Dr. Martin Luther King is known worldwide, and it would have been appropriate on this day, fifty years after King’s I Have A Dream Speech when thousands traveled to Washington to remember and celebrate… it would have been fitting to have the political leaders from both sides put away their partisan ideologies and come together as one.
It would have been fitting… if it had actually happened.
Reports are coming out now that leaders from the Republican party were invited to speak today, but they all declined.
Speaker John A. Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor, the House’s two most senior Republicans, were invited to speak at the 50th anniversary of the historic March on Washington — but declined.
That wasn’t a wise choice, said Julian Bond, a renowned civil rights activist, in an interview with MSNBC on Wednesday afternoon.
“What’s really telling, I think, is the podium behind me, just count at the end of the day how many Republicans will be there,” Bond told news anchor Alex Wagner. “They asked senior President Bush to come, he was ill. They asked junior Bush, he said he had to stay with his father.
“They asked a long list of Republicans to come,” Bond continued, “and to a man and woman they said ‘no.’ And that they would turn their backs on this event was telling of them, and the fact that they seem to want to get black votes, they’re not gonna get ‘em this way.”
According to Boehner’s spokesman Michael Steel, the Ohio Republican “was invited, but spoke at the Congressional ceremony instead, as did Sens. Reid and McConnell, and Rep. Pelosi.”
Cantor, meanwhile, was asked 12 days ago to participate in Wednesday’s event commemorating Martin Luther King Jr.’s delivery of the famous “I Have a Dream” speech, according to an aide. The Virginia Republican, however, is currently traveling in North Dakota and Ohio, touring energy sites with Rep. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., and participating in “nonofficial events,” according to an aide.
There will only be one 50 year celebration of this most important time in America’s history. Dr. King’s speech changed the directory of this nation where civil rights were concerned. We will never celebrate another 50 year mark, but not even this very important anniversary managed to convince Republicans to put aside their partisan bickering.
If this occasion failed to make them come together, then it is safe to say that nothing, absolute nothing, will make them come together to do the right thing.0