Conservative Black Americans Available for Comment on Martin Luther King, Jr. Legacy, Holiday Observance
Washington, D.C. - Black conservatives affiliated with the Project 21 leadership network are available for comment about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., his beliefs and his legacy in observance of the upcoming national holiday that bears Dr. King's name. For over 20 years, Project 21 has helped promote black conservatives to highlight the political diversity of the black community.
"Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. embodied hope, courage and love for fellow man. His dream of peace and racial harmony is still achievable through collective efforts to work towards this goal," said Project 21's Demetrius Minor, a youth ministry coordinator and former White House intern during the presidency of George W. Bush from Newport News, Virginia. "His legacy will forever live among us."
Dr. King was born on January 15, 1929. The federal observance of his birth, however, is a "floating" holiday recognized on the third Monday of January. In 2014, that day is January 20.
"There are many who will mark the occasion of Dr. King's day by lambasting America and the American people for not having done enough in the area of civil rights. The fact is, America is a decidedly changed and better place than the America that existed during the lifetime of Dr. King," said Project 21's Bishop Council Nedd II, the presiding bishop of Episcopal Missionary Church, who lives near State College, Pennsylvania. "Dr. King once said: 'Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.' He would not be pandering to the lowest common denominator in American society. He would be pleading for us to show a Christ-like peace that passes human understanding."
Bishop Nedd added: "Dr. King was a Bible-believing pastor who understood Scripture. He would be doing precisely as the Bible suggests and rejoicing about all the good that has been accomplished instead of sitting around and looking for something to complain about."
Legislation to create a federal holiday honoring Dr. King and his work on civil rights was first introduced in Congress in 1979. President Ronald Reagan signed a bill creating the holiday into law by in 1983. The first official federal observance of the holiday occurred in 1986. In 1994, President Bill Clinton enacted legislation to create an additional "Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service" to complement and promote existing observances with charitable community service.
"Honoring the man is one thing, but putting into practice what Dr. King was all about is everything," said Project 21's Stacy Swimp, a minister and resident of Flint, Michigan. "Just before he died, Dr. King wrote that we were at the crossroads of community and chaos. I see the problem he saw as political opportunists increasingly divide our society along racial lines. The American people need to work toward the economic independence and a 'true revolution of values' that Dr. King embraced during his days on earth."
Project 21, a leading voice of black conservatives for over two decades, is sponsored by the National Center for Public Policy Research, a conservative, free-market, non-profit think-tank established in 1982.
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