Vol. 13    No. 1
JANUARY 8, 2018
Reflections/Jonathan Gramling
                                                  King's Beloved Community
I have come to relish and appreciate the King Holiday over the years. Christmas is so commercially hyped that commercials and holiday music
start appearing before Halloween and can drive one insane with the ultra-materialistic message devoid of the spiritualism behind the original
holiday. I do appreciate Christmas, but it is remembered most for the reuniting with and celebration of family. It feels so good to get together,
especially as my loved ones and I enter the “golden years” of our lives. Those moments are so very precious and I am so blessed that everyone
is still around to celebrate!

And so the King Holiday has taken on a more spiritual significance for me. And I feel fortunate to produce this King Holiday edition because I get
“paid” to reflect on the significance of the holiday, read some of Dr. King’s more obscure works or speeches and interview people about the
holiday. It is a wonderful time for reflection for me, to figure out where my commitment to civil and human rights stands. I have to admit that it is
stronger some years more than others. And the King Holiday usually serves to bring it all back into perspective and strengthen it.

And I have to remember that I have been blessed to see Dr. King’s beloved community and not just believe in it. Due to the contours of my life,
the chance meetings, the foolish endeavors at times like hitchhiking cross country by myself, placing myself in sometimes uncomfortable
situations and just the quirkiness of life — not to speak of the beautiful relationships and people who have entered my life through the years — I
have met people from across the world and then back again. Sometimes it has been professional situations and sometimes personal situations.

And when I think about it, my Madison experience is my own. I would say that about 90-95 percent of the people with whom I engage with on a
daily basis is people from communities of color and diverse faith communities. I don’t live in a version of Madison that looks like me and that is
wonderful.

And then I might have the occasion to go to the mall or some community wide festival like La Fete de Marquette and realize that the large
majority of people who reside in Madison are Euro-American and I wonder where they came from. It is truly a different view that has allowed me
to personally appreciate everyone and often times run from diverse venue to diverse venue without hardly noting the change because that is my
world.

And I needed to become a Doubting Thomas, needing to place my hands in the wounds of humanity because there is a side of me that is naïve
and gullible and easily persuaded. And so I was greatly afraid that if I only believed in diversity and equity, that I would be easily persuaded by
the next shyster who comes along like Donald Trump or some folks on the far left who used the race card to control its members. And both the
right and the left were able to do that because our society is so, so segregated and our knowledge of people different than ourselves is so
dependent on the easily manipulated and changeable images of our mass media.

And I set out to find the truth, spurred on by the writings of Dr. King back in the early 1970s. And that truth is that Dr. King’s Beloved Community, a
community of diversity, equity and equality is real and not a belief, not a figment of someone’s imagination.

In my journeys, most recently as the publisher & editor of The Capital City Hues, I have met so many good and earnest people from just about
every community imaginable including my late father who was a conservative Republican who cared for people. All of these “isms” that our
nation and world are wrought with today are the illusions, the falsehoods, fed to us to manipulate us for someone’s political or economic gain.

Dr. King’s Beloved Community is real. Let’s celebrate it!
The Rising Tide of Racial
Consciousness

By Martin Luther King, Jr.