Life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. remembered, voting rights bill on the table

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – Monday was Doctor Martin Luther King Jr. Day, a day to celebrate and remember all that Dr. King and the civil right movement did for minorities in the country.

But, while the nation has progressed, minorities across the nation are still calling for more change to come.

There is currently legislation that would extend voting rights and put a stop to the filibuster in congress.

The support for the bill is split along the party lines right now.

Some locals are in support of the bill saying moving forward does not equal equity, but movements need to continue to be made.

Martin Luther King III said in a statement on Saturday that MLK day this year is not a day to celebrate until the legislation is passed.

On Monday, Martin Luther King Junior’s granddaughter, Yolanda Renee King, called on lawmakers to act.

“For all the elected leaders out there who are tweeting, posting, and celebrating my grandfather Dr. King – today my message to you is simple, do not celebrate – legislate!” said Yolanda King.

Chris Page, a local advocate, says keeping the life and legacy of Dr. King in American minds is essential no matter who you are.

“He’s a hero to American citizens. Martin Luther King wasn’t just for black people, but because black people have been underrepresented more than any other people in America, but he still thought, you know, white people had been mistreated as well, Japanese, Chinese, Asian, people of that nature too, just wasn’t for black people. A lot of the things that Martin Luther King  has fought for has benefitted more than just black people,” said Page.

A local church hosted a Dr. King Celebration Monday in Bowling Green as a reminder to all to remember King’s words, actions and ideals.

“We’re living in some very dangerous times. We’re dealing with tremendous amounts of racial injustice. We’re still fighting for that dream. So let us not forget. And yes, every year when it comes around, it is our responsibility to get up and celebrate and to act. We have to put those actions into motion and that means it’s not a day off, it’s a day on. It’s a day on to celebrate, commemorate, and then put things into action,” said Shannah Dixon, chair, Martin Luther King Planning Committee, Bowling Green.

Some republicans argue the changes being requested in these bills are unnecessary.

The Senate is set to debate on the two voting rights bills beginning Tuesday.