As America on Monday observed Dr. Martin Luther, King, Jr. Day, several area politicians have been reflecting on the work of the slain civil rights leader.
“We know that Dr. King’s dream is unfinished. Today, as we reflect on the road ahead of us, I am reflecting on his words: ‘We must learn to live together as brothers, or we are going to perish together as fools,’” said Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams.
“We live in challenging times as a city, as a nation, and as a globe. We are surrounded by beautiful diversity in Brooklyn, where 47 percent of us speak a language other than English at home. Yet, there are demagogues in our midst trying to split us apart, to vilify Muslims, Latinos and other groups,” he added.
“We must be King-like and remember our core values as Americans and as decent human beings,” Adams continued. “We must be King-like and resist the extremists that promote divisive hate speech and want to close our borders to people in need. We are a nation of diversity, the sum of peoples from all over the world.
“Let us be King-like and embrace our hyphens,” he said. “We are African HYPHEN American, Dominican HYPHEN American, Caribbean HYPHEN American, Chinese HYPHEN American, Jewish HYPHEN American, German HYPHEN American. Dr. King knew that our diversity is our strength. We cannot be weakened by those who fail to see that.
“Let us embrace the hyphen in the year ahead, embrace the diversity we share. We are all members of the greatest race alive – the human race. God bless the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.,” the borough president said.
Sen. Jesse Hamilton, representative for the 20th Senatorial District in Brooklyn, called for rededication of the struggle for social justice.
“As we reflect on the incredible passion and dedication of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and those who sacrificed so much during the Civil Rights Movement, let’s rededicate ourselves to the struggle for social justice today,” he said.
“A living wage, equal pay for equal work, a justice system that everyone can have confidence in – let’s honor King’s legacy by continuing the struggle for the critical social advances of today,” he stressed.
Assemblywoman Rodneyse Bichotte, representative for the 42nd Assembly District in Brooklyn, said “we face challenges like those that fueled Dr. King’s dream for the future of America.”
“As we strive for criminal justice and education reforms in New York State, as well as solutions to the widening opportunity gap between the wealthy and everyone else, it’s important that we embrace his values and remember his legacy,” said the first Haitian American from New York City to be elected to the State Assembly.
“Dr. King believed in providing all people with equal opportunities to succeed; and, here in New York, we know that begins with a quality education,” she added. “That’s why I’ve been working hard to invest in our schools and give educators the support they need to help our children learn and grow.
“With an eye toward the future, I’ll keep fighting so that all New Yorkers have equal access to quality health care, good-paying jobs and a livable wage, because Brooklyn families deserve a chance to achieve a higher quality of life,” Bichotte continued.