? let's begin now with this message. >> hello, everybody. michelle and i wish we could be with you to celebrate the life and movement he was a part of because of him and his glorious words and deeds, his hopeful vision, we found the courage to come as far as we have. because of him and his fellow marchers, barricades began to fall and bigotry began to fade. opportunities began to swing open. look around, we can see with our own eyes that america is fairer and more free and more just than
it was in dr. king's time. people of all creeds live together, work together and fight alongside one another and love one another. we are right to savior that progress but we have to take stock in all the work that remains. we are right to remember such progress didn't come easily. every two steps forward, we often take a step back. there is hope to be p found in the longer story that is america. the story defined by forward motion, the constant widening of our founding creed to embrace all of us and not just some. we can see it in a generation that rises. takes up dr. king's mantle and marches.
whether for injustice, reform the justice system, or stem gun violence. we celebrate a man and a movement, we should draw strength from those earlier struggles and to the marchers of today. hold fast to the believe that we the people hold the pour to continue you'lly remake this nation to more closely align to our highest ideals. we should take what things we achieve, and build on them. keep pushing towards the oughtness of tom. we can't be trapped or discouraged by what is but keep pushing for what ought to be. an america worthy of our
children's expectations. if we maintain our faith, the krin edible possibilities of the nation, above all in ourselves, there is nothing we cannot achieve. thank you. may god bless you all. [ applause ] . >> faith. faith in the dawn arises from the faith that god is good and just. when one believes this, he knows the contradictions in life are neither final nor at mat. he can walk you through the night with the conviction that all things work together for the good that love god. dr. martin luther king junior, knock at midnight in strength to love.
>> thank you, terri. i am honored and humbled as we all are to be here in memphis at this moment in time. these final hours leading up to 6:01 are about deep respect and rev rans for the reverend and the movement for which he gave his life. nothing more. we are blessed to have with us bishop charles blake, senior, presiding bishop church of god in christ who will lead us followed by the readings from the hebrew bible read by reverend katie bowam and reverend from liden christian church. bishop blake. >> dear lord, thank you for the
life and legacy of dr. martin luther king. thank you for his service. thank you for his commitment. thank you, dear lord, he was willing to make every sacrifice for the advancement of humanity. he was a great leader. he helped us to begin snatching back flags that had been snatched from beyond our reach. those of us who saw him admired him, respected him and were thankful for him. thousands of us went to selma, montgomery. he inspired us to risk our lives and give our lives if necessary for the cause of freedom. thank you lord for his commitment. that he was willing to make great sacrifices and given his
life. he could have chosen an easier path but he was driven by his dream. he was an educated man words were his tools and instrument. he perfect fekted hisser art and draft. he was skilled as a negotiator. he was just one man but he made the difference and contribution. lord, as we condemn plate his life, teach us that 50eeach of too can make a difference. they can leave behind us foot prints in the sands of time. thank you for his life. thank you for legacy and this 50th an verse i have his death. we celebrate him on this day in the name of our lord jesus, amen
my people. >> i am mindful of their sufferings to a land flowing with milk and honey. come, i will send you to farrow and you shall free my people from egypt. we are here today because a man witnessed a world on fire and knows to approach the measure of a man. we are here because a man heard god's call and refused to be silent about things that matter. we are here today during pass over and after easter with freedom and rebirth as our spiritity you'll back drop. if not barefoot, bare sauled on holy ground. the world is still on fire. the cries of the suffering still rise to the heavens.
if we fell confident to respond, so was he at first. ♪ >> who am i that i should go to pharoe. i have only this heart of grace. god answered, i shall be with you. that shall be your sign. where do we go from here. martin luther king's life of faith reminds us. we go towards the flames. if we choose to approach, we p find god there. >> from the balcony in heaven to the balcony of the lorraine
motel, i feel the words of dr. mart martin luther king and his beautiful bride leading us to the gospel of look and the 18th chapter. hear now, god's word. jesus told his disciples a pairable to show them they should always pray and not give up. in a certain town, there was a judge who neither feared god. a widow kept coming, grant me justice against the adverse arie. for some time, the judge refused. finally he said, even though i don't fear god, yet because of this persistent widow who keeps bothering me, i will see that
she gets justice so sheen won't eventually come back and attack me. the lord said, listen to what the unjust judge says and will not god bring about justice for the ones who cry day and night. he will see are that they get justice and quickly. however, when the son of man comes, he will find faith on earth. the people were bringing the children to jesus for him to touch them but the disciples rebuked them but jesus called the children and said do not hinder them. truly i tell you unless you come as a child and receive them into the kingdom, you might razz well not come.
the children are calling for us to get woke. the children are calling for us to express and respond to me too. the children are saying that the time is now, there are no more excuses. tomorrow is today. zbod is calling us to make this movement that the dream will become the reality. the grass widthers and the flowers fade but the word of our god stands forever. [ applause ] >> thank you reverend, rabbi and bishop. since 2008, the 105 voices of history, hcbu national choir has
continued to provide voices educational educational for the students from the 105 of the nations historic black colleges. singing from the kennedy center to the bahamas. today, we are joined by 50 s students from 22 colleges. welcome 105 voices national hbcu choir. [ applause ] >> ladies and gentleman, please welcome lindy.
>> remembering the truths proclaimed by dr. martin luther king junior martered april 4, 1968. psalm 57. >> you must not wage war. it is necessary to come and sacrifice for it. mankind must evolve all human conflict. p the foundation of such a method is love. >> thank you father for saving your power from all nations. >> the individual has not
started living until he rises out of the confines of his individual concerns to other concerns of all humanity. we must use time to create with the knowledge that time is always right to do right. >> change does not grow on the wlee wle wheels of inevitablity. >> you not only refuse to shoot a man or woman but you refuse to hate him or her. >> let the nations to be glad. >> the ultimate measure of a man is not where he p stands in
>>. [ inaudible ] the nation that spends year after year more money on defense than social up lift is approaching spiritual doom. >> may god continue to bless us. may all the ends of the earth revere him. >> i have the audience osity to believe that peoples everywhere can have three meals for their bodies, education and culture for their mind. dignity, equality and freedom for their spirits. >> when we let freedom reign, we let it reign from every village, every state and every city. we will speed up that day when all of the people, black men and white men, jews and gentiles
[ applause ] >> thank you choir. let's hear it for them. we will now hear reflections on dr. king as a faith leader by the reverend jay lawrence turner, senior pastor of misboulevard christian church followed by president of the south christian conference. >> good afternoon, we have come to remember the death of the prophet of nonviolence who passed in this city 50 years ago. let us remember before he was
awarded the nobel prize and the leader of the modern civil rights movement, he was a gospel preacher. he has spiritual anointing and social action in their ministries and i'm one who has been shaped by his life and ministry. it was a tragedy that he lost his life here in memphis 50 years ago fighting on behalf of sanitation workers whose city would not give them a living wage and 50 years later it would be even more tragic after a week of celebrations, speeches, dinners, luncheons and entertainment that we leave memphis with a plan to do absolutely nothing. even more tragic than that, it would be shameful if faith leaders did not pick up the mantel that fell here 50 years ago. [ applause ] the hour is late. time is far spent and we cannot wait for justice any longer.
