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U.S. Senator Bob Menendez. Photo by Kevin Sanders for the New Jersey Globe.

MLK Statement: Bob Menendez

By U.S. Senator Bob Menendez, January 18 2021 10:15 am


In a recent staff meeting, as we sat contemplating the events of the Capitol insurrection, one of my staffers invoked these powerful words from the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to remind us that there is always hope of a better tomorrow. Yet another staffer also reminded us that the arc will not bend itself — we the people must bend it.

We’ve seen the results of those efforts. They look like electing leaders from Georgia who will be voices for the underserved — Jon Ossoff, a Jewish millennial, and Rev. Raphael Warnock, who led from the exact same pulpit as Dr. King himself.

But we know our efforts come with resistance from forces that would divide us. The images we saw of insurrectionists carrying the Confederate flag into the halls of the Capitol were a stark reminder that much work lies ahead. We still struggle with racism, white supremacy, anti-Semitism, and countless other hateful ideologies, just as we did when Dr. King was alive.

Dr. King knew that only peaceful social and political movements deliver transformative and positive change. The use of unlawful violence to achieve political ends goes against the very principles at the foundation of our democracy. We must remain on that righteous path Dr. King paved for us, and together strive to build a more just, more equal, and ultimately more perfect union.

So, on this Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, let us resolve to stand together and use all our might to bend the arc of the moral universe towards justice — for ourselves and our posterity.

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