Commemorating the Life of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Commemorating the Life of Martin Luther King, Jr.
by Alexander N. Green

Commemorating the Life of Martin Luther King, Jr. Congressional Record: January 28, 2008 (Extensions of Remarks) Page E75. DOCID:cr28ja08-7.






Monday, January 28, 2008

Mr. AL GREEN of Texas. Madam Speaker, Martin Luther King was one of the fathers of the civil rights movement. We honor him for his courage, for his sacrifice, and for his life-long commitment to justice and equality for all.

Dr. King taught us that silence in the face of injustice only serves to fuel the fires of prejudice and hatred. He said that "in the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends." Dr. King's message has become the conscience of our country, reminding us that it is our responsibility to stand up and speak out in the face of racial, gender, and religious discrimination.

Forty years after his assassination, we are still working to ensure that Dr. King's dream of equality will one day be fully realized by all in our great Nation. On Martin Luther King Jr. Day, as we celebrate the life and legacy of a great American hero and international symbol of justice and equality, we must not forget that there is still tremendous work to be done.

Dr. King was a passionate fighter for social justice and equality. In my judgment he would be disappointed that on any given night there are 800,000 Americans living in the streets of life. He would be disappointed that there are 37 million Americans living in poverty, including 3.4 million in Texas. He would be disappointed that 47 million Americans are without health insurance, including 4.1 million in Texas. These are the offspring of the kinds of injustices that Dr. King had in mind when he proclaimed "injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."

Together, I believe we can fight the evils of social injustice and work to create a brighter future for all Americans. It has fallen on to us to make Dr. King's dream a reality by standing up, and by all means, speaking out.

This work is in the public domain in the United States because it is a work of the United States federal government (see 17 U.S.C. 105).