Monday January 16, 2005 marked the 22nd birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King at the Sheraton New York Hotel and Towers.







Welcome to CORE's 22'd Martin Luther King, Jr., National Holiday Celebration! 

America has made great strides in race relations. All of us can be proud of this great achievement. We are here to celebrate the legacy of a man who contributed mightily to this great victory-he fought for it and he died for it. However, please allow me to share with you an important observation of an increasingly dangerous trend that threatens this great achievement. 

Seeking alternative points of views in public discourse is a well established custom in America. The glaring exception to this rule is the failure to apply the rule to discourse emanating from minority communities, with the black community presenting the most egregious example. John Stuart Mill, the 19th century English philosopher and economist, summarized this idea well. He said that we should hear opposing ideas, but we must hear them from equally eloquent exponents of those views. 

The black community in America has not benefited from Mill's dictum. Media, academia, and the political institutions in both the white and black communities ignore Mill's wise advice. This is unfair and disrespectful to the black community and bodes ill for the country at large. Decent, thoughtful, eloquent expressions are stifled or outrightly censored. On the other hand, the coarsest, the most hateful and outrageous statements are allowed to permeate and emanate from our community. Those not properly acquainted with the true nature of the black community could conclude that it is the most negative isolationist, hostile part of America. Tragically neglected in the midst of all of this is the out pouring of love, decency and optimism that reside in the heart of our people. This invidious censorship of decency in our communities must stop. This is the real racism in America today. It is the neo-racism of the 21St century. A society that continues to proceed along this path does so at its own peril. 

For these reasons, we convene our annual Martin Luther King, Jr., Ambassadorial Reception and Awards Dinner. It is our intention to bring together good people from diverse backgrounds and even people with disparate views. It is our hope that our mutual decency and sense of fairness would transcend our differences. 

This is done under the umbrella of Dr. King, our Prince of Peace.

Roy Innis