MLK event features helping of politics

Posted January 13, 2012

— Several hundred state employees gathered on their lunch break Friday to honor the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. The annual event featured music, speakers and special awards for community service.

Gov. Beverly Perdue usually offers remarks at the annual state employees’ event, but on Friday she sounded like she was already on the campaign trail, linking King's work for minority voting rights to her veto of legislation last year that would have required voters to present identification at the polls.

“I believe if Dr. King was here today, he would remind the authors of those pieces of legislation and laws that to form a more perfect union, we should encourage more Americans of every stripe to vote on Election Day. Why would we not do that?” Perdue said.

Perdue uses MLK event to bash Voter ID bill Perdue uses MLK event to bash Voter ID bill

She didn't talk about November specifically, but the message was clear.

“In those remembrances of Dr. King, I pray we find a new strength, all of us, to fight for our own futures and to especially fight for the future of our children,” Perdue said.

Duke University professor and former ambassador James Joseph served as a keynote speaker. He worked with King as a civil rights leader in Alabama and said King's memory has been invoked by uprisings around the world this year, including some in the U.S.

“I feel certain that he would not hesitate to express a prophetic anger about any society where so many of his people are left behind through no fault of their own,” Joseph said.

Joseph said King believed public service would build a more perfect union, an idea he says has gotten lost today.

“We find the climate for public service poisoned by an anti-government frenzy and the advocates for social justice denounced as dangerous radicals that must somehow be silenced,” he said.

Carlos Lopez, who works at Central Regional Hospital in Butner, won this year's award for his Latino community outreach work at the hospital and in Durham. Wake County Sen. Dan Blue received a special award for his work to make MLK Day a state holiday in the early 1990s.


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  • jwood011 Jan 18, 2012

    "we should encourage more AMERICANS...to vote on Election Day" - she said the key word - Americans. This is why we want I.D.'s shown to vote, so illegals can't vote since they have no right to do so. Democrats are trying to make this into keeping minorities or poor people from voting, but I ask you this: how many American citizens do NOT have a driver's license or state-issued I.D.?? We need them to cash a check or open a bank account, to go to the doctor, to get a library card, & even to rent a motel room so why do Democrats think it's such a hardship to show that same I.D. to vote?? It's not a hardship as the Democrats are trying to make it seem - they just need those extra illegal votes to win. It's disgusting that they care more for people who are here illegally instead of lifelong taxpaying American citizens.

  • loprestw Jan 17, 2012

    I think we as Americans should owe the African Americans an apology for what has happen to them. It should read like this:
    We are sorry that we brought you here to America from your home land of famine, corruption, war lords, disease and all basic sanitation needs. We brought you here against your will to a land of PBR, free hand outs, low riders, food stamps and free best medical care ever. Yes we are so sorry we brought you here. Please accept our apology!

  • deecox5550 Jan 16, 2012

    Whites (with hate in your hearts) and others (with hate in your hearts) you can never understand the pain we as African Americas go thru not only when Dr. King was here but still today. Live one day as a African American then tell your story.

  • flashsparks Jan 13, 2012

    "I'm so tired of African American's getting their own "month", "MLK day", etc. "

    I understand that sentiment. Maybe one day when the pains of segregation and being treated as a second-class citizen have faded from our collective American memory, may be then we can move on, but yet never forget.

  • flashsparks Jan 13, 2012

    I'm dissapointed that Governor Perdue would demean King and his legacy by injecting her own politics in the event. King was the real deal. He was a transformative figure that changed all of our lives for the better. Shame on Perdue.

  • BigWiz Jan 13, 2012

    I'm so tired of African American's getting their own "month", "MLK day", etc. Why is there still all this racial seperation?? There isn't a "white" month or "latino" month or so on. This is so pathetic!!

  • Bartmeister Jan 13, 2012

    but this year, she sounded like she was already on the campaign trail, linking King's work for minority voting rights to her veto of the voter ID law this year.

    Bingo! She and her idol on a pedestal in the White House are both campaigning as hard and often as they can.