This year’s civil-rights holiday also marks overthrow
Pioneering civil-rights work by Martin Luther King Jr. and the overthrow of the Hawaiian kingdom will be remembered in a joint commemoration starting today.
Martin Luther King Jr. Day falls on Jan. 17 this year, officially observed on the third Monday in January. Because Jan. 17 was the same day U.S. troops overthrew the Hawaiian kingdom in 1893, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Coalition President Patricia Anthony said her group thought it would be "a wonderful thing" to work with Hawaiian groups to celebrate the holiday together.
"Both Queen Liliuokalani and Dr. King, though they lived in different times and were two different people, believed in peace. They would not shed one drop of their people's blood.
"Martin Luther King wouldn't shed his people's blood even though we were just being massacred" during civil-rights demonstrations, said Anthony, whose father is African American/American Indian and mother is Hawaiian/Chinese/ Portuguese.
King, whose birthday is Jan. 15, 1929, was assassinated in 1968. The pastor of a Baptist church in Montgomery, Ala., he won the 1964 Nobel Peace Prize.
Anthony said King worked for equal rights for working-class people, not just for African Americans. He was shot in Memphis, Tenn., by James Earl Ray while campaigning on behalf of striking garbage workers.
"That's why every year you'll see in the parade a garbage truck in there somewhere. He stood for all ethnic groups," she added.
Anthony said the United States should have taken up peaceful, nonviolent protest against terrorism.
"America jumped a little too fast into war (with Iraq). ... They found no weapons of mass destruction. We should have taken our time and waited" and looked for a peaceful means to fight terrorism, she said.
"When you look at the civil-rights movement films" shown on the 'Olelo channel through Monday, "even though we were just about beat half to death, with dogs turned on us ... people kicking us and beating us to the ground, protesters never raised their hands to defend themselves," Anthony said.
Seen at http://starbulletin.com/2005/01/14/news/index12.html
Cross-posted to hawaiians