Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.
– Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr
Today we celebrate the 83rd anniversary of the birth of one of the most prominent figures in civil rights history, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. During his life, Dr. King was integral in advancing civil liberties and civil rights of African Americans and highlighting the cruelties that were pervasive in America. To this day, there has not been a more motivating or iconic symbol of civil rights than Dr. King. His dream inspired many Americans to pursue justice and equality no matter what the cost. By shedding light on the injustices occurring around him, Dr. King was able to bring about real change - a goal that is as important today as it was then.
The atmosphere Dr. King lived and worked in is not unlike what we see today. In the 1950s and 60s, America was divided along racial lines, fighting a war that many saw as senseless, and those that spoke out to shed light on these injustices were met with violence and an overwhelming opposing force. Today we are fighting a war on terrorism in Iraq and Afghanistan that many oppose. We are divided along lines of gay, straight, Christian, Muslim, rich, poor, those who have power, and those who have none. When people try to speak out as a group they are met with resistance, violence, and pepper spray. The gap between rich and poor grows larger every day and millions of Americans are left without jobs, opportunities or education. It is particularly important now that we strive to live out Dr. King’s practices and ideals.
The ACLU of Nevada works tirelessly every day to continue the legacy that Dr. King left us. We focus our work on the important pillars of Liberty, Democracy, Equality, and Justice. The ACLU of Nevada cannot do this work without you. The community and citizens of Nevada provide the cases, support, and motivation that are necessary to continue our work at the ACLU. Today, more than ever, your support is needed. It is needed by contributions of time, money, and passion.
We need to remember to make our lives count by dedicating our time and lives to things that matter, by correcting injustices and creating a society that abides by the principles of the Constitution. The ACLU of Nevada, and America, needs everyone to step up and follow Dr. King’s example. We can not and will not be silent.