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FYI: Senator Reflects on Message of Martin Luther King Jr.

The following material is being published, unedited, exactly as it was received via e-mail from the office of the government official named below, as a Source community service. Government office holders wishing to contribute to the bulletin board must e-mail source@viaccess.net. The Source reserves the right to choose what is published.
Jan. 19, 2008 – I join the entire Virgin Islands community in commemorating the anniversary of the birth of the late Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. – civil rights activist, man of action and man of God.
It is interesting to point out that the U.S. Virgin Islands was the first place in the country to make this day a legal holiday. Because of our foresight in recognizing that Dr. King was more than deserving of this honor, Virgin Islanders everywhere should be proud that we lead the entire country in this regard. Today, it is a Federal holiday observed by forty-seven states and most territories.
As we reflect on the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King – the activist, we must recognize the challenge before us to act and not simply dream. We must rise to the contemporary challenge to act against injustice, act against poverty and prejudice, act against unjust laws and practices – we must act to put into practice the tenant that love is the most potent weapon.
On the individual level, today, right here in the U.S. Virgin Islands, we must ask ourselves – are there issues about which we should break our silence? Are there people in our community who have become invisible? Are we willing to be unpopular and fight for just causes? Are we willing to go against the grain to advocate what we feel is democratic? Are we willing to challenge ourselves to exceed our own expectations? Are we willing not to be desensitized and dehumanized by the twin drugs of complacency and convenience? Are we willing to exhaust the resources and possibilities that have been granted to us as a result of sacrifices made by those who died for inalienable rights and civil liberties?
We must, each one of us, be everyday activists. I most strenuously exhort you to act each day with excellence and fight the ever-rising tide of mediocrity – everyday! Let me repeat this clarion call – each day we must commit ourselves to be excellent in all our actions. This consistent and conscious call will be our most fitting legacy to the memory of Dr. King. But, my friends, we are presented with opportunities for activism and excellence each and everyday. Where is our public outcry when our children attend schools in hot, unaccredited classrooms and our teachers are not adequately compensated? Where is our public outcry when our children become victims of violence in the vicinity where they should be enlightened through knowledge and education? Where is our public outcry when so many of our young children are being abducted and sexually and/or physically abused? Where is our public outcry when our women are brutally beaten by an overaggressive mate? Where is our public outcry in demonstrating our defense of the least among us? What would Dr. King say?

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