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Our opinion: Remembering King’s ‘principles’

Americans, on this national holiday, need to reflect on a man who stood for respect, dignity and equality. Today, we remember the work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Though schools, post offices, municipal offices and banks are closed, many other businesses are operating. That does not lessen the importance of the day.

Our country, unfortunately, has been at a crossroads in recent years when it comes to diversity. Controversial topics that continue to divide this nation include immigration, race relations and a lack of respect in the political arena.

On this day, we have to put all that aside and attempt to find more common ground. It begins by listening. No one becomes educated or informed by touting their views.

Earlier this month, a bipartisan bill sponsored by Greg Rothman, R-Cumberland, and Stephen Kinsey, D-Philadelphia, have called GOP legislators’ bluff, introducing legislation that would require the teaching of King’s Civil Rights Movement, particularly from 1954 to 1968. In addition to bipartisan sponsors, the bill has attracted support from both Republican and Democrat co-sponsors.

“The teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. effected powerful change during the Civil Rights Movement,” Rothman and Kinsey wrote in their legislative memorandum. “By following the principles of non-violence, Dr. King was able to lead a movement that changed the hearts of people and the policies of a nation. As an important, effective, and part of our nation’s history, the children of our Commonwealth deserve to learn about Dr. King’s principles of non-violence and the Civil Rights Movement as a whole.”

More than four decades after his death, we continue to struggle toward that goal.

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