MLK Rally Held At The DECC

DULUTH, Minn. — Monday’s message for the MLK rally at the DECC was all about moving forward, a theme inspired by Martin Luther King Jr.’s quote that says, “If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.”

The pastor of St. Mark AME Church in Duluth, Dr. Rev. Anthony Galloway, talked about what he thought of when planning what to say for his speech.

“I began to feel emboldened,” Galloway said. “I began to look at all of these examples of my ancestors and how they set a pathway for me, how they defied the hubristic and oppressive subjugation of slavery and Jim Crow, while holding onto our culture. Our sense of future and our duty to each other.”

Galloway shared his feelings of how society still has a long way to go when it comes to moving forward, as he says many people don’t want to acknowledge the parts of history that make them uncomfortable

“I want to dream with you, y’all,” he said. “I want to relish in the vision of a beloved community where all of God’s children can sit at a table of brotherhood but I am forced to live a dual existence where my hope is tempered by the crippling reality that we still are not willing to suspend our comfortability, our talking points, and our need to look right in the eyes of society in order to do right to right the wrongs of public policy.”

The president of the local NAACP chapter in Duluth, Classie Dudley, encouraged Duluth residents to roll up their sleeves and do the work to end discrimination by volunteering with the group, in the community, and in classrooms and coaching youth athletic teams.

“We need to set aside 400 years of privilege bred by white supremacy and use that privilege that some of you have that’s gotten you your fancy new job, a new car, a better house, better credit, that allows you to spend time with your family to put your kids in the best schools, to eat the healthiest food, you need to push out that privilege set it aside and use that to create people-first policy and system change. That must be our utmost priority.”

She also pointed to doing the work to resolve specific issues that continue to have a grip on Duluth like mental illness and crime.

“The NAACP is not responsible for the mental illness that plagues our city here,” Dudley said. “We all are. You are. ”

Dudley also shared her ideas for how to address issues that may fuel crime.

“Relocate the money from policing and put that into social services because we know that cops don’t stop crimes, but guess what, poverty creates crime, so what should we end?” she said. “Poverty.”

Dudley also had a message for political leaders and voters.

“With all boots on ground, with all hands on deck, we can push forward and push the people who are in power to make decisions for the people, or push them out,” she said.

The end of her speech was a warning about what she says the future may look like.

“Listen up, soon enough white supremacy will be at your doorstep,” Dudley said. “No matter where you are no matter who you are no matter what your privilege is, white supremacy will sneak up to your door and you will no longer be protected by the cops, you will no longer have privilege, you will not be protected by the policies, and the NAACP will not come to bail you out either. There will be nowhere to go and nowhere to save you when the people and the children who have been suffering and are in pain will come down and burn this city to feel the warmth. And when that happens, don’t come to us. It is not our responsibility for the mental illness of our community. Put that into our social services. We have the time, we have the money.”


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