These MLK Day Tweets Highlight Why His Words Are Still So Relevant Today

by Lani Seelinger
Mark Wilson/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Part of the purpose of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is to incite people to think about his legacy. If Twitter is any indication, then the holiday is really having its intended effect. Tweets about MLK Day 2018 range from the expected yet still poignant and meaningful MLK quotes to pointed barbs thrown Donald Trump's direction. It makes sense that they'd run the gamut this year, though, since MLK's fight is so very relevant in the current political climate.

When we think about King, it's worth pointing out the points in society where he'd recognize progress — and also the places where he'd be disappointed that we haven't gone any farther. One major example of a success, of course, is that the country had a black president for two terms. But then on the other hand, a setback is that Barack Obama's successor makes racist comments and then tries to celebrate MLK's life and work soon after.

In other words, there's still work to do, and the proliferation of MLK quotes and messages on Twitter is just one small piece of evidence for that. There are so many directions to go, and so many of his words to explore and think more deeply about. Here is just a small sampling for you to get started with.


A Reminder Of The American Dream

America was founded on the radical notion of equality for everyone — and MLK dedicated his life to making the country fulfill that promise.


Remember How He Fit In — Or Didn't

MLK wasn't a hero because he went with the tide — he was a a hero because he went against it. It's necessary — and difficult — to remember that the people truly carrying on his legacy today are the controversial ones fighting for unachieved goals.


Fight Your Own Fight

King recognized that not everyone could fight the same fight. Instead, the important thing was to do what you could. This message is relevant today, anywhere that there is still injustice and oppression to be thrown off.


A Message From The Family

MLK's daughter Bernice raised her voice back in February 2017, when Senate Republicans stopped Elizabeth Warren from reading a letter of Coretta Scott King's. Today, she's using her platform on behalf of her father's legacy.


Things Have Been Worse

Things are pretty tense in the U.S. right now — but 1968, the year of MLK's assassination, was still worse. If you're feeling some stress about the direction of the country, remember that progress comes in waves, and that it's recovered from serious divides in the past.


An Idea MLK Might Have Liked

MLK was full of new and radical ideas, including his form of nonviolent resistance to oppression. Why not use the holiday honoring him to think of more? Making Election Day a holiday would allow everyone to exercise their democratic responsibility and right, which would be an excellent step towards making the country more equal.


Repeat His Most Famous Words

You know the title of the speech — but do you remember the context? It's always worth watching and listening to again.


Applying His Words To Today

For some, this day is a reminder that the country has a president who has expressed openly racist ideas — and a party backing him that has put up remarkably little resistance to that.


Art For The Holiday

Trump hasn't shied away from violent tweets, including anti-Muslim retweets and threats of nuclear war. In this painting, an artist points out fittingly that this sort of behavior goes against everything that MLK represents.


Optimism For The Future

Racism and war are still very much present in the world — but so are the people working to end them.


History Is So Close

MLK Day wasn't confirmed as a national holiday until 1983 — and there are still some working Congresspeople who remember both its introduction and its confirmation. Not all of them, unfortunately, supported it.


Give Yourself Some Credit

Sometimes it can be difficult to recognize the best aspects of yourself — but it doesn't always take hue shows of heroism to follow in Martin Luther King, Jr.'s footsteps.


Love, Love, Love

MLK's words about love have been repeated enough times to almost become cliched, but sometimes they still deserve another reflection.


Applying His Thoughts To The Present, Again

This quote is particularly relevant today, as the administration referenced in the cartoon above has made unprecedented efforts to remain ignorant about science and scholarship on numerous subjects. We can also safely assume that MLK wouldn't have been crazy about a new border wall.


Just Remember: Be Selfless

This final MLK quote really boils things down for those who want to take his message into their own lives — how are you helping people? And, again — no grand gestures are required.

Today is the day when we honor Martin Luther King, Jr., remember his achievements, and remind ourselves of what he fought for. However, that doesn't mean that we can't bring his legacy into our everyday lives, and continue fighting oppression wherever it exists.