Time to reflect on Dr. Martin Luther King’s model…

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The world yesterday observed the 78th birthday of Dr Martin Luther King Jr, one of the celebrated crystal clear advocates for civil rights.

King, who at 35 earned the Nobel Peace prize for his nonviolent struggle for civil rights, was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee, on April 4, 1968.

By his own accounts, he was a man frequently racked with doubt, a man not without flaws, a man who, like Moses before him, more than once questioned why he had been chosen for so arduous a task, leading a people to freedom, the task of healing the festering wounds of a nation’s original sin.

And yet, lead a nation, he did. Through words, he gave voice to the voiceless. Through deeds, he gave courage to the faint of heart.

By dint of vision, and determination, and most of all faith in the redeeming power of love, he endured the humiliation of arrest, the loneliness of a prison cell, the constant threats to his life, until he finally inspired a nation to transform itself, and begin to live up to the meaning of its creed.

Martin Luther King Jr would never live to see the Promised Land. But from the mountain top, he pointed the way for Americans, a land no longer torn asunder with racial hatred and ethnic strife, a land that measures itself by how it treats the least of these, a land in which strength is defined not simply by the capacity to wage war, but by the determination to forge peace, a land in which all of God’s children co~exist in a spirit of brotherhood.

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In Kenya, we are yet to arrive at this longed for place. For whatever progress we have made, the land of our dreams still recedes from us. We are lost, wandering spirits, content with our suspicions and our angers, our long~held grudges and petty disputes, our frantic diversions and tribal allegiances.

Today, Kenyans need to ask: Can peace and unity exist where justice has ceased to be our shield and defender?

In seeking solution to the Kenyan crisis, we need hindsight of the American experiences in the era of Martin Luther King Jr.

Historical evidence shows that the racism that plagued the southern part of the US for decades, severely retarded the economic development of that region.

NORTHERN AND WESTERN REGIONS of the US, which embraced diversity to a much greater extent, and did a better job of bringing all groups into the economy, surged ahead and became prosperous.

However, the southern states only recently honoured their varied cultural heritage and allowed the participation of the entire population in the political and economic process.

As a direct result, the southern states are now prospering, with centres of excellence in education, business, medicine and politics.

US’s last two presidents, as well as the present Secretary of State, came from that region.

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Kenyans must know that exploitation of tribal divisions and failure to take a national approach to development priorities impedes economic progress.

Like the American federal system that balances national and local interests in a way that protects diversity and encourages development, Kenya’s diversity of 42 cultural communities must be turned into strength.

Although here in the US they say that “all politics are local”, meaning that voters tend to vote on the basis of economic and political issues that affect their region and ethnic groups as well, most citizens think of themselves first as Americans, not as residents of a particular state.

One means of overcoming tribally based politics in Kenya is through devolution of power and revenue to local communities with appropriate safeguards to protect local minorities.

Kenya could only achieve its national development goals when voters gain insight on a leadership system committed to a national, rather than tribal, approach to government.

As we nurse the Kenyan wounds, we might do well with the words of Martin Luther King, Jr: “Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred. We must ever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline.”

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Thank you Daily Sun and writer, Mr ALPHAYO OTIENO who is an MA Student at Phoenix University and writes for the Daily Sun in the US.
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I do not think I could write something about Dr King, that someone else has not said better.

But, I thought perhaps you might enjoy the outlook of a Kenyan on this day…

I will say this…do not let the world turn you against your own brother or sister…do not let they conquer and divide you.

And get out there and vote be a voice and be heard…it is never to late to scream at the top of your lungs if you are not heard.

My favorite quote from Dr. Martin Luter King Jr., was “Darkness can not drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate can not drive out hate; only love can do that.”
Smiles, world peace and equal rights for ALL,
~The Baby Boomer Queen~

1255826189_ae3b8571a6_m.jpg “I have dream…”

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