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Randolph leaders should follow MLK’s call for `inescapable network of mutuality’
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original article in the Randolph Journal-Sun, Feb. 7, 2020
To The Editor:
The Randolph celebration of the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King this year was an innovative and exciting event. It was the second event in a month in our diverse town that highlighted the importance of unity among people of all races and ethnic groups, the first being the joint celebration on December 30 of the 2 festivals of light: Hanukkah and Kwanzaa. However 2 things marred the importance of the unity theme, crucial when divisions among Americans in our town and our country are becoming deeper and deeper.
First, the Town Council members who took part in the Dr. King event were the 3 black Councilors; none of the 6 white Councilors attended. Brian Howard, Senator Timilty and Representative Ayers came and spoke. At the Hanukkah/Kwanza event, again the 3 black councilors plus Mr. Goldstein and Mr. Adams, whose terms were up in a few days, attended. None of the reelected or newly elected white councilors were present.
Second, the coverage of the Dr. King event in the Randolph Sun-Journal omitted the talk by Kevin Coleman Joyce, an Irish American white resident who had been involved in the Civil Rights Movement. Not only is this an insult to Mr. Joyce, but it negates the existence of white allies in the fight for racial justice, who know that dismantling racism and creating a just society is the responsibility of Americans of every color and heritage.
Both the Randolph MLK celebration and the Hanukkah-Kwanzaa event demonstrate what real unity looks like: people of different backgrounds coming together to acknowledge and celebrate their diversity. Martin Luther King’s “Letter From a Birmingham Jail” was featured and discussed at the Dr. King celebration; in it he wrote, “We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.” MLK wrote that in response to “A Call For Unity” distributed by white community leaders. The Town Council at their inauguration event earlier this month issued its own “Call For Unity.” Our white town councilors should follow MLK’s response and show up to events celebrating Randolph’s “inescapable network of mutuality.”
Jesse Gordon, West Street, Randolph
Kit Hoffmann, Oak Street, Randolph
Cal Ramsdell, Himoor Circle, Randolph
Toby Schwartz, Richard Road, Randolph
Kate Shore, Dartmouth Street, Randolph
Sandy Slavet, Grove Street, Randolph
Cheryl Totten, Wales Avenue, Randolph