A quotation from the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., posted on the Facebook wall of U.S. Representative Justin Amash (R-Mich.) attracted over 350 “likes” and more than 45 comments by midday on the holiday dedicated to the memory of the slain civil rights leader.
Amash chose two sentences from King’s “Letter from the Birmingham Jail,” published in 1963:
“One has not only a legal, but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws.”
‘More work to be done’
In a message sent from GOP headquarters in Washington, Reince Priebus, chairman of the Republican National Committee, noted that “Dr. King’s vision transformed a nation and his work healed the wounds of the sinister injustices of racism and segregation.”
Priebus added that while “America is indeed a better place thanks to Dr. King,” people should acknowledge that “the work of forming a ‘more perfect union’ is never finished. As Americans, we must continually fight against the prejudice, hate and injustice that is still present in our society.”
‘Stitched in the fabric’
Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell also issued a statement to commemorate the Martin Luther King holiday, saying in part:
“Through his transcendent words and selfless actions—and the ultimate sacrifice of his life in the cause of the American dream—Dr. King enabled our nation to reflect and ultimately grow into the melting pot of opportunity that Virginians and Americans enjoy today. I encourage us all to pause today and remember the sacrifices of this great leader. His words are stitched in the fabric of our American tapestry and his actions will forever influence Americans and human kind.”
‘Peace, liberty, and non-violence’
Retired Air Force officer Karen Kwiatkowski, who is seeking the Republican nomination this year in Virginia’s Sixth Congressional District, also recalled Dr. King’s oratory and rhetoric in an email she sent to the Charlottesville Libertarian Examiner:
“Dr. Martin Luther King inspires today and will continue to inspire Americans with the powerful and beautiful language of his sermons and speeches. The media tend to concentrate on the sound and passion, and how it makes us feel. I’d like to think that we can take this day, and every day, to remind ourselves of the patriotic courage and timeless wisdom of his advocacy of peace, liberty, and non-violence.”
Kwiatkowski concluded with a query.
“On a day like today, we should all ask ourselves a question: If Dr. King were alive today, would he be proud of how far we had progressed, as a people and as a nation, in terms of peace among ourselves, liberty and justice for all, and the content of our character?”