i can hear dr. king calling to us and saying to us that we cannot wait. we cannot wait another 50 years to get serious about taking action against injustice and poverty. as we've been meeting and eating all week long, those that perpetuate wickedness in high places are in their government offices and corporate suites enjoying the spoils of a system with those in power always win, while we're focused on the collusion between a political campaign and a foreign government, we're missing the collusion that is happening with prison corporations who have created an america where one in every eight plaque men are in some penal control as this they're traded as commodities in the marketplace. we cannot wait to bring an end to food insecurity and ensure hard workers ensure a living wage and bring poverty to its
knees. on january 5, 1965, king wrote in the mennonite that pofery is one of the most urgent items on the agenda of modern life. there is nothing new about poverty, king wrote. what is new, however, is that we have the resources to get rid of it. the time has come for an all-out war on poverty. this week is a testament to this in that millions of dollars have been spent in this commemoration and people have spent thousands of dollars to fly from near and far, but we should be ashamed of ourselves that we have not, in the name of martin luther king, we have spent these amounts of dollars and have overlooked the poverty that's in our own backyards. i cannot speak for the civil rights organizations or the union, but as for faith leaders, i can speak to the church and congregations all across this country. it's time out for a shouting on sunday and not standing on
monday. it's time out for collecting tithes and poor working people and middle-class people. preach e it's time out for allowing politicians to parade into our churches during election season and selling our con greg lagzs down the stream in order to have a photo-op, and it's time out for those who are masquerading as if they're woke preach e but no one has seen any of your work in the community. we have a responsibility as ministries of the gospel that we cannot put off. we cannot delay and we cannot wait any longer as the blood of this prophet still cries out from this balcony. we must commit ourselves to fight until we realize the beloved community and bring the kingdom of heaven here to earth. we cannot wait and we must continue to speak truth to power
and power to the people and if there's anything we learn from the ministry of jesus and the ministry of dr. king is that whenever there is an unjust peace it is our responsibility to disturb the peace and break the silence. let us leave here today and commit ourselves to lifting our collective voices until justice rose down like waters and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream in the name of the one who gives us the audacity of hope and the people say it. amen. [ applause ] >> my, my, my, my. ladies and gentlemen, i'm just a country boy from tuscaloosa that happened to be in atlanta georgia in the same position of dr. martin luther king, jr.
i have to speak in berming ham in two hours and i fly low, but i'm here today. after that speech i was going to be nice, but i've got something to say.here today. after that speech i was going to be nice, but i've got something to say. >> i'm here to thank my chairman aboard dr. lafayette and his lovely wife, lord have mercy. these are my friends. bill lucid and doctor, and jim lawson who is sitting here today. these are the individuals who inspired me. they are the ones who started this movement in memphis and led abroad throughout the world, but i'm also here to tell you about the state of black america financially and checkleconomica.
we are worse off today than 50 years ago. i am here to tell you african-americans make on average $17,000 a year to white people making $171,000 a year. something is wrong with that. and i'm mad because you're not mad. we've got to get up, stand up, fired up and don't take it no more. i am also here to tell you that's 140 million people who go to work every day living from check to check. there are 50 million people in this country who can afford a $250 emergency and ladies and gentlemen, some of us will fake it, but the rest of us are poor. we need to come together and start fighting each other and start smiling in my face and stabbing me in my back and let me serve you notice today, ain't no way you can separate dr. king from the sclc movement and civil
rights. we are here, we brought about the changes. people now think they can come up for a photo-op and forget about our movement and our leader died! our leader died right here in memphis, so on my way to girming ham where he did a lot of his work, dr. king said darkness cannot drive out darkness and only light can do that. he also said hate can't drive out hate. i've got the holy ghost out. hate can't drive out hate, only the lord can do that. you need to love somebody and cut out the foolishness because love does what love does and i love you. god bless. [ applause ] >> let us now hear from a
co-laborer of dr. king's, the reverend jesse jackson. [ applause ] >> i am somebody. i am somebody. i am a man. i am a man. respect me. protect me. never neglect me. i am somebody. stop the violence, save the children. stop the violence. save the children. keep hope alive. keep hope alive. he lives. he lives. he lives. he lives.
let me hear you scream it like you really mean it. >> my brothers and sisters it's a bit difficult standing here again today. i see the brother sitting here three years ago. i've been blessed by god to come back here 50 years later and every time the scab comes off, and the steel rod. the blood still oozes and this is the site of the crucifixion, but not far from here is the resurrection, the new hope and the new possibilities. the intricacies of dr. king was the last that we had january 1968, and it was a day of
excitement from appalachian smoky mountains and native american, latinos, jewish allies from new york and the blacks from the deep south, the delta, mississippi, arkansas, and how they end the war in vietnam and how they end the war and how they end poverty. they're going to the war of vietnam, they should be going to war any that was his mission and end violence and that spring, february 1st, two men were killed and then we're going to call for reverend james lawson. come to memphis because it gives concreteness that it was campaign and it gives concreteness to it. dr. king before we came here said and then josea, i have had
a migraine headache for three days. i've been with coretta and my wife and then gene and then ralph and juanita. i said maybe just quit and maybe i've done as much as i can do for 13 years. we won montgomery, we won birmingham and we won in selma and we're making prog reshress, maybe it's enough. the fbi is attacking them. they tapped his home phone and office phone and hotel rooms and tried to see if there was semen on his bed to disgrace and discredit him and board members wrote letters to "the new york times" saying it would not work and he said dr. king, don't talk that way. and ended said, peace, peace. there is no peace. let me talk. we got real quiet. he said maybe i can't turn around because frederick douglas
and frederick tubman would not understand. i can't turn around. he then said maybe i went fast to the point of death. we may disagree on taxes and i was to the point of starving to death, fasting to death and he made his move. we're going to washington to go to jail in traffic and shift to congress' focus and instead we'll go a step further and he said the sanitation workers, they're god's children, and if they don't do their work the surgeons cannot do operations because the germs will kill the patient. if they don't do their work the teachers will teach us that there's the stench in the air and they did a valued worker and
they paid into their health care. he went from a deep depression to how to aspire and come on to memphis. the same three moves jesus went through. a, let this cup pass from me. b, as he prayed disciples let not my will be done and came into memphis the next week, came across the courtyard and we took a picture on this balcony. he said, you know, we've gone back to the industries in memphis and we'll win the battle in memphis. we're not going to give up in memphis. we'll fight poverty in memphis and today my brothers and sister, 34% of african-americans make $50 less than the working poor and memphis, 64% in poverty
working poor, that was his arc je agenda then and that is his agenda today. so i said, well, we're going to have done it tonight around 6:00, around 5:00 and moving the kurt arngs i would play music and then he said around 5:45, jesse, you're late, and i was dunn and it's all right. jesse, you're not prepared. you don't have a shirt and tie. dr. king, all you need is an appetite, not the tie. we laughed. he said please play my favorite song tonight and he raised up, and pow, knocked him against this door.
