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Local pastor calls aspects of MLK Day a sham, wants more accountability and social justice work

It is agreed by many that MLK Day is a special day, a significant day honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. A Memphis pastor is worried the day of service limits...

MEMPHIS, ,Tenn. (localmemphis.com) – It is agreed by many that MLK Day is a special day, a significant day honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. A Memphis pastor is worried the day of service limits who Dr. King was and does not fit the view of many who celebrate him.

“You have to hold people’s feet to the fire to practice what they’re preaching,” said Earle Fisher, Abyssinian Baptist Church Pastor and Up the Vote 901 Founder.

Accountability is what Dr. Fisher said some celebrating MLK Day lack.

“That’s why I’m calling MLK Day in Memphis and in so many parts of the nation a sham,” said Dr. Fisher.

He said service is not the only aspect of Dr. King’s life. There is his fight for social justice.

“We have people who say that we should honor Dr. King, but they pay their workers less than a livable wage,” said Dr. Fisher. “I would love to see people in elected office mayors, city council people, county commissioners, governors, presidents. I’d like to see business owners –especially of major corporations like FedEx or Elvis Presley Enterprises or Auto Zone– put their policies and their practices up against King’s philosophies and see if they’re actually aligned.”

Over at the National Civil Rights Museum, many say the fight is more than just a day. 

“You can find justice in service. We use this moment to help us jump start or continue re-energize us in the work that we do moving forward. If it’s only a day for you just to do a community outreach activity and you’re not continuing the fight for social justice, then you’ve missed the point of this experience,” said Dr. Noelle Trent, National Civil Rights Museum Interpretations, Collections and Education Director.

One visitor turns to Dr. King’s faith in addition to his service and politics.

“This is a day of service. This is a day of his legacy. It’s also a day to remind ourselves that we have further steps to take,” said Nathan Mackintosh, Indiana student. “If we’re going to look forward to progress, I think we need to move forward to encompassing all of those aspects. “

Monday, the National Civil Rights Museum will be open to the public for free from 8am to 6pm, thanks to FedEx.