I am not a fan of Martin Luther King Day. I would prefer it be the center of a day focused on Civil Rights. On this day too much focus is on one person rather than the larger stories. This is not a criticism of MLK, but he is seen as the sum of Civil Rights. There were other chapters as well and the story is not limited to one person. Perhaps lost in the King worship was a central part of his message of inclusion.
The important part of the message of MLK was inclusion. King understood and courted those outside the community to impact change. Peaceful protests about equal opportunity is quite different from using the deaths of thugs as an excuse to loot.
MLK challenged society to live up to its ideals. We tend to forget this part of the message in our celebration of the day. MLK day should be about or at least include the larger ideals. Perhaps fifty years from now our grandchildren will view our time as quaint. The nation didn't end because of gay marriage. We live in a society where workplace bullying is an accepted practice. We live in an era of pothead intrusive goverent that is incompetent. We live in a world where merrit is frequently secondary to political agendas and nepotism.
We should spend the day thinking about a nation living up to the words of the founding fathers on MLK day. We should discuss freedom of opportunity and individual liberties and responsabilities on this day. The notion of Civil Rights is larger than any one person, albeit an important one. Lets remember the messages as much as the man.