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Guestbook Archive: 1998

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Martin Luther King Jr. was cool because he looked past the color of people's skin. He told people not to fight. He thought about other people. He thought that everyone should be free.

We think that these are important things to believe in. We live by the words that Martin Luther King Jr. said.

Miss Cress' class, Wyoming, New York

I am planning a special assembly for our school next year to commemorate Dr. King's contributions to teaching tolerance and understanding. Any suggestions would be most appreciated.

Martina Fegan, James Buchanan High School, Mercersburg, Pennsylvania

Martin Luther King Jr. was indeed a great man for his efforts for equality among all races whether you were black, white, yellow or green.

This one man had a dream that people were to be treated based on character, not color. He was recognized not just in the United States, but throughout the world for his famous speeches. Some say he was before his time, so let's ask ourselves, "Are we still dreaming?"

We must be, because racism still exists. It just changed with the times; now it's civilized racism because people can't do what they did before. so they have found new forms of expressing racism by
1. Not recognizing his birthday as a holiday because some companies feel they would lose too much money by closing and giving their employees a day off.
2. harassment by the police and the justice system.
3. (discrimination) in the job market and educational institutes with affirmative action.
It's time to wake-up my people for we have been dreaming too long. Now it's time to visualize and see this dream come true. And on a personal note, I feel white people don't really hate us as minorities. They fear us because gradually they are losing control of a game they designed and started.

J.C. Christian, N. Hollywood, California

I would like to thank the Seattle Times for this informative article. My students are first graders and we are learning about Martin Luther King, Jr. He is inspiring us to live peaceful lives and to love one another. The city we live in is often divided by race problems. Hopefully, through our study of Martin Luther King Jr. we can make a difference in our community.

Mrs. Tate's class

I thought for Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday I should have some friends visit and read some books about Dr. King and we could write down our dreams for the world. My dream for the future is to help Martin Luther King Jr. and keep peace going around the world.

Sharon, Lovett 1st Grade, Atlanta, Georgia

I have a dream for every homeless human in the world to have a house.

Will (age 10), Prairie Crest, Cedar Rapids, Iowa

I think that Martin Luther King Jr. was a really brave person to stand up for the black rights .... He stood up for them, even when he knew all the people around him would be VERY mad and even hate him. He put his life in danger for freedom.

Mal & Kris, Logan Elementary, Altoona, Pennsylvania

Martin Luther King Jr. was a noble man who could have taken black rights far. Unfortunately someone took one of the greatest man long before his time. Now we will never know how far he could have taken the black citizens. He was right that we are ALL EQUAL and he will forever be remembered.

Sarah Laser, Waldron High School, Waldron, Michigan

Reading this, you don't know my color. But...reading this you may gain insight into my character. Judge me on that. I am 52 years old. This country today is not the country in which Dr. King lived. Nor is the country of which he dreamed.

Whatever color you are, you are no different than I, in all the important ways. Inside we want to learn, to work, to grow. We want to go with the flow of life, to love someone, perhaps have children and let them, too, be judged on their character. I don't believe that there is a viable thing called race.

O yes, I resemble my father and mother more than I resemble yours. O yes, we have cultural differences. (Celebrate them!) You laugh loudly. I guffaw. Someone else titters behind their hands. It's the way our parents and our friends laugh ... a cultural difference.

But the genetic difference between us is, to quote Disney, "Zippideedooday!!" Nothing. Let justice flow like a mighty stream. Let me be a part of the stream. Let me be the color of water.

Mark Parson, Troy, Michigan

Being in the corporate world and working today made me realize that some companies do not honor the memory of Dr. King. They are organizations created to make money and not reflect on what civil rights means. As a recent female graduate of college, I miss reflecting upon civil rights. Have we as a nation moved closer to King's dream? Why are communities around our nation torn with racial divisions? How come other Whites are terrified of entering Black, Asian, or Latino neighborhoods? Is it so difficult to teach our children not to hate?

King had a dream and it is still a dream. Will his dream ever become reality?

It is up to us to take action in our daily lives and stand up for what we believe in. To implement King's dream we must instill his values of loving one another into our lives. I want my children to walk hand in hand with Blacks, Latinos, and Asians.

Leslie Karasic, Boston, Massachusetts

I heard 'I have a dream' speech at first time when my high school days. I was impressed.

But then, I didn't understand as well the setting in which MLK had to talk so (He said "a shameful condition" ).

When I was in college, I took a class called "education to eliminate discrimination" and learned about the actual situation in those days. I was very impressed again, and felt he was a great leader for freedom.

Then I became aware that in Japan there are also some discriminations such as between men and women, against Korean-Japanese, and against a district where someone lives.

Since that time, I've not been able to stand people who have looked down on someone. MLK gave me a great effect on my thinking.

