Local leaders inspired by King

HARLINGEN — It was a day he’d never forget.

Martin Luther King Jr. had been assassinated. Jeffry Adickes, now the Harlingen police chief, asked his mother what the assassination meant.

“He was just trying to help people but others have hate in their hearts,” Adickes remembers her saying. Adickes still remembers that tragic day, and the civil rights leader’s influence on his life.

“As a lifelong student of leadership, there are a small number of people who I have followed for their courage, their kindness, their vision and their guidance,” Adickes said. “Martin Luther King Jr. is certainly in that group.”

Like many people, Adickes has a favorite Martin Luther King quote. “I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.”

George McShan, a Harlingen school board member, agreed King was a strong leader from whom others could learn.

“His intent was to treat everybody with fairness and equality,” McShan said. “As a result, I know my leadership is based on his principles. That’s how I practice. If you look at my body of work, all people are treated equally. My lens is focused on doing what’s right and what’s best for all people.

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twhitehead@valleystar.com