Sunday, January 14, 2018
BY REUVEN BLAU
“The nation is on the brink of going backwards if we don't push forward,” said civil rights leader Rev. Al Sharpton in a phone interview with the Daily News. “That’s why it is important really to proclaim we will not go back.”
The National Action Network will kick off the holiday with a breakfast gathering in Washington D.C. featuring Baxter Leach, one of the original striking sanitation workers from Memphis, Tenn., where Dr. King was killed on April 4, 1968.
Dr. King was there to back the 1,300 sanitation workers who were engaged in a 64-day strike, which was prompted by a malfunctioning garbage compactor that fatally crushed two black men, Echol Cole and Robert Walker.
On Monday, prominent elected officials and civil rights leaders will celebrate King’s legacy at the National Action Network’s Harlem headquarters.
Speakers will include Gov. Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio, as well as a host of other elected officials.
“We are holding those in power accountable,” Sharpton said, “which is why it’s important we have the officials address the racism of Trump and what they are doing in their officers to address racial and class inequality.”
There will also be a rally in Times Square at 3 p.m. to protest Trump’s comments on immigrants, activists said. Trump slammed protections for immigrants from “s--thole” countries in the Caribbean and Africa during an Oval Office meeting Thursday afternoon, according to multiple people in attendance.
“We’ve heard so many things from him via Twitter and otherwise that have been extremely troubling to our humanity,” Bernice King, the slain civil rights leader’s daughter, said in a Facebook live video posted Friday.
She hopes Trump on Monday will try to “suspend any effort at tweeting something negative or insulting.”
Instead, the President should “use his Twitter account on the King holiday to really respect the spirit, the heart and legacy of Dr. King by tweeting positive and uplifting messages.”
By Kim Janssen
Whether you plan to spend Monday’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day honoring the great man or simply enjoying a day off work, you can thank the late Chicago Mayor Harold Washington for making it happen.
Illinois can proudly claim to have been the first state in the nation to honor King with a state holiday, largely because of Washington’s efforts — but it wasn’t a straightforward fight, and not all Illinois politicos covered themselves in glory.
Washington, a state senator at the time, began pushing for a state holiday soon after King’s 1968 assassination. By 1971, he had successfully pushed a bill through both houses in Springfield that would have made Jan. 15 a state holiday, but the bill was vetoed by Republican Gov. Richard B. Ogilvie, who said he would only go along with a federal holiday.
The election of Democratic Gov. Dan Walker in 1972 gave Washington a fresh chance. Though 16 state representatives, including Judge Harry Leinenweber, who currently sits as a Ronald Reagan appointee in the U.S. District Court in Chicago, voted against a new bill brought by Washington, it again passed both houses. This time Walker signed the bill into law — but on the very same day, the governor also sent a more ambiguous message about equality by signing a law that banned the state from ordering busing to achieve racial balance in schools.
Washington became a leading national advocate for a federal MLK Day, but paid the price for attending a celebration in 1981. Determined to spend King’s birthday at a service in Chicago, he was not in Springfield for a crucial vote at which opportunistic Republicans took advantage of his absence to grab minority control of the Senate presidency.
Fellow Democrats were not happy, but an unrepentant Washington said, “I got a call from the Democrats in Springfield urging me to come there to help them in a struggle for the control of the Senate, but I told them I had something more important to do.”
President Reagan was against establishing MLK Day as a federal holiday, writing in a letter that King’s reputation was “based on an image, not reality.”
But in 1983 — just months after Washington had been elected Chicago’s first black mayor — Reagan reluctantly signed a federal MLK Day into law.
By Caroline Mortimer
Scandinavians express solidarity with Haiti and African nations.
Norwegians have expressed solidarity with Haiti and several African nations by saying they do not want to go to the US, describing it using the alleged words of Donald Trump as a “s***hole”.
The US President has provoked fresh controversy after allegedly asking a group of senators why the US had to allow in immigrants from “s***hole countries” in Africa and the Caribbean rather than from places like Norway.
He was immediately denounced as a "racist" who praised white immigrants over ethnic minorities with the UN calling the comments “shocking and shameful”.
But Norwegians and their Scandinavian cousins on Twitter decided to mock Mr Trump and America itself instead by asking why they would want to go to a country without free healthcare and rampant gun crime.
One user, Christian Christensen, a Stockholm-based American professor, wrote: “Of course people from Norway would love to move to a country where people are far more likely to be shot, live in poverty, get no healthcare because they’re poor, get no paid parental leave or subsidized daycare and see fewer women in political power”.
Another, Christian Gerhard, said: “Being from Norway and the country Trump wants immigrants from. Would not even consider to emigrate to s***hole USA as long as Donald Trump is president there.”