‘King Day at the Dome’ event marches through downtown Columbia to the statehouse
COLUMBIA, SC (WOLO) — While today is just a day off work for many… for others… it’s a time of remembrance and celebration.
Here in the Midlands, several events took place to commemorate Martin Luther King Jr. Day including the city’s 35th MLK Day event and the return of an in-person ‘King Day at the Dome’.
“We are here to celebrate a man whose life was marked by an unfailing commitment to nonviolence. He believed that each of us, regardless of skin color, religious beliefs or socioeconomic backgrounds, have the capacity to change the world,” said City of Columbia councilmember Aditi Bussells.
Many South Carolinians who attended and spoke at Monday’s ‘King Day at the Dome’ event would like to see change in their own world.
“We need to push our legislators to change things that need to be changed and are important to our own community,” said Courtney McClain, NAACP youth and college division president.
Guest speaker Bennie Thompson, a Congressman from Mississippi, spoke about his problems with the way congressional lines are drawn in the Palmetto State.
“When this South Carolina legislature decided to redistrict and cut people of color out, brother Boykin and others decided to go to court,” said Rep. Thompson, who represents the Delta region of Mississippi.
Thompson and other speakers are pleased that a federal court has required South Carolina’s congressional map to be redrawn, but they are concerned that lawmakers are going to try to use funding for public schools for private schools.
“We cannot see our public money sent to private schools. Those who have the privilege to send their kids to those schools can pay for them themselves,” said Sue Berkowitz, SC Appleseed Legal Justice Center director.
NAACP’s Madie Robinson encouraged those who marched to the statehouse to make their voices heard at the polls.
“Ladies and gentlemen, brothers and sisters, we got to vote! Voting and not voting has consequences. Just remember, if it happened once, it can happen again,” said Robinson.
If it happened once, it can happen again’ was the title of Monday’s event, with guest speakers urging South Carolinians to stand up to injustice in the state.
“Continue to fight for the education of our children. Continue to fight for healthcare,” Thompson said.
The guest speaker the city’s afternoon’s event was Columbia native and retired NBA player Alex English.