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What Would MLK Have Said About Gaza?

Washington, DC | January 16, 2009 | www.adc.org | On Monday January 19, the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC), our nation’s largest Arab-American grassroots civil rights organization, will commemorate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. As one of the greatest civil rights leaders the world has known, King was foremost a peace maker and was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize and Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1968, before his assassination.
What would he have said about the carnage taking place in Gaza? As the world watches in horror, Israel continues its attacks on the Gaza Strip’s 1.5-million people with a population density greater than that of Manhattan in New York City. Since December 27th over 1,133 people have been killed including over 355 children and approximately 5,200 people have been seriously injured (many maimed for life) 46% of whom are women and children. As we commemorate Dr. King’s message of tolerance and unity, one can only ask what this Nobel Peace Prize winner and one of history’s greatest civil rights leaders have said about this massacre, what would he have told our nation as he saw children lying next to their mothers’ corpses, UN schools bombed, ambulances targeted, refugee food aid supplies burned, and hospitals shelled?
ADC remembers the efforts and sacrifices of Dr. King and many others. Their contributions to civil rights have paved the way for other generations and have served as the backbone in protecting Arab and Muslim-Americans as they face unlawful acts of discrimination, profiling, and hate crimes here at home. ADC calls on the civil and human rights community to remember Dr. King’s message of hope and peace and to stand up for the integrity of human rights as the innocents continue to fall in Gaza. ADC National Executive Director Kareem Shora said, “It is time to speak up and give voice to those who have no voice in our nation, it is time to speak up and send a message to our leaders to act and restore our nation’s image as the true champion of hope, liberty, freedom, and justice for all. As we embark together regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, age, gender, national origin, or sexual orientation with President-elect Barack Obama’s historical election, it is time to restore that legacy of hope championed by Dr. King.”
ADC is very proud to work alongside its coalition partners within the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights (LCCR) (including the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the Asian American Justice Center (AAJC), the National Council of La Raza (NCLR), and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) among others) to make Dr. King’s dream a reality.
ADC will continue to work with its coalition partners to: help combat racial profiling and hate crimes; promote law enforcement integrity; uphold affirmative action, and equal opportunity initiatives in state contracting, education, and employment.
As part of this historical time in our nation’s history, ADC is pleased to partner with the NAACP in Michigan in hosting the ADC Michigan Tenth Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Scholarship Awards Dinner on Friday, January 30, 2009 in Dearborn. During this event, ADC will honor Arab and Chaldean-American high school scholarship recipients and will pay tribute to Dr. King and his legacy. As the only program in Michigan that works to bring together the Arab and African-American communities, ADC hopes to continue to expand the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Scholarship Program. Depending on the funding made available from various corporate and community sponsors, judges select a specific number of students to receive scholarships.
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NOTE TO EDITORS: The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC), which is non sectarian and non partisan, is the largest Arab-American civil rights organization in the United States. It was founded in 1980 to protect the civil rights of people of Arab descent in the United States and to promote the cultural heritage of the Arabs. ADC has 38 chapters nationwide, including chapters in every major city in the country, and members in all 50 states.
The ADC Research Institute (ADC-RI), which was founded in 1981, is a Section 501(c)(3) educational organization that sponsors a wide range of programs on behalf of Arab Americans and of importance to all Americans. ADC-RI programs include research studies, seminars, conferences and publications that document and analyze the discrimination faced by Arab Americans in the workplace, schools, media, and governmental agencies and institutions. ADC-RI also celebrates the rich cultural heritage of the Arabs.