As we enter the third week of 2021, it is becoming evident which unfortunate remnants of 2020 are continuing in the new year. Our country remains divided and the pandemic rages on, giving the impression that we have yet another challenging year in front of us. However, on this celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s life, I am reminded of his teachings, and they give me hope for the days that lie ahead.
Dr. King lived at a time of unparalleled division in American history, as the country looked in the mirror and decided what kind of nation we wanted to be. Would we rise above our past and present demons to forge a new America for all people? Or would we fail and continue to be a nation that only cared for a very select few in its lands? At this tremendous crossroads, Dr. King spread a message of unity, encouraging Americans to join together in the struggle ahead. He had a dream that one day the United States would be a nation that lived out the true meaning of its creed, and united people of all different backgrounds to do just that.
Today, we face our own crossroads in history, where we must decide if we will continue down this divided path. Now is the time for us to join together by abandoning the hate and differences that have threatened to tear us apart. Wednesday, a new administration will take over with the inauguration of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. The new administration brings with it a plan to defeat the COVID-19 virus and get life back to normal. This is an opportunity for us to unite, cast away divisions, and start down a better path.
It will not be easy, but if we listen to the lessons of Dr. King and come together, we will find a way forward. Times are hard, but as he said, "if you can't fly then run, if you can't run then walk, if you can't walk then crawl, but whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward." I wish you all a happy and healthy week to come.
NYS Senator John Brooks