Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Thank You Dr. Martin Luther King

Thank you Martin Luther King. On April 3rd, 1968, my then husband Ron, took me to see Janis Joplin at a new supper club in the Village in NYC, Generation, for my birthday. The owner, Barry Imhoff, had managed the Cafe Au Go Go where I had worked and Ron still did. Barry went way out on a financial limb to get Janis for the opening weekend. It was my first night out after my son Barnaby Dorfman was born, the first time I left him with a sitter. I confess, I was so exhausted I barely made it through the evening.

The next day, Martin Luther King was killed. Our Upper West Side Neighborhood erupted in gun fire. Out neighborhood store at 97th and Broadway was looted. The Vietnam War raged on and on and Barry Imhoff lost the club he'd dreamed of for many years.

I wondered what kind of a world I had brought my son into. The war ended. Life went on and Barack Obama gave me reason to rejoice. I thought it was over -- the decades, even centuries of racism, cruelty and hatred of people slightly different from each other.

Now I struggle again, with the Muslim Ban, the hunting down of my neighbors from Mexico, El Salvador and Guatemala and a man in office who calls other people's countries S---holes". Thank you Martin Luther King for your courage and vision. Thank you for teaching me that it is better to keep my "eyes on the prize" than to give in to despair or anger. I try to keep that focus and do what I can to promote peace, kindness and equality for all beings. I am grateful for your example and to everyone who follows it.