Hidetoshi Takeuchi, Kyoto, Japan

I am proud of the Seattle Times for honoring Dr. King. He was a man of great courage, who lived his beliefs, who had integrity, even when he knew it could cost him his life. There are few who own that level of integrity.

He preached love, and he fought for the rights of the oppressed, black or white. What made his work so effective was his commitment to non-violence, which showed hate and injustice for what it was. Truth will always win out in the end. Unfortunately, the cost can be high.

Toward the end of his life, Dr. King had many telling him he should not continue to espouse non-violence, and that he should not speak out against the Vietnam war. But Dr. King believed not only in rights for African-Americans, but for all people in all countries. Had we continued to study and follow his philosophy, our country would not be in the midst of the spiritual bankruptcy which it is in today. I am glad I grew up in the 50s and 60s when all this history was made, but I am more glad I found out the truth about Martin Luther King Jr., and the great man that he was. I wish more of his speeches would be heard and read besides the "I Have a Dream" speech. He said so much more. Thank you, Dr. King, for living with integrity.

Nanci Warner, Seattle, Washington

I do not have any memories to share because I was born in 1973. But I feel that his dream should be memorized all over the world. Blacks and whites should know his famous speech "I Have A Dream."

We should all try to live by this to make this world a better place. I thank God for Dr. King because I do not think that I would have lived through (a time of discrimination).

I think about how my black people was spit on and beaten up. The generation today could not have lived through any of that because of all of the gun use and violence today. But the young gang bangers and drug dealers need to remember that Dr. King paved the way for us.

I will teach my kids in the future about our history and they will teach their kids and so on. This is a piece of history that should never be forgotten. Thank you Dr. King and Happy Birthday!

Demetria Gaines, North Carolina

I work for a stock brokerage firm. I am delighted that we will be observing MLK day in following with the NYSE decision.

I am saddened however by my state's observance of the holiday. MLK day here in Virginia is celebrated as King-Lee Day.

Sharing his holiday with Robert E. Lee, a confederate General, is an insult.

Still, the state does observe the holiday, as it is usually referred to as just Martin Luther King Day.

I'm curious as to the number of states that make no observance of the holiday. Could you please let me know?

Lynette Atkins, Norfolk, Virginia

I think Martin Luther King Jr. was a great leader who made a change in our country, but he was also very smart. He knew that violence wasn't the answer. He never said anything negative about the people who segregated the African Americans, he just peacefully protested against what he believed was wrong.

Lily Karran, Brooklyn, New York

I just simply am thankful for him. Because of him I and my children can enjoy the simple pleasures in life of loving and growing as a family. I am mindful that we still have a long ways to go in race relations in this country, but at 38 years old I am still not so young that I cannot remember how things were at one time and how far we have come. It seems like only yesterday that I recall, as a nine-year-old hearing on the news that Dr. King had been killed; and then watching on the news as our communities burned with rage. And, then looking out of my own window and seeing my community burning with rage.

Each generation has made a contribution to black people obtaining full citizenship in the American dream. I only hope that I can instill in my children a sense of community and moral righteous that Dr. King instilled in me and so many others, and that I, in some small way, can make contribution for the betterment of my people and all Americans.

Darrell Darnell, Mitchellville, Maryland

I have lots of things that I don't think I would have if MLK had not done what he did for us.

Jonathan Cartwright (age 10)

I think that we wouldn't have the money to live the way we do. My dad wouldn't have the job he has.

Tamar Cartwright (age 11)

I can get a good education like everyone else. We are also free to homeschool. Bethany Cartwright (age 7)

He was a good Christian.

Danae Cartwright (age 5)

Homeschool, Chesapeake, Virginia

Martin Luther King Jr. was a great man. He stood up for what he believed in and was great in keeping strong, at least in the public eye. I believe that all people have a dream like his even if it is a small dream just to give the kid down the street a brand new toy. Or it could be changing the world, like MLK did, even if we didn't realize it at first.

Look what he when through for us. I am proud to have at least one person in this country make a difference.

Laura, age 14, Madison Middle School, Eugene, Oregon

This year I'd like to move the discussion from the rhetorical to the political. As we debate the rightness or wrongness of affirmative action (or quotas - as some have defined it), we are very expertly divided into opposing camps. This one day of the year, perhaps we might reflect on the larger concern of how best to craft a process which ensures the greatest degree of access to the greatest number of people. The absence of affirmative action will do nothing to address that and the debate as it is currently being framed makes a mockery of all Martin Luther King Jr. tried to do in his lifetime.

We argue over slices of the pie. Why can't we be about the business of figuring out a way to ensure everyone gets a slice of the pie, rather than who should or shouldn't and how big a slice of the pie.

We owe Martin Luther King Jr. , the man, his memory and his accomplishments a much better legacy than that. And those who would seek to divide and conquer over this should be ashamed of themselves.

There are still too many at the bottom, too few at the top, and the realization of his Dream is still too far away to be declared an unqualified success. The struggle continues. For all of us.

