NEW YORK, CMC – A Haitian American legislator is calling for a strong stance on justice as America Monday celebrates the birthday of slain civil rights icon, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
“With a new president about to take office, we are entering a very uncertain time,” noted New York State Assembly Member Rodneyse Bichotte, the first Haitian American from New York City to be elected to the State Assembly.
"For many, our nation appears fractured, our progress is threatened and there is real fear about what comes next.”
To honor Dr. King’s legacy, Bichotte, who represents the 45th Council District in Brooklyn, said “we must continue to stand up to injustice and intolerance wherever and whenever we see it, no matter how difficult it may be.
Bichotte quoted from King’s 1965 book, “Strength to Love,” saying it is “prescient today.
“’The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy. Today, tomorrow, always, we must continue Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s fight,” she said, noting that King devoted his life to fighting racial and economic injustice, through peaceful demonstration.
“He made every one of his 39 years count by inspiring a powerful movement to advocate for equal rights,” she said, adding “Dr. King was a true catalyst of change. Now, when we lookout across America, we see a country that outlawed segregation in large part thanks to Dr. King.
“But we also see a country that’s still struggling to achieve full equality in the face of ugly hatred and ignorance. We have the opportunity to recommit ourselves to carrying out Dr. King’s vision for a more just America on Monday, January 16, the nationally recognized Martin Luther King Jr. Day.”
The Day is celebrated as a public holiday in the United States.
In addition, the Assemblywoman said King “showed us there is always hope; we just need to work for it.”
She noted that King led the US Civil Rights Movement, peacefully, for more than a decade until his assassination in 1968.