AUGUSTA – On Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Senate President Troy Jackson released the following statement, honoring the life, legacy and contributions of Dr. King:
“Today our nation honors the life, legacy and lessons of Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. King knew all too well the ways in which our country fell short and the people our country left behind. Yet, he believed our country could someday live up to the ideals we supposedly hold dear. He believed in the ability of all people, especially those who face injustice and oppression, to lead our country closer to the ideals we celebrate.
“We cannot truly honor the life, legacy and contributions of Dr. King without reflecting on the tragic events that have taken place this past year and taking stock of where we are as a country today. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the stark inequality between those at the top and working-class people. The rich have gotten richer during this crisis, while millions of people are struggling to scrape by. We’ve also had to reckon with the ugly legacy of racism and harmful policies and practices that remain very much a part of our country, from violence against people of color to the way COVID-19 has unfairly impacted these communities. To cap off this extraordinary period, the violent storming of the Capitol on January 6 was a striking reminder of just how far we have to go as a country to live up to the ideals and values we claim to hold dear.
“Martin Luther King Jr. Day is more than just a day of remembrance, it’s a call to action. Dr. King once noted in a sermon, ‘We’ve learned to fly the air like birds, we’ve learned to swim the seas like fish. And yet we haven’t learned to walk the earth like brothers and sisters…We can’t sit on our stools of do-nothingism and not solve these problems. We’ve got to rise up, we’ve got to organize, we’ve got to mobilize and we’ve got to work to solve these problems.’ The way to truly honor the life and lessons of Dr. King is to do our part to carry on his legacy, lift up people of color who are already doing this work and embrace fair policies that move this country forward.”