On Friday, Jan 14 from 2 pm to 4 pm at Trimble Tech High School, the U. S. Navy Academy Gospel Choir will open the first of the four-day KingFEST events celebrating the birth and life of the martyred Civil Rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr., according to East Side community organizer Jay Johnson.  Trimble Tech is located at 1003 Cannon St., directly east of Harris Methodist Hospital. The celebration of gospel music for the slain minister, called “Redeem the Dream,” will be held in the school auditorium.  The public is invited. There is no charge.


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In light of the tragedy in Tucson on Saturday, celebrating the life of a man whose mantra was non-violent resistance to those who fought against equality and justice long delayed with bombs, guns, lynchings, water hoses,dogs, and hate-filled speech, all used to strike fear into the hearts of innocents who were peacefully petitioning their  government for a redress of grievances (grievances that went back more than 200 years) is not only timely, but can help to call us all to a higher purpose, not just in our personal lives but in the life of our politics.


If that happens, then maybe one day a nine-year-old girl will not have to worry that if she goes to see her congresswoman to learn how government works, the lesson will be bullets over ballots. Maybe one day, a disturbed mind such as the one that resided in the brain of the 22-year-old who killed her and five others, wounded the congresswoman and 11 other innocents, will be recognized early enough to get him the help he needs and to keep him from purchasing a gun of any kind. As so many have said since this tragedy occured, if a young person is injured physically before our eyes, or has a seizure or heart attack, we seek help immediately.  But if we see him or her exhibiting bizarre or obvioulsy disturbed behavior, we turn our backs. An injured brain should finally be recognized as no more of a stigma than a broken arm. And maybe one day (who knows, I may be an eternal optimist bound for more disappointment) the NRA will no longer rule this land.