Vol. 6    No. 1
January 13, 2011

The Capital City Hues
(608) 241-2000
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      It seems as if everything is about money these days. During the Christmas season, it seems most of
the news reports are about whether or not retail sales are up, and if retail sales are down, it seems that
the whole Christmas season is considered to be a failure.
      And when the bad weather hit, there were reports that billions of dollars were lost because the
airlines had cancelled flights and people couldn’t get to the stores to shop. Yeah, I guess the flow of
money slowed, but the news didn’t report on the day after when business was probably above normal and
billions of dollars were gained.
      It seems that the only measure is money gained or money lost, as if there is no other measure of our
worth as human beings. It gets to be pretty dehumanizing after a while. My only worth as a human being is
if I am making money for someone else. Christmas is so hyped that the only time that I truly enjoy the
season is when I am with loved ones and good friends. Everything else, I have to make a concerted effort
to tune out.
      As the blare of the Christmas season recedes and the New Year gets underway, I look forward to the
King Holiday. With a couple of exceptions, the King Holiday remains relatively commercial-free. There isn’t
a big sales pitch. I don’t read any news reports that talk about the billions lost because people didn’t buy
something or the airports had to shut down for the day due to inclement weather.
      In fact, one could easily go through the motions and hardly realize that a holiday was going on
because the holiday weekend is relatively hype-free. It is a holiday that still has meaning, in my view, a
time to reflect upon basic human values through the writings and life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
      The King Holiday is a time when I can take a still moment to reflect and there is a whole lot to reflect
on. A few years ago, I gave a talk at the Middleton Public Library on the King Holiday. I compared the
writings of Dr. King to contemporary issues like the Iraq War and the state of the economy. I found that Dr.
King’s writings are still relevant to America. Dr. King drilled down so deep into American values and
spirituality — and sometimes the lack thereof — that his words still reverberate.
      With the tragic shootings in Arizona this week and the rising shrillness of public discourse where
each side increasingly degrades the other side, we felt that Dr. King’s sermon on “Loving Your Enemy”
was very relevant and we reprinted excerpts on p. 5 of this issue. His message of love is so needed
because we have lost our ability to respect our opposition, to fight with dignity and win or lose without
utilizing the “nuclear option” of utterly destroying the opposition regardless of the truth of the matter or the
rule of law. Winning at every cost is more important than plain-old American values that Dr. King
espoused. We sell our souls for a pittance.
      The King Holiday also reminds us of the higher values of our lives like human dignity and justice. It
seems like it was only yesterday when the principle of justice was discussed in the media often. What is
just? If someone was wronged, then it was important that the wrong be righted.
      But these days, justice is rarely spoken of. If something doesn’t contribute to the bottom line or costs
money, then it isn’t worth considering or discussing. Not only are we to run our businesses like MBAs, but
we are also to run our government, our justice system, our non-profits, our churches and our personal
lives with efficiency and money being the only values considered in any decision. Justice and equality are
sent to the back of the bus.
      So I enjoy the King Holiday because it is a holiday about important spiritual values, a holiday where
human beings are the most important. It is a holiday that appeals to my mind and my heart. It is a time that
breathes new hope into my feelings and the way that I think in a way that New Years never could.
      I thank Dr. King for these moments as much as I thank him for what he did for all of us during the
1950s and 1960s. His deep faith in humankind and the power of his righteousness reverberate even
today. And that rekindling of my spirit, of the human spirit, is priceless. Thank you Dr. King. And may you,
our readers, have a meaningful King Holiday weekend!
Reflections/Jonathan Gramling   
                          Rekindling the Spirit

EDITORIAL STAFF

Jonathan Gramling
Publisher & Editor

Clarita G. Mendoza
Sales Manager

Contributing Writers
Rita Adair, Ike Anyanike, Paul
Barrows, Alfonso Zepeda
Capistran, Theola Carter, Fabu,
Andrew Gramling, Lang Kenneth
Haynes, Eileen Cecille Hocker,
Heidi Pascual, Jessica Pharm,
Laura Salinger, Jessica Strong, &
Martinez White

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Challenges Ahead?
New administrations and new
civil rights issues