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Palo Alto to celebrate 50th anniversary of March on Washington tonight

Original post made on Aug 21, 2013

Fifty years ago this month, Martin Luther King Jr. called upon Americans to "let freedom ring ... from every village and every hamlet, every state and every city." Palo Alto will celebrate King's Dream and the historic 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom with an evening event on Aug. 26 at King Plaza in front of City Hall.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, August 21, 2013, 3:56 PM

Comments (15)

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Posted by infor
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Aug 21, 2013 at 8:15 pm

[Post removed.]


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Posted by Peter Drekmeier
a resident of Crescent Park
on Aug 22, 2013 at 2:46 pm

Many thanks to Jim Baer for funding this wonderful event!


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Posted by Mr Fischer
a resident of another community
on Aug 22, 2013 at 9:38 pm

Thank You !!!! Palo Alto and Stanford University for continuing ,...the legacy of Dr. Kings dream,..PEACE, Domestic Tranquility,...and revisiting togetherness of all our people as One United States of America,...other cities should fall in as well. :)


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Posted by Dr. King would not say nice things about Palo Alto
a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Aug 22, 2013 at 11:37 pm

Palo Alto To Celebrate 50th Anniversary of March on Washington . . .
. . . By Criminalizing Homelessness, Holding a Referendum to Block Affordable Housing for Seniors, and Ignoring Bullying of Disabled Children in Our Schools.

If Dr. King was alive today, do you think he would be happy that his "legacy" was being celebrated by the kind of people who would do these things? The real Martin Luther King, not the sanitized holiday version, would have nothing but condemnation for the "good people of Palo Alto" who espouse tolerance but practice bigotry against the poor, sick, and defenseless.

Greg Scharf talking about Dr. King's legacy while voting to close public property to the poor is absolutely sickening. I am surprised Scharf can even say such a sentence without being struck by lighting.

Here's what Dr. King had to say about poverty and inequality. Enjoy your party. If Dr. King was alive he wouldn't come to your party. He would be with his people at CUBBERLEY:

Memphis Tennessee, March 18, 1968:

"It is a crime for people to live in this rich nation and receive starvation wages. I need not remind you that this is the plight of our people all over America. The vast majority of Negroes in our country are still perishing on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. My friends, we are living as a people in a literal depression. Now you know when there is vast unemployment and underemployment in the black community, they call it a social problem. When there is vast unemployment and underemployment in the white community they call it a depression. But we find ourselves living in a literal depression all over this country as a people.

Now the problem isn't only unemployment. Do you know that most of the poor people in our country are working everyday? They are making wages so low that they can not begin to function in the mainstream of the economic life of our nation. These are facts which must be seen. And it is criminal to have people working on a full-time basis and a full-time job getting part-time income.

You are here tonight to demand that Memphis do something about the conditions that our brothers face, as they work day in and day out for the well-being of the total community. You are here to demand that Memphis will see the poor.

You know, Jesus reminded us in a magnificent parable one day that a man went to Hell because he didn't see the poor. And his name was Dives. There was a man by the name of Lazarus who came daily to his gate in need of the basic necessities of life. Dives didn't do anything about it. He ended up going to Hell.

But there is nothing in that parable that says that Dives went to Hell because he was rich. Jesus never made a universal indictment against all wealth. It is true that one day a rich young ruler came before him talking about eternal life. And he advised him to sell all. But in that instance Jesus was prescribing individual surgery, and not setting forth a universal diagnosis.

If you will go on and read that parable in all of its dimensions, and all of its symbolism, you will remember that a conversation took place between Heaven and Hell. And on the other end of that long distance call between heaven and Hell was Abraham in Heaven talking to Dives in Hell. It wasn't a millionaire in Hell talking with a multimillionaire in heaven. Dives didn't go to Hell because he was rich. His wealth was an opportunity to bridge the gulf that separated him from his brother Lazarus.

Dives went to Hell because he passed by Lazarus every day, but he never really saw him. Dives went to Hell because he allowed Lazarus to become invisible. Dives went to Hell because he allowed the means by which he lived to outdistance the ends for which he lived. Dives went to Hell because he maximized the minimum, and minimized the maximum. Dives finally went to Hell because he wanted to be a conscientious objector in the war against poverty.

