Pastor Earle Fisher, Ph.D., of Abyssinian Baptist Churc in Memphis. (Image source: Twitter â€“ @Pastor_Earle)
A minister from the city where Martin Luther King Jr.â€™s life ended declared that the national holiday honoring the civil rights hero has degenerated into â€œa sham.â€�
â€œYou have to hold peopleâ€™s feet to the fire to practice what theyâ€™re preaching. Thatâ€™s why Iâ€™m calling MLK Day in Memphis and in so many parts of the nation a sham,â€� Earle Fisher, Ph.D., the pastor of Abyssinian Baptist Church in Memphis, Tennnessee, told LocalMemphis.com.
King died in Memphis on April 4, 1968, while organizing a protest and march on behalf of the cityâ€™s sanitation workers.
â€œWe have people who say that we should honor Dr. King, but they pay their workers less than a livable wage,â€� Fisher said, according to LocalMemphis.com. â€œI would love to see people [in] elected office (and) Iâ€™d like to see business owners â€” especially of major corporations like FedEx or Elvis Presley Enterprises or AutoZone â€” put their policies and their practices up against Kingâ€™s philosophies and see if theyâ€™re actually aligned.â€�
Noelle Trent, Ph.D., of the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis concurs with Fisherâ€™s sentiments that the principles King gave his life for should not be commemorated only on one day out of the year.
â€œYou can find justice in service. We use this moment to help us jump-start or continue to re-energize us in the work that we do moving forward,â€� Trent said, according to LocalMemphis.com. â€œIf itâ€™s only a day for you just to do a community outreach activity and youâ€™re not continuing the fight for social justice, then youâ€™ve missed the point of this experience.â€