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Monday, January 17, 2011

Reflecting on the words of Dr. King

As we continue to mourn the tragic murders that took place in Arizona during the assassination attempt on the life of U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ), we also take this day to remember Rev Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, his words, his life, his legacy.

While Arizona, a state that once opposed the creation of a federal holiday honoring Dr. King, grapples with how to move forward after last week's tragedy, and the looming division within the community over SB1070, we take time to remember the strength and perseverance that Dr. King brought to the civil rights movement and work for social and economic justice.

In the words of Dr. King
“There are certain things in our nation and in the world which I am proud to be maladjusted and which I hope all men of good-will will be maladjusted until the good societies realize — I say very honestly that I never intend to become adjusted to — segregation and discrimination. I never intend to become adjusted to religious bigotry. I never intend to adjust myself to economic conditions that will take necessities from the many to give luxuries to the few. I never intend to adjust myself to the madness of militarism, to self-defeating effects of physical violence.”
Last Week, several bills were introduced in the Oregon State Legislature that would force our state and local government entities to act as federal agents. Particularly troubling is that much of the legislation mirrors that of Arizona's SB1070. In addition to promoting a divisive climate, it represents an economic burden for our state and local governments, businesses, and local law enforcement agencies.

We must stand firm against any attempt to create a divisive political climate in our state. Reflecting on the spirit of the words uttered by Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in 1963, we must not adjust to allow passage of legislation that divides communities in our state, but oppose it and propose legislation that instead unites the communities of Oregon. We must also not adjust to allow any injustices against minorities and immigrants, but instead we will propose and support common-sense solutions that promote fairness, economic opportunities, social equality and security for everyone that lives in Oregon.
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere" --Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.


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