As I was in Baltimore today I noted streets that were named in honor of two great men who had contributed and made a large difference to our society. One was Thurgood Marshall; the other was Martin Luther King, Jr.
Thurgood Marshall was born in Baltimore, Maryland on July 2, 1908, and was the grandson of a slave. His father, William Marshall, instilled in him from youth an appreciation for the United States Constitution and the rule of law. As the years went on, Thurgood Marshall won 14 of the 19 cases he argued before the Supreme Court on behalf of the government. To stress this point, Thurgood Marshall represented and won more cases before the United States Supreme Court than anyone before him.
He was appointed to the Supreme Court and until his retirement, Justice Marshall established a record for supporting the voiceless in American. Thurgood Marshall left a legacy that expanded that early sensitivity to include all of America's voiceless. Justice Marshall died on January 24, 1993.
Martin Luther King, Jr. was born in Atlanta, George on January 15, 1929. In 1954, King became pastor of the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama. King was always a strong worker for civil rights for members of his race. King was a member of the executive committee of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the leading organization of its kind in the nation. His insistence on non-violent protest to make Americans aware of racial inequality put himself in constant personal danger with those in power. His constant vigilance to make what was wrong and unjust to those whose civil rights, guaranteed in the Constitution, were being violated and the path to make things right, always made him an object of hatred by those who disagreed with what he was trying to achieve.
At the age of thirty-five, Martin Luther King, Jr., was the youngest man to have received the Nobel Peace Prize. When notified of his selection, he announced that he would turn over the prize money of $54,123 to the furtherance of the civil rights movement.
As many know, on the evening of April 4, 1968, while standing on the balcony of his motel room in Memphis, Tennessee, where he was to lead a protest march in sympathy with striking garbage workers of that city, he was assassinated by one of those who disagreed with his views.
So in conclusion to this piece, I then thought of our current events of the fanatical right wing “Tea Baggers” conduct at the town meetings where public discussion should be taking place to discuss a very pertinent and serious topic that is affecting us all. Their ignorantly brash behavior that is only designed to disrupt the logical debating process is a sad statement to their base values to the American political process.
So the final epiphany of comparing what these two good men did to correct what they saw what was wrong with American society in their time; to the outlandish blowhard’s ignorant tactics being employed today. I think that I can say with the utmost confidence that not one of these “Tea Baggers” will ever be honored in the way that Thurgood Marshall or Martin Luther King have been.