As we commemorate the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the crisis in America gives us a prime opportunity to move from symbolism to substance to “form a more perfect union, establish justice, and ensure domestic tranquility.”

When people are oppressed, they eventually rise up to resist. Our lawmakers and policy makers must reject laws, dismantle policies, and end practices which serve only to relegate fairness and justice to the back of the bus. We must rebuild and reassemble a rigged political system designed to stymie and stifle the will of the people. We must not allow the outcome of elections to be based on gerrymandering, voter suppression, and dark money. We must remind our lawmakers that secrecy and lack of transparency sow discontent and distrust.

As we reflect on the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., we must individually examine our words and deeds to make sure we do not contribute toward the toxic environment of hatred and racism and divisiveness.

In remembrance of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., let us work to achieve the dream of economic opportunity, racial equality, and non-violence. Let us renew our commitment to compassion, understanding, kindness, and love.

Let the healing begin.

James Kimes

Prescott Valley