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Thursday, January 14, 2016

Wake up on MLK's birthday!

"Truth is beauty; beauty truth... Peace is more precious than diamonds or silver or gold." ---MLK
As I prepare to celebrate the late Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s real birthday tomorrow, I revisited his 1964 Nobel Prize for Peace acceptance speech in Oslo, Norway to hear a new message.
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Viewing the video, around 11 minutes into a 12 minute speech, I noticed one Negro (which is what African Americans were called back then) dozing off in the audience while others sat attentive.  Growing up in the black church, I often noticed that congregants would fall asleep during the morning sermon. Why?

Possibly because they were tired from a hard week's work of protesting for justice all night long, or planning strategies to register more folks to vote, or protecting their property from arson, or nursing their wounds from dog bites. Maybe they slept in church because they were bored at hearing the same message and quotes from the bible. Perhaps they had sleep apnea and couldn't sleep at night but dozed off while sitting on hard pews early Sunday morning.

It may be noted that sleep apnea can be treated by changing behavior - by losing weight, avoiding alcohol and smoking, and breathing right. It also can be treated by not sleeping on your back!

We cannot sleep now. We must be awake.  Be mindful of King's message.

Yesterday, I found the courage to go by myself to talk to the Cobb County police precinct captain about community policing. We had a nice discussion, but time for talk is over. And no, I don't want to sign up to be in a program that will teach me how trained killers organize their system. I want armed servants to become real protectors, not aggressors. A moral agenda must be holstered beside the gun and Taser. A right relationship between the served and armed must exist.

The best way we can honor Dr. King is to foster living in peace and become more civilized by not resorting to violence, self-doubt, hopelessness, injustice, and poverty.

Hey, if we can wait in line for hours to buy Powerball tickets, we can stand up for justice and protest against oppression.

Find a new sense of dignity, one person at a time!


  1. Nicole S. says: Nice!! This is so true. Good work Auntie.

  2. Will C says: Wow, Tomi, this is a nice commentary.

    Speaking of MLK, I would love it if you and Kurk could come to our MLK Unity Breakfast this coming Saturday morning at 9:00. It will be held at the Northside Cherokee Conference Center, 1130 Bluff Parkway in Canton. We always have about 600 people there and the breakfast is free.

    Be blessed

  3. Randy R says: Great message, Tomi.

    I don't know if you have had a chance to watch the Net-Flix eight part special titled Making a Murderer, but it is an in depth study of how police power, unchecked, corrupts. It took over ten years to document, but the independent press, the co-directors of the documentary, and the freedom fighting lawyers that came from out of town did a powerful job of showing how far the police, at times, are willing to go to protect their power to rule. We got our kid to get Net-Flix on the computer and then show it on the TV.

    Also, good reminder about Martin Luther King day. I have lived in Atlanta my whole life, and I recall what it was like to have that man agitating for peace and equality. I think in America, at that time, only a black prophet (I use the term loosely) could have developed the gift to help all of us see each other as each other. Still, a work in progress. But, Atlanta's international greatness is largely due, in my opinion, to Dr. King being our Native Son.

    Happy MLK Day, to you, now wake up early and do something good! :-).


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