On January 19, 2015, Gov. Rick Scott, Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera and First Lady Ann Scott took time out of their busy schedules and held a wonderful Martin Luther King Jr. celebration at the governor’s mansion in Tallahassee. At this event, the majority of attendees were black community leaders and elected officials. The affair was intimate and warm; the governor, first lady, and Lt. governor welcomed everyone to the mansion with a hello, a handshake, and their assistants took personal cell phone photos.
The event lasted from 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm with finger food appetizers, tasty drinks, and everyone that attended felt pampered. As I spoke to various individuals at the affair, it was evident that more blacks voted for Governor Scott the second time around, and he is reaching out to our community. Many of the attendees that were invited to the event have been appointed to sit on different boards and commissions by the governor.
“Our job is to make sure this is the state that whatever country you came from, whatever zip code, whatever family, you have the dream of this country. This is everybody’s state and everybody should have the shot at the dream of the country. That’s what Martin Luther King, Jr. believed in and that’s what we all believe in,” said Governor Scott at his reception.
At Scott’s classy M.L. King affair he talked inclusion and equality, but many of his policies reflect a different reality. The Martin Luther King, Jr reception in Tallahassee was wonderful, but the hard work to achieve his dream is complicated with many institutional barriers. It is easy to say you believe in the dream, but many social, political and financial inequalities still exist in the state.
Monday evening in Tallahassee was wonderful, and Governor Scott was a great host. There are many opportunities for the black community to get engaged in the state by working on boards and commissions. However, many in the black community do not have information, feel they are ignored, and there is a need for more outreach from the Scott administration.
There is a pressing moral obligation to live up to the name of this holiday, and the reception was great, but it takes more. We must all live and examine our decisions every day to determine if we are honoring those who fought for freedom before us.