Monday, January 17, 2011
January 17, 2010
Of course we honor his birthday. Martin Luther King made America a better country. How many of us can say that?
You have to be middle-aged to remember what it used to be. To remember when black Americans couldn't vote. To remember the stark signs on the rest rooms in bus stations, at airports: "white," "colored," a word still used back then. All gone now. Gone for good.
Dr. King didn't do it alone, of course. He had many helpers--John Lewis, Ralph Abernathy, and the nameless thousands who marched and picketed and, yes, finally, voted. But King seemed like the leader back then, even among the many others.
I covered him some. Most reporters did. I remember just one personal conversataion--about how hard it was to be on the road all the time and not see your children grow up. It worked out, though. His have turned out pretty well. So have mine.
So we honor him today for changing our country, making it better. We're not done, of course. No one suggests racism has vanished. But we're a lot better than we used to be. And Dr. King helped that happen.