upon impact i'm convinced he never felt the pain. he was dead on impact. he said back up, this is my friend martin and martin, you can't leave us now. we need you. you can't leave us now. you can't leave us now. i got up and went to the room, 305, my room and called mrs. king and said to her dr. king has been shot, i think, in the shoulder. i was hoping against hope, and didn't say what i had actually seen and she got a call a few minutes later. he was dead. he was dead then, but the doctor does not have the last word. my brothers and my sisters, if atlanta is his bethlehem and the mason temple church of god and
christ in gethsemany and not far from calvary is his resurrection. from this balcony we decided one bullet would not kill a movement and in 40 years we went from the balcony from lorraine motel to the balcony of the white house in 40 years. we never stopped fighting. we never stopped voting any coalitions and they need a good white woman from the south. we never stopped fighting. we never gave up and we never gave out. from this balcony in memphis, the balcony in the white house was 40 years in the wilderness. my friends today, the hope is in the resurrection as in the biblical case, he is gone and when you celebrate barack winning the campaign in 2008 and '12 he's alive.
when those children marched last week saying ban assault weapons and enough of guns is enough, he's alive. [ applause ] >> when we walked and marched and freed mandela, he's alive. my friend, let nothing break your spirit today. he was lied on, spat upon, turned on, violated and yet somehow, some way he would not give up. by accepting his challenge i cannot give up. i will not turn around. someone said a few day ago, someone said i know you have parkinson's and there is no cure. i know a doctor who has a cure for anything. we turn to that doctor. we turn to that faith. the lord is our light and our salvation. whom shall we fear? ? >> we cry sometimes we when we
will lose the leadership and joy outings and turn coming to the morning is the man talk about not having awe roll, and no american ms., he stands above all when's guy that did be there, 50 years later, 50 years later, 50 yors later, i was 26 will-year-old without, and now i once was wrong and now i'm old ask have never seen righteous there's hope and dealing. >> should we go wah forward by
hurt and hate. we won the battle in alabama and we'll win this battle, and we won the battle in virginia. we win every day we fight. we win every day we fight. today poverty and memphis, time for a change. 54% poverty in america among african-americans, time for a change. 4 million high school senior can sejster a r register to vote, and 2.5 million, time for a change any if we say we do our best. >> god has a way of doing it away. there's nothing too hard for god. we fall down any weet up get up
and let us rise. my people who are called by my name and seek my face and turn, from then they will give them heaven and god will heal us and god will -- heal our land. it's healing time. it's hope time healing, hope, healing, hope. i am a man. i am a woman. i am god's child. i am somebody. respect me. protect me. never surrender. he did not die in vain. he did not die in vain. when we vote we make heaven happen. give power to the people. power to the people. thank god martin luther king.
thank god for winnie mandela. thank god for rove rent aber facty, for the martyrs who paid the price, keep hope alive. keep hope alive. >> keep hope alive. [ applause ] >> justice. on some positions cowardice actions. is it popular? conscience asks the question, is it right? there comes a time when one must take the position that is
[ applause ] >> thank you, choir! the choir was led by noted conductor and composer dr. rowland carter who a rachled that stirring rendition of "lift every voice." thank you, dr. carter. we will hear from dr. king as an activist from derek johnston president and ceo of the aacp and mark morial, the president and ceo of the national urban league.
>> thank you, rabbi michael. 1968 was a turning-point year for the social justice movement. it was the event that happened on this day that caused many people to begin to evaluate the next step and as a result of that we've seen cities go aflame in newark and across the country and the administration commissioner report and every port read as such, segregation we have created, a destructive environment totally unknown to most white americans, but institution institutions created it. white institutions maintained it and white society condoned it, but black institutions continue to fight. black reality continues to push
back black lives realize nad in order for democracy to work we have to stand up strong ask continue to leverage our vote and as a result of that we're seeing elected across the country, young in detroit and in new orleans, tom bradley in los angeles, weave seen jesse jackson run for president in '84, in '88. we see mike espy become the first reconstructionist in mississippi. we see this in the movement of african-americans because we understood the one thing that makes democracy work. that is, if we leverage our votes collectively we can make a difference, that we're not barack obama that was not about martin luther king. there would not have been a
barack obama if there were not a martin luther king. as a result of african-americans standing across partners and communities, we understood that our currency is our vote, and our vote would make a difference in the lives of young people, our elderly and everyone else. we are now at a new juncture. 50 years later we see a political landscape that's not privy to most of us here right now. a political landscape that took a pedophile and a white house in order for us to win a senate race in alabama, but because black women stood up and they cast ballots at record number, numbers that no one would have believed prior to the elections, woe accomplished the unimaginable. this year's lech cycle, there are 88 legislative bodies across the country on the ballot. these legislative bodies will
make a decision on the redistricting, the drawing of the political boundaries that will impact us for ten years after. these political bodies will determine whether we fully fought an education and these political bodies will determine the future of our lives, so as i'm stand here now, i'll ask you to take out your cell phone and take a pledge to vote. commemorating the path is important and preparing for the future is valuable. take out your cell phones and text naacp to the number 60149. we must turn out like we've never done before. peace and power. >> thank you. i am honored and humbled to be with you and to be here at the lorraine motel on this important day. i ask you not to think of today
as an anniversary. it is the solemn commemoration of a national tragedy. it is, however, the anniversary of the expansion of martin luther king jr.'s movement from civil rights to economic justice and human rights. dr. king's expanded movement called dr. king's campaign and its efforts to unite poor and working-class people of every race and every background and every ethnicity. it is as urgent today as it was 50 years ago. on behalf of urban leaguerses around this nation who are not only civil rights activists but economic first responders and i speak on behalf of an urban
league whose leader in the 1960s, the late whitney young walked side by side with martin luther king in selma and many endeavors. this is the anniversary of dr. king's demand for a living wage. 50 years later, millions of americans who work full time sometimes two or three jobs still can't earn enough to make ends meet. whether it is the mother in harlem and the returning veteran in memphis, the family in rural mississippi, appalachia or louisiana. these families cannot make ends meet because they do not have access to a living wage. this is the anniversary of dr. king's demands, but decent and affordable housing for every
