January 20, 2014
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. had a peaceful dream for equality among everyone in our country.
He was one of the most well known Civil Rights leaders who wanted nothing more than for blacks to have rights like whites. While King has passed, people still remember and quote him mostly on the federal holiday reserved for him.
King was not a perfect man at all but he was a peaceful seeking pastor who is known most for his ‘I have a dream’ speech in Washington, D.C.
In his speech, he said this, “In the process of gaining our rightful place we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.”
So what would Dr. King think of America today?
Well, for one black and white people work together, go to school together, hang out together and in general associate together. They also vote together.
Check out these statistics from the U.S. Census:
About two in three eligible blacks — 66.2 percent — voted in the 2012 presidential election.
Then, between 1996 and 2012, blacks, Asians and Hispanics all had an increase in their shares of the voting population, with the Hispanic share increasing by about 4 percentage points and the black share by about 3 points.
It is noted that King along with many other Civil Rights activists fought hard for freedom and equality but what would he think about the apathy and lack of care among some people who take advantage of the past hard work?
Dr. King did not dream and act for people to sit on their laurels and take advantage of the system. He did not dream and act for people to fight about petty differences and cause more violence. He did not dream and act for anyone else to feel bad about the past or for one group or class to rise above.
His dream was for equality, forgiveness and peace.
“Forgiveness is not an occasional act. It is a permanent attitude,” said King.
King had seen plenty of actions that were not right but he refused to be violent or vengeful about it. Instead he was a dreamer who dreamt of a nicer country where people would have respect for one another.
Perhaps more people should remember how hard people fought for equality and freedom. The moment one stops working hard and refuses to take responsibility for their actions or believe they earn the right to be static because of the past, that’s when things start going in reverse instead of moving forward.
“Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into friend.”
“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’”
Natalie Netzel is a staff writer for The Newberry Observer and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Views expressed in this column are those of the writer only and do not represent the newspaper’s opinion.