Village President’s Message – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
(January 15, 2021)
Last month, the Village Board passed a resolution honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and encouraging the community to celebrate Dr. King’s legacy through acts of service and promoting kindness and respect for all people.
Reflecting on the unthinkable events that have taken place in our country in the last several months, including the events last week in Washington, D.C., I find myself looking even more frequently to Dr. King for inspiration and hope. I will comment more on the events of the last few months at our Village Board meeting next week, but for today I want to focus on Dr. King’s life and legacy as America’s most influential civil rights leader. He focused on the need to build a brighter future through love.
When all those around him could only see darkness, he reminded them that “Only in the darkness can you see the stars.” Dr. King told us that he had “a dream” that America as a nation committed to continuous improvement would learn not to judge people “by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” Dr. King understood people and sought to teach us the principals that would liberate our nation to move ever forward toward that shining light on the hill.
While Dr. King recognized that riots result when people believe that they were not heard, he rejected rioting, saying “violence as a way of achieving racial justice is both impractical and immoral.” He taught us “darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” He wanted us to remember that he had “decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.” He rejected hatred as “an unchecked cancer.”
Today and every day we need to remember, as Dr. King said, “I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. This is why right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil triumphant.” So, let us honor him by committing to continuing his legacy of love and working in Glencoe to make this a truly welcoming and inclusive community.