(Flint, Mich)– Mayor Karen Weaver was honored this week by the Rainbow PUSH Coalition at their 2018 MLK Celebration in memory of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The event was held at the Cobo Center in Detroit, in conjunction with the North American International Auto-Show (NAIAS).
Mayor Weaver received the 2018 Let Freedom Ring in Politics Award. And she wanted to share with national and local media, as well as the public, the words she spoke in accepting the award, which are as follows:
“To Reverend Jackson, Chairperson John Graves, members of the Rainbow Push Coalition, organizers of this event, and all of you: I cannot begin to express how great of an honor it is to be a 2018 Let Freedom Ring award recipient… And to my fellow honorees, Bankole, President Schlissel, and Archbishop Desimond Tutu, I salute you. Receiving this award with you, makes it that much more humbling.
I am mindful that on this day we are truly here to honor the life and legacy of Dr. King… his dream, his faith, and his courage. I would imagine that Dr. King is smiling as he is witnessing his dream unfold.
I know that he was right there with us chanting Run Jesse Run!….and he was there with us shouting Yes We Can!…watching the mantle being handed off to our first African American President…. Barak Obama.
And while I stand here for this celebratory occasion, I can’t help but be reminded that, in 1964…54 years ago…when MLK graciously accepted the Nobel Peace Prize he made sure that the focus remained on the business at hand…the “creative battle”, as he called, to end the long night of racial injustice.
My fellow award recipients will agree that while Dr. King would applaud our achievements He would remind us that there is much more work to be done.
Today, I join my fellow Americans in imploring President Trump to apologize for calling the place where our Haitian and African brothers and sisters live “Shitholes”. I beg of our President of these United States of America to recognize that this day… the day we celebrate the life and principles of our beloved Dr. King, is the day that he should apologize and turn away from dehumanizing these and any other people, especially based on where they live or the color of their skin.
You see in Flint, Michigan, we didn’t have to hear anyone refer to our city as an expletive, or a place where waste is disposed. But, we knew we were thought to be such a place. And as we watched and felt the sting, as callous policies were created and enacted on us, policies that stripped us of our power and poisoned our precious babies and elderly.
So on today, I implore President Trump, and more importantly those who uphold this behavior, to understand that we are in a dangerous place when the politics of those in power seeks to omit the very people that our beloved Dr. King Dr. King gave his life for.
It is hard to hear, with clarity, the bells of freedom ring, when our president, the leader of the free world, is raising his voice to make known that he will make every effort to impede black, brown, and those who live in certain places on earth from realizing the ideals of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
I want to impress upon President Trump that as we hold on to the hope that there will be a pivotal moment in time, where he draws us all together to rebuild our weakened urban infrastructures, we find ourselves in a place that is more damaged and divided.
But like Dr. King, we will keep our focus on the battle before us, which remains to be an end to the longer than expected “night” of injustice. And Reverend Jackson yes, I will keep hope alive because I know morning is to come. I am assured that America will soon find her footing toward a just and equal society where Freedom will ring loudly and clearly and we are able to say with one truly united voice, ‘Free at last, Free at last, thank God Almighty we are free at last!’