Today is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and Cal-Trans is taking the day off. They deserve it, and more. I am also taking the day off in honor of MLK, but also to honor John Lewis who has been speaking truth to power and seeking justice and civil rights for all people of color for over 50 years. He is a modern hero who hasn’t had to be assassinated in order to attain that status.
In 1967, I, a young white, California girl, found myself in Alabama. My eyes were opened to the blatant discrimination that I had never seen – “Whites Only” and “Coloreds Only” signs everywhere. Lines, separate sections, seats, and all that you may have read about. I came to understand the Civil Rights Movement of the 60’s on a visceral level rather than just an intellectual one. It is an experience I carry to this day. Today, I take the day off. Honor those who speak truth to power today … and tomorrow … and next year. It is important and necessary.