Let us take this one day, honor his memory, and set our differences aside. He might like that.

Michael M. Moore, Kent, Washington

We are more peaceful. (Some students did not think so and some did.)

Mrs. Koss' class, Florence Hill Elementary, Grand Prairie, Texas

I think that Martin Luther King, Jr. had a wonderful dream. I am glad that his dream really did come true so that I have friends like Alexis, Alli and Sami. One of the reasons that Martin Luther King, Jr. affected me is because I am in a wheelchair and I can not do lots of things other people can.

Martin Luther King helped me because I probably couldn't be in a regular school with my friends if he hadn't made people think that it doesn't matter how you look it matters about who you are inside.

Tinay Robins, Sunset Elementary, 3rd Grade, Vancouver, Washington

I think racism is really stupid. Come on, it's just a simple color. What has the world come to? You can't hate people just because they are a different race from you. Martin Luther King Jr. believed in equal rights; what has happened to that? Martin Luther King Jr., in my mind, is considered a hero and will always be praised by me.

Just for everyone out there being discriminated for your race, hold your head high and look in the mirror and tell yourself that you are unique because your higher power made you the way you should be.

Vanessa Payne, Advent Girls Home, San Jose, California

My question is this:

If we have a day celebrating Martin Luther King Jr., what's to stop us from getting a day like JFK day, or Susan B. Anthony day, or even Jonas Salk day? Every one of those people contributed greatly to our country. JFK inspired millions by promising the moon. Susan B. Anthony battled for womans' rights. Jonas Salk discovered the polio vaccination. So why don't we celebrate him? He saved millions from death; Martin Luther King Jr. saved millions from segregation. I don't mean to sound racist, but segregation doesn't kill you, does it?

I personally feel that the blacks wanted a hero, an icon to call their savior or something, and that's what persuaded the holiday. Another issue is that if a congressman supports the initiation of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, he'll gain the votes of all the blacks in this country, and he/she can easily throw out any other holiday to gain the support of the whites. Basically what it comes down to is that it was made just to give people something to chew on. Besides, nobody really believes in a holiday unless they celebrate it on the day it was intended. Martin Luther King Jr's birthday was the earlier week, but it is celebrated the following weekend.

The point is, holidays are becoming obsolete, nobody really strongly believes in this holiday, nobody, or virtually nobody celebrates it on the day it was intended.

Andrew Morales Ph.D, Seattle, Washington

Martin was more than a mere historical figure. He is the past, present, and future of this country. His words were like those of scripture, for us to engrave within us, and live accordingly. He drew the map. We must follow.

Heather Sasse, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah

People might think that I am on here because I am black and I am mad at the past. (No offense to anyone that is just what someone told me.)

I hate the even thought of how African-Americans were treated. My class is doing a huge project on Dr. Martin Luther King. I find it very fun and interesting.

The project is that we make an ABC book on Dr. King. We come in the classroom and start doing research. The only factual info is put down on paper. Like for example "A": Dr. King was assassinated on the balcony of a motel in Memphis Tennessee in April of 1968.

The the day we come back from school after his birthday, we have a festival. People come to the class and talk to us about what is was like. We have food and drinks and have a well.. kind of a birthday party. It is a great project an idea. I wonder how Mrs. Ford ever thought of doing such a great thing. Also she has done this since 1980 something.

I admire what Dr. King did and what he said. One day in class our teacher, Mrs. Ford, said (to a student complaining of the research) "Just read the I Have a Dream Speech and see what is really means!"

Even though she wasn't talking to me I was deeply affected by what she said. Then I realized that I myself have never read the whole speech. So in my research one day I read the speech and I made a final conclusion about what went on in those dark days. My whole opinion was changed. Not that I was ever racist or anything.

During my research I hope to know more and more about Dr. King and his works. I hope that if you haven't read the "I have a dream" speech, that you do. It is the best speech I've ever heard of, in my opinion.

Debbie, Piner Middle School, Sherman, Texas

My best thoughts are with the Seattle Times for their efforts to promote the King holiday and advance the dialogue of race relations in this country.

After working as an advertising sales representative for some of the oldest African American newspapers in the country (The Philadelphia Tribune, SCOOP USA), it is refreshing to see that a major daily has finally recognized the importance of social & cultural outreach.

I have also learn many other smaller newspaper, including Korean newspapers (Dong-A-Daily, owned by publisher Bo Lym) and the Spanish Weekly - Community Focus, owned by Efrain Roche, both in Philadelphia have embraced the importance of the King holiday with special editions which are widely supported by their readers and their advertisers.

Best wishes.

Adano L. Brown, Art Director, The Miami Times, Miami, Florida

I believe that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was rightly compared to Gandhi, for both were fighting for the same cause just in different situations. Dr. King, you are greatly missed.

Saravanan Sankaran, Juniata Gap Elementary, Altoona, Pennsylvania

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