And I come by here to say that America too is going to Hell, if we don't use her wealth. If America does not use her vast resources of wealth to end poverty, to make it possible for all of God's children to have the basic necessities of life, she too will go to Hell. I will hear America through her historians years and years to come saying, "We built gigantic buildings to kiss the sky. We build gargantuan bridges to span the seas. Through our spaceships we were able to carve highways through the stratosphere. Through our airplanes we were able to dwarf distance and place time in chains. Through our submarines we were able to penetrate oceanic depths."

But it seems that I can hear the God of the universe saying, "even though you've done all of that, I was hungry and you fed me not. I was naked and ye clothed me not. The children of my sons and daughters were in need of economic security, and you didn't provide for them. So you cannot enter the kingdom of greatness." This may well be the indictment on America that says in Memphis to the mayor, to the power structure, "If you do it unto the least of these my brethren, you do it unto me."…

Now you're doing something else here. You are highlighting the economic issues. You are going beyond purely civil rights to questions of human rights. That is distinct…

Now our struggle is for genuine equality, which means economic equality. For we know now, that it isn't enough to integrate lunch counters. What does it profit a man to be able to eat at an integrated lunch counter if he doesn't have enough money to buy a hamburger? What does it profit a man to be able to eat at the swankest integrated restaurant when he doesn't even earn enough money to take his wife out to dine? What does it profit one to have access to the hotels of our cities, and the hotels of our highways, when we don't earn enough money to take our family on a vacation? What does it profit one to be able to attend an integrated school, when he doesn't earn enough money to buy his children school clothes?

So we assemble here tonight. You have assembled for more than thirty days now to say, "We are tired. We are tired of being at the bottom. We are tired of being trampled over by the iron feet of oppression. We are tired of our children having to attend overcrowded, inferior, quality-less schools. We are tired of having to live in dilapidated, substandard housing conditions where we don't have wall to wall carpet, but so often we end up with wall to wall rats and roaches.

"We are tired of smothering in an air-tight cage of poverty in the midst of an affluent society. We are tired of walking up the streets in search for jobs that do not exist. We are tired of working our hands off and laboring every day and not even making a wage adequate with daily basic necessities of life. We are tired of our men being emasculated, so that our wives and our daughters have to go out and work in the white ladies' kitchens, cleaning up, unable to be with our children, to give them the time and the attention that they need. We are tired."

So in Memphis we have begun. We are saying, "Now is the time." Get the word across to everybody in power in this town that now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. Now is the time to make an adequate income a reality for all of God's children, now is the time to make the real promises of democracy. Now is the time to make an adequate income a reality for all of God's children, now is the time for city hall to take a position for that which is just and honest. Now is the time for justice to roll down like water, and righteousness like a mighty stream. Now is the time."


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Posted by What a Hipocrits
a resident of Midtown
on Aug 23, 2013 at 8:39 am

I do not get it. Palo Alto will honor these amazing people who have exposed themselves in order to bring justice? Here in Palo Alto injustice is happening at our school and courts. It is kid of hypocrite to do this. The city never intervened when the children in the OCR cases needed support. Right there is an e example, they too, pretend not to listen otherwise this incidents would not be coming out. It feels like a disgrace to bring them tho this town full of injustice.


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Posted by Hope for community
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Aug 23, 2013 at 9:02 pm

It is truly wonderful and bizarre to have this event. What is planned beyond an acknowledgement? Kings message is a shocking contrast to the conduct and culture of the City of Palo Alto and Stanford. Is East Palo Alto invited?


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Posted by a family of color
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Aug 24, 2013 at 8:30 am

Thank you Jim Baer, we appreciate what you are doing for our community! We will bring our kids and it will be an important memory in their lives. Also thank you to Joan Baez, our very own Paly grad.


