King’s legacy continues to live

Are we really equal?

Yesterday, I attended a Martin Luther King Jr. birthday celebration in the Student Union. While I listened to the reenactment of the “I Have a Dream” speech, I wondered if his dream came true.

Are we really equal?

Has all his hard work gone to waste? Has he died in vain and his memory lost?

True, most people think of Jan. 15 as a free day, but there is much more depth to his legacy.

I have to admit that I am one of those people who used to take Martin Luther King Jr. Day for granted and tried to sleep in as much as possible, but I find my attitude changing more as I grow older. As a child, I really did not understand racism or social injustice because I was not exposed to it; it was just something I heard my parents talk about.

But now as an adult, I see exactly what they were talking about.

While in college, I experienced a serious culture shock, not only because everyone did not look like me, but also because they did not share my opinion. I am constantly confronted with the idea that racism no longer exists anymore and to this day we are all equal.

Sad to say, but my life and others experiences tell me otherwise.

Sometimes, I think that the idea of racism no longer existing comes from being sheltered, not being made aware of different situations.

Racism is not seen to the extent as it once used to be. No longer do we see public lynching, segregated schools or water fountains. African-Americans are free to sit where they choose on public transportation and attend any school they want.

But racism is committed on a more personal level nowadays. A person (no matter what color he is) should be able to order dinner in any restaurant, in any part of town and be served decently and with respect. They should not have the food they ordered as a sit down meal packed up in to-go boxes and asked to leave the restaurant for no apparent reason at all.

A person should be able to drive anywhere in a city and not be racially profiled because they fit a certain “stereotype” of a delinquent or trouble makers.

Criminals come in all colors, shapes, and sizes. The fact that the United States needs a law that forces companies and schools to employee a certain amount of minorities is embarrassing.

People say that affirmative action is outdated and no longer needed, but I feel as if it should remain in effect until the question on all applications about race is eliminated.

The argument against that is the question is optional and people should not feel pressured to answer it. But if that were the case, why is it printed in the first place?

A person’s application should not be rejected because of the name that they were given. True, sometimes the names some children are given are quite unique, but that in no way affects their ability to perform well on a job.

If we were all equal, we would not judge each other on our skin color, economic background or education.

We may have more money than someone else, but at the end of the day, no one person is better than the other. We all wake up the same, brush our teeth the same, and go to bed the same. The only difference is that the pigmentation of our skin is different.

I feel that Martin Luther King Jr. Day is just a reminder to each and every one of us not to judge each other. Each and every person on this Earth has something special and unique to bring to the table.

The idea of race is man made; therefore, it is going to take man to destroy it.

If you think about it, it takes more energy to hate someone than it is to like them. I do not think that King’s hard work has gone to waste, but I do feel that his message is slowly disappearing and people are becoming “comfortable” with the current situation. The fight in our generation is just not as strong as it was in the past generations, so let us all learn from the past.

If you are unhappy with something then stand up for your self and make others listen.

The worst thing that could happen is rejection.

If this happens don’t stop, take it as a challenge, and do it again.

Do you agree with Laurie’s view on racism within the United States? Let her know at [email protected]