american. 50 years later the great recession has wiped out 40 years of gains in black home ownership. the minimum wage can't come to the rent in any major city in america and red lining and mortgage lending remains a painful reality and this is the anniversary of dr. king's demand for investment in black-owned businesses. 50 years later people of color remain drastically underrepresented on corporate boards and black entrepreneurs face major barriers to financing and business opportunities. i am like many of you, of the jen raugz i don't know how you would have the little black boys and black girls and who would
join in to make a better economy. >> on behalf that generation. now is the time to assert ouritiment to a living wage. now is the time for us to reassert our commitment to ending poverty and to making the dream of home ownership available to all and to guarantee every child wherever they live, whatever zip code access to a high quality education. if we want a living wage martin luther king would say we must agitate. we must organize. we must legislate, but we must vote. if we want affordable housing, martin luther king would say, we must agitate. we we must legislate eight, but we want boast. >> if we wanted those sechl lissities in our economy, we
must organize, and we must legislate, but we must vote. >> every if every to have access to quality preschool k through 12 in a meaningful opportunity for a post hef secondary ed kaeg, woe must organize and we must vote. in 20018, elevate ask live the honor. we must agitate and organ we move vote in the tonight 08 to ensure that the dream, to ensure that the vision, to ensure that the commitment of martin luther king remains real, we must agitate, we must organize and vote and we must stay woke. [ applause ]
>> reverend william barber is leading the poor people's unfinished campaign. reverend barber? [ applause ] >> one writer has said in the recent books that movement for not closing spaces for builders and leaders and during the southern freedom movement white segregationists turned the landscape in the south into a bloody battleground and jails and balconies and streets into sites of terror and killing fields. these were the real its of the
people and the movement and what they faced and dr. king was no exception. the wait, the wait of these years by the time he got to memphis with men who was organizing a strike was heavy. he had moderates, politician, a president and even jealous criticism from black leaders who used his position against the vietnam war as an excuse to diminish our status in the ice of liberal white america whiling their own and then the bullet rang and his body fell. often we call dr. king's last sermon in the mountaintop sermon. it wasn't. it was a call to action in the valley of racism and it was militarism when he stopped by memphis to stand with garbage workers. he saw the connection between all three and knew he could not address one before addressing the other and that's why when he
said about the mountaintop. we must give of ourselves and nothing wab more tragic than for us to stop that the point or go down together and what he said then is what we move do now. nothing would be more tragic than for us to turn back now when the votes rights act has been gutted and we have less voting rights today than in 1965 and for 1945 days the congress has refused to change the voting rights act. 23 states have passed voter suppression laws and we have working poor in this country and 62 million working poor people and 14 million children and we lock people up who fight for 15 while we let corporate crooks go every day. nothing would be more tragic than for us to turn back now and right here in memphis, memphis, this majority black southern city is the most impoverished
metropolitan area in the nation and nearly 20% of his residents living below the poverty line. the sanitation workers still don't have a living wage and guarantee incomes and benefits and nothing would be more tragic than for us to turn back now. tennessee has 1.4 million poor people in it, mostly white, mostly women, mostly children and the governor and the legislature have refused to pass living wage, but has passed voter suppression and you have some politicians that are so arrogant that are they will stand on a stage and say they honor dr. king while every day they dishonor him with policy. >> we have 37 million people without healthcare. 63 cents of every discretionary dollar is going to war, and nothing would be more tragic for than us to turn back now. we treat corporations like people and people are, and you can buy unleaded gas in flint,
michigan, but you can't get unleaded water. thousands of people die every day from policies. black people are shot in the street by police and many other people die from low wealth and low income. nothing would be more tragic than for us now so we must be the resurrection. when we face a time where even today the president is talking about the military on the mexican border on the day we are honoring the general of nonviolence and nothing would be more tragic than for us to turn back now and so as i close, the bible says well under those who love the tums of the prophet. you don't want to love the tomb of a prophet. the only way you can honor a prophetic leader and a p proprophetic movement, pick up
and pick up the baton of black brown, white, red and yellow and carry the baton the rest of the way. we must declare, as we come to this place, that there is power in the blood! that is why thousands are coming together to launch 40 days from mothers day' forward and our season of non-violent fusion with the moral direct action is a season of power building called the poor people's campaign, a national call for more revival. who's joining? a woman whose daughter died in alabama because alabama refused to expand medicaid. white women from appalachia, chiefs from the a paech nation and latino men and women from el as on. and people together to decide we don't need another
commemoration. we need a consecration. we need a moral revival in tshlg. we need to and that's why i live as the co-chair because there's power in the blood. there's power when you stand on the shoulders of the martis. there's power when you refuse to go back. there's power when you won't turn around. there's power when you focus love and truth and justice and the truth is even if one fall in one generation we can pick it up in another generation. so let us declare that we are soldiers in the holder in the blood stained battle and we've got to hold it up until we die. no matter what trump does, hold it up. no matter what races do, hold it up. no matter what injustice does,
hold it up. we've got to hold it up until we die. we've got to hold it up until every vote is protected, until every person is respected, until every person has healthcare. >> we've got to hold it up until every child is lifted and loved and we've got hold it up, and every person in property guaranteed a aftness is and we have to hold to vr it up, by everyone and every wall is torn down and every imgrant is welcome and every creature prays for presidents, and while they are praying, p-r-a-y-i-n-g on the poor and the hurting and we have to hold it up even though we have a narcissistic ego maniac in the white house. we've got to hold it up! we've got to hold it up! we've got to hold it
power! power! power! power in the blood. [ applause ] ladies and gentlemen, ed avery. >> a poem for today. a bullet can kill a man, but only after he can kill a dream. a thing that ends with the dream is a thing unfilled, unfinished and untold and here is where we are. awake, after a long night of slumber. a sleep rocking back and forth,
and visions of arms like sugar cane and red with cotton and sleeping on stomachs to keep the healing off scars and we rub the jim crow from our eyes and a new day dawning and a sunrises, a great sleep we were in with dreams molding into dreams and us folding into ourselves and all those inventions with our blood, sweat and tears in them. all those buildings with signs not for you, you round the back, you stay put in the slumber, but it takes a lot of sleep when you know you have a lot of work ahead of you. now we're awake. after a starless midnight and on the fulfillment now we're awake and willing to take the stance that is not popular or burdened with politics and now we're awake and accepting that peaceful ends must be pursued through peaceful means and no, that does not mean stepping in such, it means peace.
