Casten Statement Honoring Martin Luther King, Jr

January 21, 2019
Press Release

Wheaton, IL. – U.S. Representative Sean Casten (IL-06) released the following statement honoring Martin Luther King, Jr.

"'The world is all messed up. The nation is sick. Trouble is in the land.'  Martin Luther King, Jr., spoke those words on April 3, 1968. 

"Famously, he went on to say that he had been to the mountaintop. He looked over the other side and he saw the promised land.  He was assassinated the next day.

"Today we celebrate his life. But more importantly, we celebrate his vision of that promised land. Did he see the day when we would have an African American President? Did he see the day when we would swear in the most diverse freshman class in the history of the United States Congress? I think he did.

"And yet our nation is still sick. Trouble is still in the land. Privileged men of low character remain threatened by the realization of Dr. King’s dream. Those same men too often persist in the 'cruel jest' of telling bootless men to lift themselves up by their own bootstraps.

"We have made progress. But we still have far to go. Dr. King understood this, and was an optimist to the end. When he told that crowd in Memphis that day that the world was messed up, it was only after acknowledging that if he could pick any time in human history to be alive, that is the time he would choose. Not because we are perfect, but because we aspire to a more perfect union. Not because we have achieved true justice, but because it is a privilege to bear witness to history’s great arc. Not because he was proud of leaders who were sitting down, but because he found hope in the masses who were rising up.

"So today, let us celebrate Dr. King’s legacy as he celebrated his own life. Let us celebrate the progress we have made, while still acknowledging how far we have to go. And let us use this day to commit to ensuring that his dream will become our reality, in our time."