Premier Dunkley: Dr. Martin Luther King’s Legacy

January 19, 2015

As the United States pauses to celebrate the Dr. Martin Luther King Day holiday today [Jan 19], Premier Michael Dunkley reflected on Dr. King’s life example, saying: “Dr. King’s legacy expands far beyond the geographic boundaries of his native United States of America. His influence in life and almost 47 years after his death is remarkable.

“Although we do not observe his birthday and life’s work with a public holiday here in Bermuda, it is important that we are reminded of the principles and strength of the man and the movement he led.

“Legacy is a complex thing for any international figure and Dr. King is no different. When we think of him our minds turn to his famous speech that has become known as I Have a Dream.

“The well-known excerpt from that day of speeches in Washington in 1963 sounded a challenge to all to build a better, more just society. It is inspiring even today,” said the Premier.

Dr King delivering his “I Have A Dream” speech:

Premier Dunkley continued, “However, Dr. King should also be remembered as a fierce anti-war campaigner, a man committed to economic equality and who championed the causes of social and economic justice in all its forms.

“For example, the March on Washington was for jobs and freedom, designed to highlight not just the racial inequalities in America but the manifest injustice of what the organizers termed ‘fundamental economic inequality along racial lines’.

“Perhaps Dr. King’s most lasting legacy is that of courage. His voice of dissent on the Vietnam War helped to crystallize the moral argument that was needed to change the thinking of his countrymen.

“His courage in the face adversity and conviction when confronted with accusations of disloyalty reminds us that we too have a responsibility to our communities to speak up and speak out. As Dr. King said, ‘the time is always right to do what is right’.

“Throughout his life Dr. King spoke of unity and joined with people of various backgrounds, races and creeds to further the message of social justice through non-violence. He warned us ‘we must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools’.

“In Bermuda we can unite around various causes as we work for solutions to the challenges facing us. We can have disagreements, but, as Dr. King counseled, our differing views and differences need not divide us; and that there is a higher unity to reach for.

“In a sermon at Ebenezer Baptist Church in April 1967, Dr. King delivered a clarion call in opposition to the Vietnam War. In his closing he spoke of ‘a true revolution of values’, challenging us to greater compassion.

Students from Dalton E. Tucker Primary reenact the March on Washington last week:


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He said: “A genuine revolution of values means in the final analysis that our loyalties must become ecumenical rather than sectional. Every nation must now develop an overriding loyalty to mankind as a whole in order to preserve the best in their individual societies. This call for a worldwide fellowship that lifts neighborly concern beyond one’s tribe, race, class, and nation is in reality a call for an all-embracing, unconditional love for all men.”

“As we remember Dr. King, his life and legacy, and as we observe the celebration of his birthday with our American friends, let us embrace his overriding message of unconditional love for all peoples,” added Premier Dunkley.

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Comments (5)

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  1. Mockingjay says:

    You speak with FORKED tongue.
    The same ideology of your Political affiliation is the same system he fought against and gave his life for.
    And he was for organization of UNION affiliation for a better life for the oppressed !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Mockingjay says:

      Don’t forget the Legacy of, Dr. E.F. Gordon (Mazumbo), Austin Wilson, Dudley Seaton, William Paynter, Gerald Brangman, Wycliff Stovell, Dr. Eustace Cann, Dr. Babara Ball, Ottiwell Simmons, Dame Lois Brown-Evans and Dr. Roosevelt Browne (Pauulu Kamarakafego) just to name a few who collectively helped to shape this Beautiful Island we call Bermuda into a harmonious jewel when the Oligarchy System had a strong hold on the oppressed!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
      We love to give accolades to outside influences(which is ok) but neglect to the same PRAISE to those who DIRRECTLY impacted us.

  2. Common Sense says:

    I guess Mockingjay has maybe not realized that the Premier has in his Cabinet the daughter of “Mazumbo” – Dr. E.F. Gordon. Bermuda has come a long long way since the old oligarchy. In fact our country has been led by one of Mazumbo’s daughters, who along with many other politicians within the old UBP party, including such giants as Dr. E.S.D. Ratteray, Sir E.T. Richards and many others “have collectively helped to shape this beautiful Island we call Bermuda into a harmonious jewel.”

    I suspect that if the Premier has said nothing about Dr. Martin Luther King’s anniversary he would have been accused of ignoring one of the greatest leaders of the 20th century. Instead he has sincerely praised Dr. King and pointed out that “Throughout his life Dr. King spoke of unity and joined with people of various backgrounds, races and creeds to further the message of social justice through non-violence. He warned us ‘we must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools’.”

    Perhaps Mockingjay would follow the ideals of Dr. King if he stopped using incendiary phrases like, “You speak with FORKED tongue.” Such diatribes do not and never will create unity and help people of different races and creeds to live together as one people. Surely that was the intended legacy of Dr. King.

    How easy it is to throw insults. How difficult it is to live up to the ideals of one incredible leader.

  3. Mockingjay says:

    It’s an embarrassment to mention his daughter’s affiliation to the entity that HATED and DISPISED him.
    Their father FOUGHT for the JUSTICE of the oppressed, compared to those names you called who where just SURROGATES.
    If you listen to the entirety of Dr. King’s speeches you would hear the ideology of Black Economic Support and unification of community strategy, not only the combya speeches that are continuously played that partially portray his legacy.
    Also these NAMES you called, what were their INPUTS in the heyday when African Bermudians were facing the same injustices that Dr. King and his counter parts were facing.
    Would be interesting to find out how many U.B.P/oba Ministers and staunch members fought for the plight of African Bermudians.
    Frogs croaking.

  4. Contrary to what “certain folks” feel / say Premier M. Dunkley you’ve done thus-far a reasonable job as the Leader of our Govnt. I personally believe you need not allow yourself to get boggled down from / by their untruths…