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Monday, January 21, 2013

Milestone Mondays: Would Martin Luther King, Jr. Use Social Media? & What Advice Would He Give to Barack Obama?

Thought for the day:  I was going to start a new series today, Manic Mondays, Tips To Reduce Stress as you start a new week. However, given the double milestone events today, I decided to start something slightly different. When there is a milestone event happening, I will post a Milestone Monday post. Today's Milestome Mondays' post is Would Martin Luther King, Jr. Use Social Media? & What Advice Would He Give to Barack Obama? Next week I will start the Manic Mondays series.
          After completing this post, I saw this post on Maya Angelou's Facebook page: "On this day of celebrations, I believe Martin Luther King Jr. would have said to President Barack Obama, "Continue. Be loving and be strong. Be fierce and be kind. And don't give in and don't give up.'" I decided to add her comment today.

          Today is a double milestone. As we celebrate the birth of Martin Luther King, Jr. we also celebrate the inauguration of President Barack Obama to a second term. Last year, I paid tribute to MLK's "I Have a Dream," speech. His dream has inspired myriads of dreams for people of all races, religions, & cultures. I took a look at the famous speech again. He spoke to all humanity when he said,
              "When we let freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village & every hamlet, from    every state & every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men & white men, Jews & Gentiles, Protestants & Catholics, will be able to join hands & sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, "Free at last! free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!"
       Much has changed in our country & in the world since that memorable speech.  The civil rights movement in the 60's had a strong influence on me. Growing up in Texas, I remember volunteering with a predecessor of Head Start in a black neighborhood. I taught kids ballet & tutored them in the three R's. My father was a lawyer & an activist who represented clients from all races & religions. I believe Pete Seager visited our home, although I was too young to remember the visit. When I rode on a bus from Texas to New York not long after desegregation, I was surprised to see that even though the signs were taken down, people were still segregated in the bus depots.
       Until four years ago, it was just a dream that an African-American would become president of the United States. Regardless of your political viewpoint, this was a victory for the American dream & for democracy. There are still battles to be fought to reach the "freedom for all" that MLK spoke of, but we are moving in the right direction & the doors he helped open have led to many other opportunities for people from all minorities. The importance of educational equality is paramount to enhancing creativity which will lead to finding new solutions for the problems that confront all human beings in our complex modern world.
         This year after four years of president Obama's administration, the political gridlock threatens to stymy the dreams of our elected official & those of the majority that elected him. Even as a nation is reeling from a financial crisis, a devastating hurricane & the tragedies of the madness of warfare in our schools & public places, there are people opposing the leadership we desperately need in Washington. On Friday, I recommended an article entitled "Would Ghandi Use Social Media?" Today On this Milestone Monday, I ask would Martin Luther King, Jr. use social media? He was a powerful orator who could stir people into action. I believe that he would have used whatever means he could to empower people to make change happen. Barack Obama has used social media to help activate voters to show up at the polls. He uses twitter & I hope his program to build support for better gun control will activate those who want to change the gun control laws as well.
           MLK's strength came from his strong religious beliefs. He urged us to see the discrimination in our society & do something to change it. Today an article by , MLK Support For Economic Justice Overshadowed By 'I Have A Dream' Speech, discusses his fight against poverty. The levels of poverty have risen above those that MLK, Jr. was protesting just before he was assassinated. Hopefully, our President will find ways to open the minds of those who oppose him to end the gridlock & start overcoming the major issues that threaten our nation. The trick in the use of social media, however, is not just to raise awareness, but to get people activated & involved in the difficult conversations with open minds that will lead to creative nonpartisan problem solving. It is too easy to just read articles using social media & click to the next article, game or facebook page. If you are impacted by something on social media sites, don't just like it. Share it with your friends. Post it, g+ it, tweet it. Your action will help make things go viral. You can sign a petition online in just a few seconds. You can also take conventional action & go to a public meeting to discuss it or attend a march. If you want change, you must take action.
             Are you ready to join the conversations & take action online & elsewhere? Make this a Milestone Monday & take action to let your senators & congressmen know that you want an end to the gridlock in Washington.

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