Monday, January 21, 2008

Peace, poverty and beautification projects

I don't mean to be cynical but I have to ask this question: when did Martin Luther King, Jr. become the poster child for cleaning up the parks and streets of Shreveport?

On the day the nation has chosen to honor the slain civil rights leader, many of the city's happenings were beautification projects. That's a good thing, but why do we need to wait until MLK Day to do a mass, city-wide cleaning project? Couldn't we have done this on Friday? Or even next Thursday? Why today?

I suppose he'd like for Shreveport to be beautiful.

I get King being associated with non-violence and justice. Or education and prayer. And eliminating poverty for all.

But picking up trash?

I'm thinking that may be a stretch.

I found this story today and I think it's interesting.

Tell us what you think.


Elizabeth said...

I don't see a real connection; perhaps it's a metaphor or something too deep for me to understand. But I can say that after reading that article (ok, I skimmed it) I don't have anymore of a clue why people gather together to improve the city on this day. But hey, I think it is really cool that for whatever reason it seems to work, even if just a little.

I would see more of a connection with July 4th or maybe even Thanksgiving. I'm just thankful that there's a secular "holiday" out there that inspires more than drinking green beer, throwing beads, or buying tons of chocolate for someone you care about.

Here's my question. Did Shreveport Green see more volunteers on Earth Day or MLK? I'm just curious.

Anonymous said...

Because people are off work and can find time to do some of the things they wouldnt normally be able to do! Relax! I dont think anyone is trying to make a connection.

Diane Haag said...

I would say picking up trash is a pretty good statement for MLK Day.

Dr. King was man of action. He didn't want us to just sit and talk about racism or probably even listen to his speeches. He wanted us to DO something and change the community. Cleaning up the city is doing something.

Whatever we were doing, he wanted us to do it together. A clean city is one thing all of us can agree is important and all of us regardless of race, gender or age can do something about.

And, let us not forget one more direct connection. Dr. King went to Memphis and met his death in support of the sanitation workers. By picking up trash we remember that this great man saw dignity in everyone, no matter how lowly their status.

Ashley Northington said...

I hear you Diane. I get it. I understand. You make very good points. Maybe it isn't a stretch afterall.

But what I still don't get is why we have to wait until then to clean those parts of town. Why can't we do it on President's Day too? Why wait? Why can't we come together on a Saturday and do the same thing? I'd be willing to help.

Elizabeth and Anon, Diane gave us our connection.

Thanks again, D. :D