i keep holding up two fingers and still make a peace like mama standing on the front porch, your church hanging casually from her neck, as you make it home, and her patient eyes draped, and isn't that us now? now that we've been nudged awake, love and our hearts with the belt in our hands and all from the world and our love by any means necessary. you didn't understand last night, and you're going to learn today, he explained they're left to go and we have the conglomerate and we have barefoot and show deals and museum swag and we've got cars and everything, and who medical was, and we for black wall street shucking and jiving, and more than a good time. didn't the man sit in jail and say freedom is never given by the oppressor. it must be demanded by the oppressed and when they insist about another conversation about a dream, i say hasn't it been
diverged long enough and haven't our black been the youth of enough blues and we have a shared dream and we wake up and they ask where do we go from here and we answer, wherever in the hell we choose talks and we go into ferguson and florida with love leading wait. we go into flint and about love. we're going our authorities, and spreading if my mouth, and black women in political conditions in atlanta and charlotte and go forward with names like keisha and val. if you can say schwarzenegger you can fit barika into your mouths. wakonda forever and love and colonizer for the cities and country, like coretta raising
children after the dream was paused because a woman's work is never done, like now that we awake there's work to do in our schools and our church e there are living dreams to plant any in our homes there are living dreams to plant and in our lives there's been an awakening and a drum going out over time and it sounds like florida evan, bellowing damn, damn, damn, we must learn to live together as brothers or perish as fools and i don't believe our mamas raised any fool, did they, memphis? what do we do now in we go forward into tomorrow together and sing your pain and my loss is yours, if one of us can rise we all can, but if one of us falls then we all have failed and we need more than superheroes. we need you. we need more than dreamers, we need dores and we go ready to roll up our sleeps to do what needs to be done and the bell rungs sb the signal to come in to get on your mark set in the
name of peace, justice and faith. today we go, we go and we go. [ applause ]peace, justice and . today we go, we go and we go. [ applause ]of peace, justice a. today we go, we go and we go. [ applause ] >> thank you, ed avery for that stirring performance. dr. kingy influence extended beyond faith circles. please join me in welcoming the extraordinary leader and pioneer bill lucy followed by the former polish ambassador to the united states richard schneve. bill lucy? [ applause ] >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. let me take the opportunity to identify with the comments of the previous speaker and take the opportunity to say when the names of great leaders echo across the years the name of martin luther king jr. will be in the top two.
for he has passed on to us the mission of all of us especially to the young people who are here. any young people here? let me hear from them? [ cheering ] >> there's nothing dr. king said in his 39 years that is not relevant to date that needs your work, your actions to pursue it until we achieve as dr. king called the broad community. we are so thankful to him for identifying with the struggle of not just 1300 men, but millions of men like them who work every single day and yet cannot raise themselves out of poverty. dr. king understood this clearly and for which we are so appreciative. he knew that as hard as these men worked they were still pursued by the bank and the long company and the payday lender and the used car dealer and all
those who fought for their share of their $1.30 an hour. we owe it to dr. king to continue that struggle until as he said freedom is on -- in place for all of us and for those 1300 men who i had the opportunity of working with, i think not only dr. king and sclc, but all of the movers who now recognize their right and entitlement to earn a decent living and live with some degree of respect and dignity. thank you so much. [ applause ] ambassador. >> thank you. >> you have all the right to ask me who i am and i have the pleasure to respond you i am just another humble man from poland who came a long way to
memphis, tennessee, to pay respects to a man who changed the world and inspired the whole world, dr. martin luther king. [ applause ] >> thank you civil rights museum for inviting me. i'm really moved. it is 5,000 miles to get from memphis, tennessee to the polish city of daensk, located on the ballotic coast. such a large geographical distance may suggest there's no connection what is over between these two cities. nothing could be more wrong. when almost 40 years ago workers with the shipyard followed them by millions of post, stood up against oppressive and unjust systems, we have the same dream,
dr. martin luther king expressed in his famous speech. we wanted to live free and with equal opportunities. we wanted dignitiy and hope for our kids. we called for respect to all and the right to express our will which followed the path of human rights fighters who dedicated their lives here in alabama and tennessee. the triple of polish solidarity led by valesa knew awe little about montgomery birmingham and memphis. they probably did not remember all tragic events happen here on this ground.
they did share the same values with the american human rights leaders and have certainly learned dr. king's words that the oppression should be met with known violent strategy. unity and determination was our strength. today jointly here in memphis and in distant poland, we, the people of good will, pay tribute to dr. martin luther king, a man who inspired millions in the work to stand for truth, justis a and growing and equal rights against growing racism, let's not forget hisc and growing and equal rights against growing racism, let's
not forget he and growing and equal rights against growing racism, let's not forget his lessons. let us have a dream, too. thank you. ladies and gentlemen, weir we are honored to have many elected leaders with us this day and this evening. the following gentlemen are ardent and unequivocal supporters of the civil rights museum and mlk 50. we will hear from our local, state and nationally elected official, steve cohen and governor bill hadlem. [ applause ] >> thank you for this opportunity on this very special day. on behalf of the 650,000 people of memphis a city that has changed the world, and isn't done changing it, let me formally welcome many of you to memphis on this important day.
it's such an honor to be here today on this sacred ground in this important week, not just in the history of memphis and not just in the history of the united states and its civil rights movement, but in the history of the world. >> the shot that hang out at 6:01 p.m. 50 years ago today silenced a man, but it did not silence his cause. it did not silence his legacy which is as loud and powerful as it ever was. we stand here looking back 50 years of undeniable progress such as every sanitation worker today making over $15 an hour with strong benefits and a retirement system, but we certainly have not achieved dr. king's dream yet.
i challenge everyone to take this moment, this once in a generation time and work even harder for the change that dr. king would have wanted to see, to strive even more to reach the promise land. in memphis, we will never give up. we will never give up until we've reached that promise land. god bless you all. [ applause ] >> in 1967 dr. martin luther king authored his final publication entitled "where do we go from here?" . 13 months later right here in memphis he lost his life pursuing that dream. all across america this week we've heard comments about the
struggle, the dream, the movement and i think we're still asking where do we go from here? what we do know from here are the challenges that the challenges of eradicating poverty, the challenges of raising our children to be respectable and law-abiding adults. the challenge as adults that we have to raise our babies in a way that is progressive and enlightened. i think we gathered today to recognize the dream, to acknowledge the dream and to recommit to the dream, but also to leave here convicted for the challenge that lies ahead. let us leave here today with the dream in our heart and with the commitment in our soul. thank you.
[ applause ] >> good afternoon. a lot of people have given voice to the idea that this week has encompassed good friday and easter and the continuation of passover and the anniversary of dr. king's tragic assassination. and that is all true. dr. king encompassed much of what moses did in that moses picked up to lead his people out of bondage. out of egypt. from slavery to freedom. and dr. king did the same thing. taking his people from slavery and that bastard child segregation to freedom. that was a wonderful thing that he did. but that was not the only thing he did. he went on in a way like jesus did to try to render under the least of these. to give health care to those who
were sick, to give food to those who were hungry, to give clothing to those who were naked. to give people who were in need help. that is something he did that i was reminded of so much today by reverend james lawson to every people. not just the african-americans. to people who were in need and he said, health care was a right and an ultimate civil right and it is and it needs to be made available to every person in the united states of america. our general assembly failed to extend medicaid even though the federal government was going to pay 90% of the money over a billion dollars a year and that was cruel and wrong. we need to see that we have medicaid and medicare for people in this country and health care for all. that was dr. king's dream and we need to fulfill it.