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Posted by Lazarus
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Aug 25, 2013 at 3:39 pm

Raising money for Stanford, one of the richest institutions in the world? Stanford raised a billion dollars last year. That's Billion with a "b". Here in palo alto there are people going hungry. There are children for who the Bosco stick is the best meal they get in a day, disgusting as it is. There are people who have been forced by circumstances beyond their control to live in vehicles who are now criminals for being poor. Now the city fathers who voted to make being poor a crime want to have a $250 plate dinner to celebrate Dr. King? Seriously? What would Dr.king make of the VIP dinner at the hotel held to raise money for mega rich Stanford in the midst of this? While children are bullied for their sex or disability? Where is anyone with the courage to shine a light on this charade. Jim Baer, celebrate Dr. king by giving the money to the homeless not to Stanford. [Portion removed.]


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Posted by frightened
a resident of Greater Miranda
on Aug 26, 2013 at 11:00 am

[Portion removed.] embarassing to have racism still, and to have to have ms. baez still having to see this in here paloalto.. we are in fear of the policies of the united states and carried out in places like palo alto and elsewhere. seems like no one cares. people working at jail intake, nurses etc. are all smiling like its an casual office workpl;ace, bantering friendly,while you are in pain with handcuffs and grimacing and uncomfortable. its as if there are entire classes of people who wopuld smile while some cop abuses you in front of them. we fear america.thats what they want. they are afraid of you.


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Posted by AllYouCanEat
a resident of Mountain View
on Aug 26, 2013 at 11:52 am

Yea, and its all still a dream. Nothing has changed. In fact some say its worse.

If Dr. King where to come back he would cry.


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Posted by 26 old POC Palo Alto raised
a resident of Midtown
on Aug 26, 2013 at 12:42 pm

Yes, from my own experience growing up in Palo Alto it does have it's inconsistencies on their treatment and response to inequality but a platform for conversation is better than none. Some may say this event is hypocritical and a mask over the reality of the state in which Palo Alto conducts itself, I beg to differ. I think that this event is a great thing. If anything, this event can and should be used as collateral in the ongoing tug of war in policy making, mistreatment of people of color and the disparities in the school systems. This event should be used to hold the city and it's residents accountable to the now proclaimed commitment to upholding the dreams and efforts of the change-makers who marched 50 years ago. Let this event not be downtrodden by cynical onlookers who don't plan on even attending, but be a catalyst that ignites the fire in supporters to mobilized true tangible change in the right direction. Palo Alto, this is a great start!


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Posted by Leland
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Aug 26, 2013 at 7:05 pm

Leland is a registered user.

Please help support our African American, Community History Survey
c/o Free At Last Gardening Club, Ravenswood Industrial Park, EPA
(650) 461 0276 communityhistorysurvey@yahoo.com


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Posted by Carol Brouillet
a resident of Barron Park
on Aug 26, 2013 at 9:09 pm

I'm sorry that I missed tonight's event. It amazes me, also, that while we honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and even dedicate a day to his memory, one aspect of his life is rarely mentioned or examined closely. His friend, William Pepper, represented the King family in a civil court case, documented in Pepper's excellent book, An Act of State: The Execution of Martin Luther King. The jurors decided in favor of the King family that there was a conspiracy to assassinate Martin that involved J. Edgar Hoover, the FBI, Richard Helms, the CIA, the military, and the Memphis police. The verdict, however, was not mentioned by the mainstream press. A documentary was made about the case in 1989, entitled - Who Killed Dr. Martin Luther King? by John Edgington. The documentary can be found online, but it will also be shown on September 11, 2013 at the Grand Lake Theater in Oakland, as part of the annual 9/11 Truth Film Festival - 50 Years of Betrayal, From JFK to Today.


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Posted by James
a resident of Midtown
on Aug 27, 2013 at 9:07 pm

"as part of the annual 9/11 Truth Film Festival - 50 Years of Betrayal, From JFK to Today."

Carol is off her meds, again. 9/11 was an attack by AQ, not the U.S. government, as her 'Truthers' believe.

It's getting really boring listening to Carole and her ilk. Having said this, I think there is a possibility that King's assassination may have had help from some group, but it is very sketchy. Absolutely no evidence that Hoover put James Earl Rae up to it, but there could have been some other helpers...hard to say.

BTW, Oswald killed Kennedy all by himself. Or does Carol disagree?


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Posted by ML
a resident of Menlo Park
on Sep 2, 2013 at 9:35 am

Thank you, Jim Baer, for sponsoring such an important celebration.


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