AG Healey's remarks from the MLK Jr. Breakfast



Remarks of Attorney General Maura Healey

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Breakfast, Boston Convention and Exhibition Center

Monday, January 15, 2017

(As prepared)


Good morning everyone – to our electeds, to Bakari Sellers, to Cheryl Mottley and everyone on the Planning Committee who worked hard to make this breakfast possible – and most importantly – to all of you out there!

 For this breakfast we’ve been asked to think about the words of Martin Luther King. And what would he say if he were with us. As I thought about what Martin Luther King would say . . . I remembered what he said – what he said from the podium at the Mall just before he spoke of his Dream.

 He said: “Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy.”

 Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. Now is the time for our city, for our state and for our country to live up to those promises. Now is the time to end the disparities in our neighborhoods and communities – in housing, education, transportation, health care, criminal justice and employment.

 Now is the time to make every room everywhere look like the room we are in right now. Every classroom. Every office.  Every boardroom. Every police department.

 Now is the time to come together – just as we did when those marchers from Charlottesville tried to have a rally here in Boston – and with one voice, we stood up to say: not here.

 Now is the time to get more people voting and to make those votes count.

 Now is the time to respect the dignity and worth of every human being.

 To recognize the potential that exists within each of us.  But to also realize that successfully pursuing that potential is both an individual and collective endeavor.

 Now is the time to teach our children - to show them the way, to show them what is right - and what is wrong. Now is the time to live a life of principle and to demand a politics of principle.

 Now is the time to build a society that lifts people up, rather than beats them down. To try to elevate people across the board, instead of throwing them off the board.

 Now is the time to take a long view towards justice, rather than a short view toward the next tweet or news cycle.

 Now is the time, now is our time.  To seize every moment as an opportunity to testify, to embody truth, and the belief that everyone has a voice and every voice should be counted.

 Because those are the true promises of democracy. And now is the time to make them real.

 Some may feel, well we are really up against it. In this time, where headlines reveal forces – corroding, corrupting and coarsening – let us make real the promises of democracy.

 For in the words of the prophet Isaiah, “The Lord is the everlasting God. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary and young men stumble and fall, but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles, they will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not be faint.”

 Let us, my brothers and sisters, not be faint. For now is indeed the time.

 For every immigrant you hug.

 For every child you mentor, tutor or coach.

 For every elder you listen to and care for.

 For every person you register to vote.

 For every injustice you protest.

 For every time you see through the eyes of a person who is not seen, and act to lift them up.

 You are making the promises of democracy real.

 And MLK is with you, as he is with us.

 Thank you.

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