Dayton Calls for More Decency at MLK Day Celebration

January 15, 2018 12:40 PM

At the 32nd Annual State of Minnesota Martin Luther King Jr. Day Celebration in St. Paul, Gov. Mark Dayton discussed the need for more progress in combating racism.

This year's theme for the ceremony, held at the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts in St. Paul, was based on a statement the activist once made: "Life's most persistent and urgent question is, 'What are you doing for others?'"

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State Rep. Ilhan Omar (DFL) and St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter both served as keynote speakers.

During the ceremony, Dayton expressed his concerns that indecency was gaining the upper hand.

"Here in Minnesota, Philando Castile is killed while driving his car because he has black skin," Dayton said. "The man who shot him is found innocent. In St. Cloud, a Somali pharmacist's store is vandalized and no one is found at all. Nor were the savages who trashed a child center in Shakopee or bombed a mosque in Bloomington."

Dayton remarked that all of the incidents should be shocking.

"Instead, too many decent people ignore them or pretend they don't matter," Dayton said. "Too many indecent people support them - even celebrate them."

The governor also criticized President Donald Trump, calling him "the worst public perpetrator of racism, bigotry and intolerance."

At the ceremony, 14 people were given awards for their commitment to service. Two educators were also given lifetime achievement awards.

5 EYEWITNESS NEWS' Brandi Powell co-hosted the ceremony for the second year in a row.

RELATED: Martin Luther King Jr. Day Celebrations around the Metro

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Tyler Berg

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