Disappointed about MLK coverage

To the Editor:

Monday’s Martin Luther King holiday passed without the Record printing a single word about King’s legacy on economic justice and peace. This, despite ECM’s mission statement to contribute to “individual freedom, peace and justice in the world.” Beyond disappointing, but not surprising.

On King’s holiday, two local non-profits sponsored a motivational speaker to give a “kindness” pep talk to the Little Falls citizenry. The speaker, V.J. Smith, typically charges thousands of dollars for his presentations. Little Falls Community Schools hired Smith to speak to over 1,700 staff and students, the next day.

“Marty,” of whom Smith spoke, was a kind Walmart employee representing a controversial employer. He worked hard to bring customers to a corporation whose employees aren’t provided livable wages or healthcare.

Those non-profit’s board members and school officials essentially put conformity on a pedestal, not King’s message. This only reinforces a weak community norm, rather than challenging us to question and dismantle the unjust economic structures we all-too-easily accept as impenetrable. We’d rather focus on the simpler, nebulous call to “kindness” than deal with the difficult pursuit of justice. We must do both. It’s true kindness to pursue our Christian admonition to seek economic justice and peace. — Robin Hensel, Little Falls 

  • tmac

    “Those non-profit’s board members and school officials essentially put conformity on a pedestal, not King’s message.”

    If Marty would have been a conformist, Mr, Smith would not be telling his story.

  • tmac

    No thanks, but it seems to me that you are the one that did not get it,that is if you even heard Mr. Smith’s talk.

  • tmac

    I disagree but I do have a question for you.
    Why did you only bring up part of ECM’s mission statement?
    Is it the only one to serve your purpose, and let’s just ignore the rest?

  • King won a Nobel Peace Prize for his fight AGAINST INEQUITY. Wal-mart is the universal icon of social injustice and inequity not only in the US but in third world countries. While I’m a firm believer in gratitude, I also find the subtext objectionable and contrary to all King stood for and believed. King represented peaceful protest and civil disobedience against inequity and injustice. Marty represents cheerful conformity and acceptance of social inequity and human injustice.

    Why can’t our community simply discuss and celebrate MLK who fought for and created change? Why replace him with a white man who epitomizes everything contrary to King?

    Or does King’s protests and civil disobedience remind us too much of Robin Hensel? The woman who marches to her own drum while the community and area gov’t calibrate how to beat her into conformity? If we celebrate King we might encourage critical thinking skills in our schools and community. Folks might finally decide that using cars as billboards is obstructive and dumb. They might realize that a handful of banners in one woman’s yard was a vain and arrogant bases for a govt and community crusade.