Still We Must Fight
“We All Have A Responsibility to Become, In the Words of Dr. King, ‘Drum Majors for Justice’”
By Rushern L. Baker III, Prince George’s County Executive
“Shortly after 6:00 p.m. on Thursday, April 4, 1968, America and the world was stunned by the news that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. had been assassinated. I was just 9 years-old at the time and could not fully grasp the impact that his tragic and untimely death would have on our country and throughout the world. The gun shot that killed Dr. King also wounded the hopeful spirits of so many Americans. The resulting frustration and anger led to riots in many cities, destroying neighborhoods and business districts that took decades to repair. Like some of those cities, many Americans are still trying to rekindle the inspiration that we experienced during the King era. Yes, while we have come a long way, we are living right now in a time when it seems like injustice is once again in vogue. We cannot sleep through these turbulent times. We must continue to fight against injustice so that all people are treated equally. It is my hope that today’s commemoration will reinvigorate and remind us that we all have a responsibility to become, in the words of Dr. King, ‘drum majors for justice’. As it was during Dr. King’s time, our fight involves race, gender and economic equality and is grounded in the belief that our nation is stronger when all of its residents are invited and welcome at the table of fellowship. Collectively, we can continue to make change.
As we commemorate the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the recent death of South African Freedom Fighter Winnie Mandela, we are reminded that the struggle for civil and human rights is a global concern. At home and abroad, we have seen significant progress but there is still much work to be done. Let us unite, stand strong and ensure that in this country and across the globe, Dr. King’s legacy lives on.