Monday, January 15, 2007

We Still Have a Long Way to Go 40-Years After Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. brought to the forefront of America the problems and issues of racism and segregation. Walking the streets of our country today, we can see that the issue of race is still very alive today, and segregation is still very much a part of our modern society. While we may not have forgotten the man who proved to be one of the bravest and most outspoken figures in American history, there are many in our midst that have forgotten the importance of his hope and dreams.

His message was clear in that time, but today we still have as much to learn from Dr. King as we did during every one of his peaceful protests and profound speeches. He said that he had a dream that one day little black boys and girls would be able to walk hand in hand with little white boys and girls, which in many areas of the country we can see on a regular basis. But he also expressed a longing for love towards fellow man, and the need for creating a sense of community among the people, so that these color-lines would no longer pose an issue for anyone. He bravely showed the people of America that it was possible to change the way things are, even if you are just one person. He taught us that no one single person is too insignificant to fight against what we believe is wrong, and to stand up for what we believe is right.

I grew up in Los Angeles, side by side with people of all colors, and people from many different countries. Racism was not only present, but dictated the actions and opinions of many. I since lived in many areas of the west coast, from California to Washington, large cities and small towns, and so many between, and have seen the evidence that government imposed segregation has become self-segregation. That rules and regulations regarding the color of people has morphed into a strange world of police brutality, racial profiling, and senseless killing. That the struggle to create equality among people has turned into a competitive drive to rise to the top. That the appeal for communities to come together and work towards a common goal has gotten lost in the fight for individual rights.

On this day, the birth date of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., it is my hope and dream that the children of today realize that each and every one of us has the ability to stand up for what we believe in, to fight for the rights of all humanity, to dream dreams and have hope that our actions can change the future, and to have the courage to speak out against the wrongs of the world of today. We all have a voice. We can make a change. But the changes that have the biggest impact and benefit the future of generations to come will be born out of love, hope, and the belief that we can be a better people.

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