Monday, January 17, 2011

Representative Kimble on Martin Luther King Jr.

The details of Martin Luther King's assassination are lost to history. The where, when, and how may never be known, but that's not really important to the legacy of Dr. King. What's sad about his assassination is that by silencing his voice much to young, his assassin deprived future generations of hearing Martin Luther King's voice on the issues that are important to our generations.

It's hard to think back, but in the time of Martin Luther King racism was a serious problem in the Untied States. As a Republican who believed in equality for all, this was something that Dr. King could not abide. King spent his life on a crusade against the horrors of racism. The question remains though, in our world where racism has long been eradicated what would Martin Luther King focus his attentions on now.

We have to wonder how Martin Luther King would have reacted if faced with the public workers who serviced his Birmingham, Alabama home were protecting ineffective employees or calling a strike that stopped vital public services from getting to the people who paid for them. How would conservative Republican Dr. King have reacted to public employees driving up his taxes and the taxes of the people who he fought so hard to free from the shackles of racism?

With his dream of black children and white children being able to play together achieved outside of North Carolina, I believe that Dr. King would have thrown himself into the civil rights movement of our day--specifically education reform and curtailing the power of public employee unions.

Dr. King would have been thrilled to see a program like Teach For America, that allows young black children to be taught by the most promising Ivy League educated graduate white kids who spend two years bringing education to urban districts before going on to better paying jobs.

Dr. King would have been a huge supporter of charter schools that may increase segregation in schools, but in doing so allow black children to get extra memorization, math, and reading by not subjecting them to arts programs, social studies, and other time wasting subjects so prevalent in affluent white schools.

Dr. King would have stood with Bill Gates and Michelle Rhee as they called for putting a quality teacher and 40-50 students in every public school in America. He would have been thrilled to have the support of public minded billionaires and he would have worked to cut their taxes so that they could donate even more money to education reform.

As Martin Luther King himself said, "When we let freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, "Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!"

Isn't it the time to be free from public employee unions now once and for all?