Letters for Thurday, November 23, 2017

What would Dr. King say?

In 1776 a new nation was declared. The Declaration of Independence stated that all men are created equal and have the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It took Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, and the test of the Civil War to abolish slavery.

Then the 15th Amendment to the US Constitution stated: “The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.” However, only males could vote. Women didn’t get the right to vote until the 19th Amendment in 1920.

In 1964 the United States passed the Civil Rights Act, and in 1965 The Voters Rights Act to end segregation by race in all of the states. During the 1960s Dr. King was recognized as a leader that moved us toward the promised freedom for all until his assassination on April 4, 1968. We celebrate his Jan. 15 birthday as a national holiday the third Monday in January.

The Interfaith Roundtable of Kauai has sponsored gatherings to remember the man and his teachings for over a decade. This year they are sponsoring an essay contest organized by Steve Backinoff. We are inviting our community to consider what Dr. King would say to us in Kauai or to the United States if he was here now which would lead to the fulfillment of his dream: “It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream. I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men [and women] are created equal.”’

Submit your essay or poem of up to 250 words to Steve Backinoff, 5921-A Kapahi Road, Kapaa, HI 96746, or electronically email it to sbackinoff24@gmail.com by Jan. 3. A committee will evaluate submissions and invite selected entries from age groups 6-10 11-13 14-17 18-22 and 23 or older. First place winners will have the opportunity to read their essays at the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. event on Jan. 15. The top three winners in all categories will have their work posted.

The first and second place winners will also have their work selected to be in The Garden Island.

Steve Backinoff, Kapaa

  1. RG DeSoto November 24, 2017 10:02 am Reply

    Mr. Backinoff:
    You’ll note after careful research that Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation did not free all slaves…only those in the seceding (Confederate) states. Slavery persisted in the northern union states. The war between the states was not a war to abolish slavery.
    It was a war promulgated by northern industrialists peeved at southern states that were importing European manufactures rather than theirs. Fort Sumter, where the first shots were fired, was the blockade point where the union was attempting to force the southern states to either pay a steep tariff or purchase from the northern interests.
    RG DeSoto

  2. Pete Antonson November 25, 2017 1:28 pm Reply

    I must say RG, that was an extremely narrow bit of research attempting to revise History. It might be an extremely good example of “confirmation bias!”

    Each Confederate State made a short; but, complete “Declaration of the Immediate Causes Which Induce and Justify the Secession from the Federal Union.” Each stated the preservation of slavery. Some added details like “Not enforcing the Fugitive Slave Act” or “Not following constitutional protections of slavery. Most only mentioned slavery as an issue!

    Read those declarations. These are the Confederate States telling you in their own words; not Sean Hannity’s!

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