dr. king came to memphis because of economic problems in memphis with sanitation workers not being paid a living wage. he succeeded in getting the union recognized and he succeeded in getting a spirit to people like pit hide and a.w. willis and dearmy bailey to help build this civil rights museum to perpetually remember and remind people of the horrors of slavery and injustice and segregation and to move this city forward. there are many people of our city of immense means who contribute much to help others and people in need and i think they do it because of dr. martin luther king. thank you, martin luther king. >> thank you. it is an honor to represent the state of tennessee today. when abraham lincoln went to
dedicate -- when abraham lincoln went to dedicate the battlefield at gettysburg, he said that our words can't make this place sacred. but it is the actions that came before us. it is the actions that still happen in memphis because of what dr. king said. it is when folks go into our most difficult schools and say this school deserves as great of a teachers and principals at any where else and the first state to have free community college and technical school for everybody in the state. it is when we have folks that say our judicial system is not only inequitiable, it is not working. and so on behalf of all of that, thank you. we thank the civil rights museum for putting on the celebration today and we look forward to continuing that work. thank you. [ applause ] >> announcer: welcome to the stage alpha phi alpha. >> my brother, our brother, this
>> my brother, our brother, this brother, we remember brother reverend dr. martin luther king jr. i'm darryl lewis, president of alpha phi alpha and alpha delta lamb dah chapter here in memphis, tennessee. dr. king was and is a brother to all mankind who became a member of our fraternity during his college days at boston college on june 22nd 1952 he truly lived
out our motto. first of all, service of all, we shall transcend all. for this 50th commemoration of his life and his death, we have assembled from across this nation in this courtyard and have over 2,000 others who would journey to memphis for the 87th southern region convention. in spirit they too stand in this place and give honor to a great man. a great friend. and a great brother. each april 4th the brothers of alpha phi alpha come to the lorraine motel where dr. king was slain, where his spirit transitioned back to the father. on behalf of the fraternity, brothers nicholas collins,
southern regional vice president and brother keedran pryor from the college of the beta fooi chapter do place a wreath and we shall render a hymn and remembrance of our brother, my brother, mankind's brother. brother reverend dr. martin luther king jr. we remember. [ applause ] >> i am brother kelsey rushing, southern region vice president of the alpha phi alpha fraternity incorporated. objects of the corporation is to stimulate the members to prepare them for the great of the useful ngs in the cause of humanity and freedom and dignity of the individual to encourage the
highest and noblest form of manhood and to aid downtrodden humanity in the effort to achieve. this is the mantra by which each other of alpha phi alpha lives and this epitomized the work of dr. king. he was initiated into the sigma chapter of this brotherhood in 1952 and we pause today to remember the life of dr. king, the man who in spite of constant threats of violence against him and his -- against him and his family, led a nonviolent protest fighting for justice and racial equality. a man whose life came to an untimely end 50 years ago in this very spot. although his life ended 50 years ago, his spirit and legacy lives on. for we the brothers of alpha phi alpha in this southern region recognize the direct impact of dr. king's effort and influences in the southern states. and today we're a symbol in a
spirit of peace, a moment of reflection, and a time of celebration so on behalf of the board of directors and the brothers of the southern region of alpha phi alpha who along with the brothers across this world, we convene today in memphis this weekend to celebrate our 87th convention and to continue to commemorate the activities -- and i urge you to continue the legacy and the work of our dear brother dr. king for racial equity, social and economic justice. thank you. [ applause ] >> we are now faced with the fact that tomorrow is today. we are confronted with the
fierce urgency of now. in the unfolding conundrum of life and history. there is such a time as being too late. this is no time for apathy or complacency. this is a time for vigorous and positive action. dr. king as a man of alpha phi alpha fraternity never took any backward steps in the face of injustice. dr. king always pressed forward in the face of discrimination without hesitation, he boldly confronted institutionalized racism and voter suppression. therefore to truly honor dr. king's legacy and in this current political, economic and cultural and social landscape of america, we must fight against
injustice in all forms. dr. king, dr. w.d. debois and justice thurgood marshall and reverend wyatt t walker and dean charles hamilton and many are demanding that we take our collective energy to ensure that the promise of america is realized by all americans. regardless of the color of their skin or their sexual orientation. today is the day that urgency calls upon us to fight against injustice no matter where we find it. silence is not an option in 2018. so we must stand up and demand educational equality. we must fight against police brutality.
we must fight against discrimination. we must fight against health disparities and we must fight against targeted voter suppression that keeps people from the polls based on the color of their skin. we must fight, we must fight. stephon clark, michael brown, trayvon martin, and eric gardner and jonathan tobas are saying from heaven, if you love dr. king, keep on fighting. if you love me, keep on struggling. never, ever give up. so as we say in the house of alpha, we'll fight until hell freezes over and then we'll fight on the ice. today this fraternity, the fraternity of brother king standing on the place that he died saying you did not die in vain my brother. 50 years later we shall fight, we shall fight to freedom is enjoyed by all americans.
god bless his legacy and god bless dr. king. [ applause ] >> peace. one day we must come to see that peace is not merely a distant goal we seek, but that it is a means by which we arrive at that goal. we must pursue peaceful ends through peaceful means. dr. martin luther king jr., december 24th, 1967, christmas eve sermon.
what the world needs now even more than love is compassion, healing and peace. our next speakers, dr. omid safi and sister peace will now share their reflections on dr. king as a man of peace. in 1966, when dr.ing martin luther king jr. and buddhist zen master first met it was on the heels of the voting rights act of 1965. and i was a little girl in
washington, d.c. little did i know how deeply they would shape my life. that they would become my teachers and i would have the distinct honor of standing here before you today. call a tie and dr. king spent little time in each other's company. but yet the energy of their meeting continues to ripple out into the world. wherever people work for civil rights, peace and community. they first communicated in june of 1965. when ty wrote a letter asking dr. king for his support to end the vietnam war. a year later in june dr. king met ty again. in chicago. ty described the meeting, we had a skrupgs about peace, freedom
and community. and we agreed that without a community we could not go very far. and shortly after that meeting, dr. king began to speak out against the vietnam war. in may of 1967, king met ty again in geneva, switzerland. ty, my teacher, was being introduced by the press and arrived late. dr. king kept their breakfast warm and waited for him to arrive. before eating. ty was so moved. he told dr. king, martin, you know something? in vietnam they called abho abhodi satva. an enlightened human being, trying to awaken other living beings and help them to go in
the direction of compassion and understanding. ty shared that when dr. king was shot, i vowed to myself, i would redouble my efforts and put all my energy into the practice of building a beloved community. now as i look back at this time, i see that the seeds are not lost. they have begun to sprout and come up everywhere. the beloved community is here. and just 60 miles south from here, in baitsville, mississippi, there's a magnolia grove monastery where a statute of dr. king stands holding a scroll of the beloved community. and it says -- to build a community that lives in harmony and awareness, that is the most noble task. it was the relationship between these two great teachers that attracted me to engage buddhism. because i wanted to joy their
vision of the beloved community. and practice the art of mindful living. and our tradition dr. king meant peace and love. and through their intervening, these human beings saw peace the same way, nonviolently manifesting through the beloved community. in gratitude for dr. king, may we all join together to nourish our worldwide beloved community. so that peace is truly present in ourselves. all people and all beings. and our precious mother earth. peace in one's self is peace in the world. thank you. ♪
>> we come from a long line of people who teach us that if you love the folk, you tell them the truth. and we've come here to speak some truth today. the truth of the matter is that dr. king, whom we all love weeps in his grave to see what's happening to his beloved america. brother martin teaches us that if you love the people, you cannot be silent when you see them suffer. you know in your heart that if you don't speak out, then the rocks are going to cry out. >> brother martin teaches us that i cannot be who i ought to be until you become everything. that you ought to be.
