“No time for apathy and complacency. This is a time for vigorous and positive action.”
–Rev Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr
When I was younger, I loved Rich Little and used to be able to do dead on vocal impressions of people and celebrities. One of the people I used to do was the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and one day I was attempting a humorous impression of him for my classmates during my 8th grade English class.
My English teacher Ms. Maxie liked it so much I ended up doing the last part of the 1963 ‘I Have A Dream’ speech it at a school assembly for a Black history month program to a standing ovation when I was done.
So my love of arguably the greatest American our people every produced started early, and the more I learn about Dr. King, the more fascinated I become with his all too brief life.
His writings and speeches not only are relevant in 21st century America, they inspired a downtrodden people to stand up and fight for their human rights. His writings and speeches resonated across this nation and the world. His words inspire me to fight for another class of downtrodden people in our country in transgender Americans.
On this national holiday dedicated to his memory, I take this day to do as he called it, hard solid thinking about the state of human rights in our country.
In a time when people are pushing back against trans human rights and suggesting that ‘this is not the right time’ to push laws and policies that mandate you treat transpeople as human beings, I take comfort from my history in the fact that the same loud and wrong commentary was said when it came to the African-American and other human rights struggles.
The rime is always right to agitate for human rights. Just like during the 1950’s and 1960’s, 2016 is also not a time for apathy and complacency, but a time for vigorous and positive action about the pressing human rights issues of our time. It is a time to get busy registering people to vote, getting people informed about the issues and ensure that people take their souls to the polls on November 8 in this critical to our nation’s future presidential election.
And it is also a time to contemplate what I can do as an individual and collectively in expanding human rights coverage for everyone in a time when we have a conservative movement that is hellbent on rolling back everything that Dr King and countless other human rights warriors accomplished.
Happy King Day 2016, everyone!