[In commemoration of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, we republish a post by the late Jim Hamilton from January 18, 2010, honoring Dr. King and his legacy.]
By Jim Hamilton, J.D., LL.M.
In our age of sometimes bitter legislative partisanship, let us pause to remember the lessons of Dr. Martin Luther King, who we honor today. Dr. King appealed to our common humanity and a shared sense of social justice. I am fairly certain that, if he had seen our recent financial disaster, Dr. King would have decried the short-term risk taking and excessive bonuses. In his letter from a Birmingham jail, Dr. King wrote that, lamentably, it is an historical fact that privileged groups seldom give up their privileges voluntarily. Individuals may see the moral light and voluntarily give up their unjust posture; but, groups tend to be more immoral than individuals. Amen to that, Dr. King, and thank you for liberating the South from itself. I recently read that no international company, be it Toyota, BMW, Mercedes, or Siemens, would have ever come to and had a large presence in the segregated South. I believe that is a true statement.