Madison alder hopes to put Dr. King’s message into action with new resolution

As Madisonians look back on the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. 50 years after his assassination, those who led Monday’s service said there is still a long way to go.

“Fifty years after Dr. King’s assassination those times back then are oddly familiar today. When nasty public discourse void of any social etiquette, hatred toward those who are different, fear of the stranger, fear of those whose daily attire, costume, custom and beliefs and rituals are not like own,” Dr. Jonathan Overby, executive producer of Wisconsin’s annual tribute to the late civil rights leader.

Celebrations at the Capitol consisted of singing, reflecting on the message of King’s speech and if we as a city, state and country have lived up to that dream. Madison Alder Samba Baldeh, District 17, is trying to put King’s dream into action within the city. He plans to introduce a resolution to Common Council Tuesday to encourage tolerance in the city of Madison — specifically toward the immigrant community after comments made by President Donald Trump last week.

“I think it is extremely important that the city sends a message, particularly to its immigrant population in Haiti and Africa to know that whatever is coming from this White House is not reflective of the city. To give them comfort that we are all Americans,” Baldeh said.

Immigrants make up 7% of the city of Madison. The resolution comes after President Trump allegedly made crude comments directed towards Haitians and African immigrants. Madison residents at the Capitol Monday, agreed with the idea of the resolution.

“Often times we find reasons to forget one’s humanity and as one species we should have equal rights and equal access to the ability to succeed in this country,” said Madison resident Beverly Hutcherson.

Sara Lubbers, said she feels like tolerance is the first step in achieving the realization of King’s dream.

“I believe that tolerance, diversity especially in the times that we are facing both with our national government and here right in the state of Wisconsin. In order to move forward with anything, we have to start with tolerance,” Lubbers said.

According to Baldeh, he has already gotten the support of right alders regarding the resolution. He said the resolution will reaffirm the value of immigrants and their contributions to the city of Madison.