Promissory Note

| April 10, 2008 - 10:05 am

This past weekend, reflecting on the 40 years that have passed since the assasination of the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. was sobering to say the least.  Contemplating how far we must travel in pursuit of the dreams Dr. King so compellingly described is daunting indeed.

Tom Brokaw produced a moving retrospective of Dr. King's life -- it aired on the History Channel - and one portion resonated particularly powerfullly for me. In explaining what motivated Dr. King, Ambassador Andrew Young said that Dr.King viewed the constitution as a promissory note and his job as helping those who are still owed justice and equal opportunity to collect on that note.  

That framing struck me, I think, because it's very much how I see our work at People For.  PFAW and its affiliate PFAW Foundation are constitutional rights organizations - as appropriate, the organizations educate, litigate, mobilize activists and lobby to defend core constitutional rights and liberties in the face of attacks from the Right Wing and to promote the core constitutional values that have sustained this nation throughout its history.  Recognizing the enormous role played by the Courts in securing the essential civil rights to which Dr. King devoted his life, our on-going fight for a judiciary that will continue to protect and expand on those rights is – I believe – central to collecting on that promissory note that Ambassador Young so aptly described. 

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