Statue of Greensboro 4

Staement from the Columbus Freedom Coalition:

The Google Doodle today honors the Greensboro Four, African American students in North Carolina who took a stand against racial injustice by staging a sit-in at a Woolworth’s counter. As you are no doubt aware this was a controversial stand. People were made uncomfortable as their world view was being challenged by the actions of these 4 young men.

I imagine that the individuals in the room on Monday January 20, 2020 at the Columbus MLK Celebration were uncomfortable. Yet it seems they were also oblivious. As they displayed utter disregard for the teaching and example of the man they had assembled to honor.

Dr King’s example of nonviolent protest was on display as members of the Columbus Freedom Coalition staged a protest at the Greater Columbus Convention Center event. I applaud CFC’s efforts. Remember Dr. King said, “The nonviolent approach does not immediately change the heart of the oppressor. It first does something to the hearts and souls of those committed to it. It gives them new self-respect; it calls up resources of strength and courage they did not know they had.’

The Martin Luther King Breakfast Committee, Inc.’s website touts their event as the largest of its ilk in the nation. Its website boasts of attendance by thousands of multicultural. My query is thousands of multicultural what? Certainly not non-violent activists, surely not social reformers, most assuredly not drum majors for justice.

 It appears that the attendees put aside the reason Dr. King is honored and beloved, the reason for which he was ultimately killed, because he fought for those without a voice, those who ‘utilize the language of the unheard’.

I affirm that what would have honored Dr King most that day would have been:

  • To not actively disrupt an act of civil disobedience by police action

Numberone in your life's blueprint, should be a deep Number one in your life's blueprint, should be a deep belief in your own dignity, your worth and your own somebodiness. Don't allow anybody to make you fell that you're nobody. Always feel that you count. Always feel that you have worth, and always feel that your life has ultimate significance.

-Martin Luther King Jr.

  • That someone in that room could have either stood in solidarity or walked out in protest against the attempt to silence dissenting points of view.

 In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.

-Martin Luther King Jr.

  • That Bishop Clarke instead of risingto cite Emily Post could have urged Mayor Ginther to take a meeting with the Columbus Freedom Coalition, and hear their concerns.

The Reverend Dr. King said ’The true measure of a man is not how he behaves in moments of comfort and convenience but how he stands at times of controversy and challenges.’

I submit to theMartin Luther King Breakfast Committee, Inc.that when looking at parameters to gauge the success of your endeavor, the foremost consideration should be to uphold the spirit and legacy of the man you are (honoring?). I am confident that Dr. King would most admire a commemoration high in inclusivity and respect for the fight against injustice. I don’t think he would be laser focused on the numbers. 

The actions taken that day sullied Dr. King’s memory; they   did not celebrate the struggle that his life’s work encompassed.

Nonviolence is the answer to the crucial political and moral questions of our time: the need for man to overcome oppression and violence without resorting to oppression and violence.-Martin Luther King Jr