What a beautiful MLK day in Attleboro! Both ceremonies had terrific moments, whether at City Hall or Murray Unitarian Church. The music was wonderful, with a terrific senior high choir at City Hall that drew raves from the speakers. At Murray, we heard several moving numbers by the adult choir, a splendid brass, and woodwind quintet, and a closing Piano piece that shook the rafters as we all sang the spiritual “We Shall Overcome.”
The theme was clearly Martin Luther King, Jr.’s thoughts about economic justice. We heard that the rich have grown by 12% in 2018 while the poor has grown by 11%, leaving an ever-decreasing middle class. This is scary to comprehend. Could our new tax laws be actually helping the rich get even richer, while the poor are increasing at an equally fast pace?
We heard MLK speak about a poor people’s campaign/march on Washington D.C. that he was planning when he was assassinated. MLK’S message was steeped in the Gospel and teachings of Jesus. Martin cared deeply about both the spiritual needs of the poor, plus our financial needs. He wanted everyone to be able to have decent housing, a satisfactory income, plentiful food for the body and the soul, and hope for both our present and future.
What would Martin be telling us if he gave his famous “I have a Dream” speech today?
MLK’s vision of America would call us to love ALL of God’s children, whether they be native-born Americans or those who want to become Americans. MLK told us we are all God’s children. I believe Martin would speak out against a wall along our southwestern borders. MLK would remind us that our Civil War was fought so people of all backgrounds can grow into healthy, productive citizens.
Martin had a beautiful dream.
Today I heard our City Council vice president, Heather Porreca, tell us that Attleboro folks really care about one another. It doesn’t matter if we are wealthy or low income; white or have darker shades of skin; if we are children or elderly. Heather pointed out what a true community Attleboro has become. If someone is sick and without insurance, we can still offer health care at Sturdy Hospital. If someone moves here with special needs, we find a way to help special need children. If someone is hungry, we have food banks and free meals almost every night of the year. If someone is without housing, we are trying to find them a dry, safe place to hang their hat.
Martin Luther King would have appreciated Attleboro. We aren’t perfect but Attleboro folks generally have a big heart. I love this city.
Let’s remember MLK’s vision for the United States. A dream whereby children of all colors, races, and economic strata can proudly call home.
THANK YOU, ATTLEBORO’s own MARTIN LUTHER KING DAY COMMITTEE!
WE SHALL OVERCOME!
-Ty Waterman, City Councilor At-Large.