Deb Brumley

Deb Brumley

I was listening to the late Martin Luther King speak on vintage film in my history class last week.

What an articulate, brilliant man.

He said, to paraphrase, we want equality, but we don’t want to pay for it, because it would cost something.

If we really value something, we never mind the cost.

And it does not matter what area of life we look at. If we experience or notice inequality in the workplace, at school, applying for an apartment, looking for a job, housing, even in the area of voting rights, there is work to do.

When Dr. King led the marches in the mid-1960s in Selma and Birmingham to pressure the State officials to adhere to the Constitution and the Civil Rights Act, they got Alabama to finally cooperate. He said they then desegregated the buses and the lunch counters but said it would be too costly to desegregate the rest of the public areas, so the Alabama elected officials resisted those areas too, until forced.

He said - then the rest of the U.S., where the people truly valued the blacks, minorities, the disabled, disadvantaged or otherwise different, and cherished equality, these people would create equality in every space and situation.

One way to look at the inequality issues in life, which Dr. King spoke of during this last interview before his assassination (on April 4, 1968, in Memphis, Tenn., by James Earl Ray, later convicted), was this: He said, pay attention, because where people are valued there is equality, no matter the cost.

And in situations where there is inequality, see who has the ability or power to create equality, but don’t, if they can - there’s your answer.

So, I’m doing just this, thinking a lot about inequality and equality. I am an idealistic Pollyanna who wants the same opportunity for everyone in the areas of Human and Civil Rights, unapologetically so – I just do.

Deb Brumley can be contacted at 509-837-4500, ext. 114 or email

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