On the occasion of the annual Martin Luther King Jr. celebration, here
are two letters honoring Dr. King. For additional thoughts on this and
related subjects, see page 59.
Recently, the members of Not In Our Town, an interfaith, anti-bias
Princeton coalition, reflected on the Reverend Martin Luther King’s
last sermon before his death, "Remaining Awake Through a Great
Revolution." In this 1968 sermon, Dr. King wove together the three
major concerns of his life’s work — racism, poverty, and war. Those
issues may look different in detail today but in essence they are the
same nearly 40 years on.
When he gave this sermon. Dr. King was preparing for the Poor People’s
Campaign so he brought to it a heightened awareness of the needs of
real people he had met, on the streets of India and in the overpriced
slums of Newark. He spoke of the sin not of being wealthy but of being
blind to the poor, and of the arrogance that often comes with the
power of wealth. And he mourned the cost of war, in lives lost and
resources wasted. He called for the hard work of community. "No
individual can live alone, no nation can live alone, and anyone who
feels he can live alone is sleeping through a revolution," he said.
"The world in which we live is geographically one. The challenge that
we face today is to make it one in terms of brotherhood."
The seeking of justice and peace for the peoples of our small planet
is our responsibility now.
Pat Ramirez and Marietta Taylor
Not In Our Town
As our nation prepares to mark the Martin Luther King, Jr.
it behooves the Jewish community to take this opportunity to re-tell
the story of this brave man’s fight for his people’s freedom.
If that sounds reminiscent of Passover, it should. Rev. Martin Luther
King, Jr., one of the greatest moral voices of our time, helped lead
his people out from under the burden of state-sponsored racism and
exclusion. The civil rights story, and the role the Jews of America
played in it, should be told and re-told in each generation as if we
A powerful orator, a man of deep religious conviction and intellectual
fortitude, Martin Luther King, Jr. demonstrated with consistent moral
authority what was right and what was wrong.
At a time when such distinctions seem to be blurring, the words and
deeds of Rev. King bear remembering, and repeating. His support for
Israel was proud and unequivocal, as was his position on freedom for
Soviet Jewry. He spoke out against black anti-Semitism. He found
inspiration for his own moral code in Jewish history, ethics, and
It is fortunate that the words of Dr. King are not hard to come by,
and thanks to the Internet, one can easily view his many public
appearances. One address, at the May, 1965, annual meeting of the
American Jewish Committee, where King was honored with the AJC’s
American Liberties Medallion, can be heard on the AJC website
President, American Jewish Committee
Central New Jersey Chapter
An article on Heartland Payments Systems misstated the company’s
revenues, which were $280 million in 2002. The first quarter profit
for 2004 was $562 million, compared with net loss of $396 million from
the same quarter in 2003. We apologize for the error.