“Either we go up together, or we go down together,” Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. told civil rights activists during his 1968 “Mountaintop” speech. Leading the charge for fair treatment of Memphis’ garbage collectors, Dr. King’s final remarks on the night before he was assassinated were rooted in his fervent belief in the power of community.
He told us that we are called to be our brothers’ and sisters’ keepers. He said their lives, the dreams they hold, and the challenges they face, must be our concern.
I couldn’t agree more.
Fifty years later, Dr. King’s fundamental principles of community guide my work as Governor. Our work toward building stronger communities and a better Minnesota will not be complete until all of our futures are as bright and promising as those most fortunate among us. The basic rights, liberties, and opportunities, which are enjoyed by one, should be guaranteed to all men and women, who are created equal in the eyes of God.
Yet, decades after Dr. King began his transformational ministry, “the jangling discords of our society” — poverty, inequity, and discrimination — still block our progress toward that important goal. With all of our sisters and brothers in mind, we must meet the challenges of our communities as Dr. King did: with urgency, courage, and the enduring dream of a better future.
As we reflect today on 50 years of progress and setbacks, I firmly believe a brighter future is possible for all Minnesotans and all Americans — if we stay true to the ideals and principles of the great Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., whose courage and sacrifice lead us toward the day when “justice will roll down like waters, and righteousness like a mighty stream.”
Pull quote: Our work toward building stronger communities and a better Minnesota will not be complete until all of our futures are as bright and promising, as those most fortunate among us.