Martin Luther King Jr. Day: Would He Be Pleased At Our Progress?

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Monday, January 20,  will be the 28th annual celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Martin Luther King was born January 15, 1929. Throughout his life he fought as the spokesman for nonviolent activism in the civil rights movement. As the spokesperson he was able to fight against racial discrimination successfully in federal and state laws. King is most known for Montgomery Bus Boycott, and helping to organize the March on Washington where he delivered the famous, ” I have a dream” speech. During his life his ultimate goal was to racial equality and all racial tension to be gone away with. He believed that God created everyone equal and the color of your skin doesn’t make you any different, because it is what is on the inside that matters. King devoted his whole life for the death of racial discrimination, upon until his death when he was assassinated.

Unfortunately, the majority of the effects King had were shown after his death. Which brings us to the questions, would Martin Luther king be pleased with society today? Does racism still exist? Was the work that went into the civil rights moment all in vain? I believe that there are many things about society today King would be very proud of, but at the same time I think he would be disappointed how misconstrued some of his intentions have become. For the most part, partially due to progressions of civil rights laws law, racism is weakened, but there are still ignorant people and bigots. Until we are in a perfect world these kind of people will exist. Racism can never be extinguished, because hatred of people is attributed to sin, and we live in a sinful nature. The saddest part of this true fact, is that the majority of the populations believes that racism no longer exists. Thinking that a problem doesn’t exist, is bigger than the actual problem, because then there are no actions taken towards improvement and  everything becomes of being content. Sadly, racism is evident, and it will never go away.

To the general public, racism is seen as an idea that one race is superior to other races(primarily minorities) and has the right to rule them.For example; from the early 1800’s up until 1965 segregation especially in schools existed. African-Americans and Caucasians were not allowed to attend the same schools, restaurants, water fountains, and they weren’t even allowed to sit on the same half of the bus. The distinction was made by signs like, ” for whites” and “for blacks”. In modern-day society racism is seen to that extremity, when in reality it still exists just on a lower scale.Just because ‘blacks” and “whites” are allowed to sit together, go to the same school, and drink from the same water fountain DOES NOT, mean racism is a complete thing of the past. As I stated before, racism will never go away, it is just that it exists “undercover”.

What I have recognized as a problem in society is that people don’t see racist acts towards a majority race from a minority race as racism. Racism is not just targeted at African-Americans, Asians, Hispanics, Native Americans, etc., but it can be targeted at any race; even Caucasians. Although society as a whole has come a long way with the removal of prejudice and racism, but the struggle is still evident in ways such as, Affirmative Action.

Affirmative Action is also known as positive discrimination. Affirmative Action takes policies such as; race, religion, gender, origin, and color into consideration when dealing with acceptance into the work place or even schools. It is supposed to benefit an underrepresented group of people, to make it easier for them to be successful. Let’s say that a white male, hispanic woman, and a Black woman all applied to get into a school. When the acceptance board reviews their applications, they would look at the races of their current student body, and whichever race and gender that is lacking the least, would be the most likely to be accepted into the school. If the school was primarily filled with White males, then the hispanic woman and black male would have a higher chance of admittance than the white male. 

This idea has recently been widely accepted and viewed as being socially correct, but I think that it is still wrong. Discrimination against anybody for race, religion, gender, color, or origin is still discrimination and a form of racism. It is what is on the inside that counts, your DNA and RNA that is twisted in a helix that actually matters, that is what makes you who you actually are. Acceptance should be based on character and not on a appearances or stereotypes. Society as a whole needs to recognize that racism is still and issue and exists everywhere in everyday life. We have much more to accomplish, and a lot more arms and eyes need to be opened, in seeing that other people are not that different from yourself. When going about your everyday life ask yourself the question, Would the King be pleased with what he saw? He fought for equality for everyone not just for “Black” and “Whites” to get along.

“I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

 I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, and every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight; “and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together”

Do you think his dream has come true? Have we reached a new level of equality in this country? Comment below whether or not you think racism still exists on a large scale in our society today.

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Posted on January 13, 2014, in News, Top Stories and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Although Dr. Kings “I have a dream” speech is more widely recognized and as a result more often quoted, it would be tragic to overlook the fact that it was his time in a Birmingham jail that helped to shape that speech. Like the Apostle Paul, Dr. King never stopped preaching Jesus’ extreme gospel of love, even from a jail cell.

    From his cell Dr. King penned a spectacular letter, or as he opined “should I say a book” to the white religious establishment of Birmingham. In that letter King asserted that “We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed”.

    Even asking the question whether or not racism still exists today is a frivolous pursuit because racism is evil and it finds safe harbor deep within the recesses of mans heart; beyond the reach of man-made laws. Instead, a better question might be, would Dr. King be pleased with what the person of color has done with his freedom and if we truly judged men by the content of their character and not the color of the skin or faux accomplishments , what would he say about our society today?

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