you and i my friend, we are in this together. we either go up together or we go down together. but we are together. some of us might have come on different ships, but we're all in the same boat right now. if as jesus told us, blessed are the peacemakers, then what do we have to say about the warmongers, the hate twitters and the wall builders? we need many, many more blessed makers of the peace. i stand before you as an unapologetic muslim child of martin. my beloved profit muhammed stands in the same prophetic tradition of love and liberation
as amos, as jesus of nazareth, as brother martin and brother malcolm. for martin, this riverside connection between racism and economic exploitation of the poor here at home and warmongering abroad are not just a political manifesto, it's a work of love. it is hollow for us to speak of peace as merely the absence of war. we've got to dig deeper into a peace that's rooted in love and in justice. that's all we're talking about here. i am who i am, because my momma and my daddy loved me. they love has gone into my bones and i've take than love and put it into my babies. i know what i want for my own babies, food in their bellies, a
roof over their head and dignity in their bones. and we know that other folks love their babies, just as much as i love my own. this is what we mean by peace as an act of love. we should never be doing to other people's babies what we would not want them to do to our own babies. we've got to love each other enough to tell each other the truth, love and violence don't go together. love and racism don't go together. love and police brutality don't go together. love and bombs do not go together. we know that for us this radical love is not as martin would have called it, emotional bosh. the kids today would say it's not an emoji. it is the very unleashing of god
on to this realm. it is this love that brought us here. it is this love that sustains us here. and it is this same love that will carry us back home. let us live this strong fierce and demanding kind of love. because it's when this love moves into the public square. that we recognize it as justice. with this faith, with this love, right can be actualized justice can be mobilized. meanness can be neutralized. love can be organized. and the beloved community can be realized. may god bless the legacy of brother martin, may god bless the whole of humanity,
kind. my name is jim lawson. which is what martin luther king jr. called me. and we've had a wonderful afternoon. this is like one of the teachings of the '60s and '90s. we've had a lot of words. oftentimes strong, good powerful words. and jesus said that words are powerful. all of us need to get some words in our heads that help us to be powerful and help us to really tap into the great thing of being human and alive and loving and caring. i'm going to try not to repeat any of the things that have already been said. i became connected to martin
luther king jr. with around december 7th or 8th, 1955. and walked with him in many, many different places around the country. around the southeastern part of the nation especially. and was according to congressman john lewis, the architect of the nonviolent movement. and i want to press hard on the soul force or nonviolent struggle as a way of accomplishing a united states that is true to the beginning theology and philosophy we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all are created equal, that all are endowed by the creator with certain unalienable rights and among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
part of the difficulty in politics and in the nation and in the advertising industry today is that, that great philosophy that launched the 13 colonies into becoming an independent nation saying in the constitution, we, the people of the united states of america, in order to establish. that is the language that i want to push. as being a part of the language of the nonviolent movement. you and i and the whole nation need to hear that if we are to appreciate martin king and the movement that elected him, and caused him to emerge, we should hear the words of rosa parks. who on december 5, 1955 said -- as she went home, after hearing martin luther king jr., who had just that afternoon been selected as the advocate and
spokesperson for the bus boycott. and for the montgomery improvement association, the president, she said -- god has now given us a moses. god has clearly now given us the moses for our struggle. she said that december 5th, 1955. so it's important to see martin luther king jr. as already been said, not primarily as a civil rights person. it's important for the nation to understand that martin luther king jr. is the moses or the jesus of the 21st century at least for western civilization and for the united states and for nobody else. and if we do not absorb that about king, then we're probably not going to absorb anything
about king. it is a mistake to call him as he was a civil rights worker, or the leader of the civil rights movement, martin king and rosa parks and i prefer calling what we did in the sanitation strike, the rosa parks, martin luther king jr. dimension of the civil rights movement. that's important to understand. because the term "civil rights" is a political term from at least 1866. and it is not the term that many of us in the memphis sanitation strike or the national sit-in movement or the freedom right or the mississippi settler or the selma-to-montgomery march or the danville campaign or the birmingham campaign or the st. augustine, florida campaign or the campaign in albany, georgia, or the many, many campaigns that
went on in the movement. that's not what we called ourselves at all. we use the terms "freedom" we use the term justice. we use the term equality. we use the term love and compassion and care for ourselves and for everybody else. and if we're going to have a 21st century movement. that reflects what has gone before us, we will need to use that kind of language and not the language of the forces that are hurled against us. if you do not understand that, you do not understand king or the sanitation strike of 1968.
