A Sober Prescription for Honoring MLK's Legacy

Why is there rioting? Why are we fighting so much? Whats going on in our country?

Some of the same questions we were asking 50 years ago we continue to ask today. Is it so clear that we are better off? 

 President Lyndon Baines Johnson with some members of the National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders (Kerner Commission) in the Cabinet Room of the White House, Washington, D.C.

President Lyndon Baines Johnson with some members of the National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders (Kerner Commission) in the Cabinet Room of the White House, Washington, D.C.

A month before the death of MLK, the Kerner Report was released (If you want a refresher, read this beautiful illustrated story here). It sought to answer the above questions. It also gave some pretty difficult prescriptions to our society. I am struck by what I see as my own response when I am told to do something by a doctor. At my best, I react like my grandfather who upon suffering a heart attack took up a strict diet, began hiking and exercising rigorously, and totally changed his health outlook. At my worst, I become paralyzed by the daunting fear of trying to do so much with such little time. What I deeply hope I never become is the one who ignores or denounces the doctor's prescription. Sadly, this is exactly what we did with the Kerner Report. 

So I think today, April 4th, 2018, the best way to heed the legacy of Martin Luther King is to follow the spirit of the recommendations of the Kerner Report. We need investment in our Black, Brown, and Native communities. We need more affordable housing. We need better paying jobs. We need greater investments in our schools. We need healthcare that works for all people. 

Are we ready to listen to the doctor's prescription and swallow the hard pill to take?