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Monday, January 20, 2014

Politics, law, and MLK: making it personal

King says "I need you!"
This year I witnessed the Atlanta Commemorative Celebration of the life and legacy of St. Martin Luther King, Jr. without taking notes for an article.  I listened to several speeches, litanies, musical interludes, and amens. How should we pay homage to King without acting from an entertained viewpoint but from an engaged/committed mindset?

What can I, a part-time worker, wife, and mother of adult children, do to advance King's goals? Where should my own footsteps lead? How can I make King's dream personal? I'm tired of crying while listening to his recorded words, and have to write about it!

First and foremost, I cannot be heartbroken by today's state of affairs. By putting carnal living aside, focusing on natural and Mosaic laws, adopting a Christ-like spirit of love for others, and never doubting God's power in the affairs of men, I can help move myself and others forward.

God is not mocked.  By being committed to God's commands, I can decide to live in truth. By using political force to bring humanity out of bondage, I can demand change without being afraid of professional retribution. I can maintain that war should become a historical topic not to be played on a neighborhood or international stage but superseded by conscious living.

Replace hate, envy, and superiority complexes with love. Love means more than just being kind and polite but actually transforms needs into action  If you know a child is having a hard time learning to count,  place a handful of beans on the table and help him sort them into small groups, starting with a group of two up to groups of twelve. Math is simple, as is living in MLK's shadow when you understand basics truths related to group action which are non-Einsteinium in application. 
You make a political statement when you live out the Beatitudes. When you use political will to make elected officials accountable for what you and your community needs. You have to be engaged to know what is needed and necessary.

Yes, King was a closet politician who never served a day in office but challenged those who were on every issue - from war, to poverty, to basic human rights. King was a holy prophet. He foretold violence would be a sad lesson learned around the world if ways were not mended. He abhorred violence yet was felled by it. He was hammered down with one bullet, but we can raise him up with Christ-like actions.

Simple, but not easy.

King is not an enigma, but he lives through our actions and dies with inaction.
When you teach a child life lessons -  allow him to learn how to earn a living wage, to be able to react to health issues, to save money, to stay out of jail - then you are fulfilling a "King"-dom-like dream.  But unlike slaves, that student will have to live in a world that gives incentives for his goodness, a job, a hospital room he can afford, a bank with limited fees, rehabilitation when he errs. We have to make that happen ourselves.

Then you will be doing more than regurgitating "pie in the sky" philosophy and participating in a real, 21st century, American revolution of the heart.
Amen, and amen.


  1. Great job Tomi!. I was able to watch part of the King movie earlier and it took me back to the time when I never got the chance to see him in person, while I attended Spelman College. When I finally saw him, what I saw was his body in our college chapel, following his murder. It was a time of change, and not all of the change was good. But the movie brought back, the demonstrations, sit-ins, fears and dangers of a time that now many who are alive did not witness. It was amazing then and is still amazing now, as we see His words, about maybe not being able to get to the promised land himself, but with the faith and assurance that WE as a people would. He was a great man of faith, and a visionary . I can only wonder where we would be today, if he was not born, or if he did not follow the Dream...Take care!

    Donna NJ

  2. On MLK Day 2014

  3. Great Job Tomi!

    On MLK Day 2014

  4. Beautiful Job Tomi
    I wish all people would share and understand. Especially our youth. So much is lost in our busy lives of everyone and very few people is taking the time to educate our youth on the legacy and this impact that has changed so many lives. This statement of yours " When you teach a child life lessons - allow him to learn how to earn a living wage, to be able to react to health issues, to save money, to stay out of jail - then you are fulfilling a "King"-dom-like dream." It has such an impact. Beautiful. please post on Facebook so that I can share with my family members.

  5. Sheila wrote: Woww, dear cousin Tomi Johnson, thank you so much for sharing such an awesome, and powerful written article on... MLK "Making it Personal". To all of my FB family and friends please read our cousins excellent blog!

  6. Carter wrote: Great work Tomi I'm proud of you!!!


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