of the plant that the sanitation workers used to call the barns and the job, the plantation. good language and i learned from that. so i want to propose that all that has been said about the laundry list can be encompassed when i say to you this, that all of that represents the continuation, continued mythology and structures of racism and sexism, of the violence and plantation capitalism. we are in a moment of confusion. because of the spiritual, moral and political poison of those four "isms" that most people aren't aware influence economic policy and political policy and violence. all across our country. i don't want to throw water on
any excitement for struggles today. but let's remember that. the problem in the united states in our culture is not the gun. the problem is we the people who continue to encourage a violent society. whether it is in iraq, or whether it's homelessness or whether it's the 160 million americans who wrestled with the issues of poverty. and homelessness. it is the violent culture that has produced the guns. that introduced the shootings and the killings. that is the problem. so there must be a declaration somewhere for the movements of the future that say -- we work for a nonviolent society. no more pieces, bits and pieces
of violence of speech. of thinking. of structures of policies of practices. we can, we can do this if we want to listen to martin luther king jr., who is the first american of any weight who told western civilization, as well as our own country, if we continue our worship at the god of mars and violence, we will not only extinguish ourselves, but we will turn our beautiful, wonderful planet into a cold hunk of star. in our galaxy. so i want to push you hard on the fact that if you're not a nonviolent spirit or a soul force spirit in your daily behavior, if you want a better america, then you deal with the
task of becoming a person who loves, does not hate. who despises no other human being, and none of those human beings of this country of ours. and who wants for them a chance and an access to freedom and to justice and to opportunity. and to a beloved community. so it begins with you and me and that's what many of these speeches have meant so far. if you tap the power that is in you, the power of a self-contained life, the power of a peace of heaven that is implanted in your life, a peace of eternity. if you tap and live out of that gift of god, a gift from the universe to you, and join that power with the powers of people all around the world, and especially in our own nation, then you can become a citizen of
the universe who knows that your gift of life is so marvelous and extraordinary that you want to use the means of truth and beauty and wonder rather than the means of hatred and fear. in the 21st century. we must develop nonviolent struggles. voting is okay. but the voting will not be of any value to the nation unless they are proceeded by nonviolent campaigns that help to turn the nation in the direction of the dignity of every man. the dignity of every woman. access for any baby born anywhere in society. access to the tree of life in our society in our words, as well as our deeds. so in the spirit of martin luther king jr., i invite you to
join the sanitation workers of 1968, who wanted to be a nonviolent movement. a nonviolent strike. join rosa parks and nell ponder and a host of other people across from '53, '53 to '73. and we can help the usa become the nation it sometimes pretends to be. and the nation it wants to be. >> father michael flagler, his bio simply states that he is pastor, creature, parent,
lecturer, activist and errand boy. >> harry belafonte once said sometimes the god lord makes himself a person who holds the vision of god and what is possible for the world. and that vision guides him as he grows and struggles. and that man is dangerous to the sloppy ways of the world. because that man loves truth more than he loves his own life. martin luther king jr. was such a man. and because he was, there is and has been a great and aggressive move to water down his message. and to sanitize his words and to make him comfortable to the status quo and make imacceptable to the american palate. there's been a move to hijack the very identity of martin
luther king jr., but we must be clear that dr. king's message was both prophetic and radical. rooted in the radical message of jesus christ which was his foundation. dr. king was tied to a god of love and justice. his loyalty was to god and his faith is what summoned him to his activism. dr. king was uncompromising. in his commitment to eradicate war and racism and poverty. he was ever determined in his quest to tear down the door of justice and opportunity. that stood closed to the masses left outside. martin luther king jr. was uncompromising in his task to subpoena the consciences of america and demand that america stand before the seat of mow ralt and face her hypocrisy and make good on the promises that she put down on paper.
martin luther king jr. demanded as he said at the funeral of the four little girls in birmingham that we must not only arrest the person who created the bomb. but we must arrest the society that created such a man. he called us to dismantle the system of poverty. racism and justice. he called us, yes to do acts of charity. but also had the courage to demand and fight for justice and demand and dismantle any system that was unjust. martin luther king jr. stood up against hoses and dogs, bullies and bullets and yet he never compromised his commitment to nonviolence. teaching us that love, love is still the most powerful weapon in the arsenal of truth and justice. martin luther king jr. challenged us. to set a i side our safety, and
our success for the greater good of all human kind. and he commanded us to live in this selfish world with a sense of otherness. martin luther king jr. on april 4, 1967 confronted the evil of the vietnam war. and encountered the attack and denial of some of his own supporters and preachers throughout this country because he was committed to the world house and reminded us all that truth has no borders. martin luther king jr. in his letter from the birmingham jail, gave perhaps his harshest criticism for the community of faith. faith, whose silence had made them co-conspirators to evil and injustice, whose silence had made him passive supporters of the status quo. he challenged the faith community to rise from the beds
of apathy and come out of the ability of their padded views and stained glass windows and recover from their spiritual laryngitis, in order to reclaim the moral conscience and recommit themselves to the ministry of the valley. yes, martin luther king jr. was not one of political correctness, nor of safe theology. rather, he believed that the church ought to be dangerous, dangerous to evil. dangerous to injustice and be responsible to expose the lies with truth and display the weakness of hate when his face was the power of love itself. and because of that, 50 years ago, while standing on this balcony, evil and the forces of hate sought to stop him and shut him up. only to find out that a bullet
could silence his voice, but not his message. nor the truth that lived in him. for this reason. i challenge you, brothers and sisters, and myself on this 50th anniversary. that we do not make the mistake that america would like us to make. and that is to gather here and around the world and simply remember dr. king. and relegate his life to some nostalgic or historic effect and then continue on with business as usual. because if we do, then we become the present day co-conspirators of his assassination. for the worst injustice, that we can do to dr. king, is to simply remember him. but if we want to honor martin
luther king jr., then we must be willing to pick up his mantle. accept his prophetic call and continue his uncompromising mission. we must preach the searchen that he never got a chance to preach and remind america, she may go to hell, if she does not repent for the evil injustice and the abandonment of the poor of this country. for america has too long reneged on her promise to insure life, liberty and happiness to all of her citizens. and thus, america risks being sent to hell by the very god they say they honor. brothers and sisters, we live in a day when the chains of injustice continue to hold masses of brothers and sisters in captivity. we live in a day where morality has been downgraded and we are experiencing a spiritual blackout. we live in a day where truth has
been tucked away in the closet. and hate and supremacy and entitlement have been given a new breath by a president who has made them their friends. and while confederate flag mace have been lowered. the spirit flies high and strong across america today. we live in a day where religion has been hijacked and government is dysfunctional. our children live in fear of a bullet and in a country who has a love affair with guns and chose blood money over children's blood. and yes, where black lives still don't matter in america. and masses of people crawl under viaducts to find rest and garbage cans to find food. yes, we are in a country where the cries of the masses of people 50 years ago are still crying for just wages, yes,
brothers and sisters, a question for you and i today is whether we will rise up to the challenge before us. and push the hand of this midnight hour to the dawn of a new day. and dedicate ourselves like martin to the suffering and alienated. the question is, will we wake up our outrage at the disparities and unequal playing fields that have become an acceptable norm. replace our citizens with hope and our fear with faith? will we purpose our hearts to take the venom out of the hate of the bloodstream of america's veins and give her a transfusion with blood, truth, justice, love and righteousness? will we commit ourselves to holding america, accountable for what she has promised us? or will we be assassins to martin's assassination by our silence? we may not have been here 50 years ago. but we're here now. don't be an assassin, continue his legacy.
♪ precious lord ♪ take my hand ♪ lead me on ♪ let me stand ♪ i've been tired ♪ i feel weak ♪ sometimes i get worn ♪ ♪ through the night ♪ lead me on ♪ to the light ♪ take my hand ♪ precious lord ♪ lead me on ♪ on the river i stand ♪ got my feet ♪ hold my hand ♪ take my hand ♪ precious lord ♪ lead me on ♪
♪ all right >> doing something else. ain't doing nothing. these people said they have to get out of here at 6:12. it's almost 6:15. hit a note? what note do you want me to hit, jesse? talking about hit a note, hit a note. look, let's just enjoy what we heard. whatever you want to do is all right with me.
come on. ♪ you make me feel ♪ i want to spend my life with you ♪ >> you're watching american history tv only on c-span3. george h.w. bush, the 41st president of the united states died on november 30th at the age of 94. this holiday season, we're airing programs from our real america series about his career. in the final days of his presidency, george h.w. bush visited cia headquarters in northern virginia to say farewell to employees and thank them for their