Monday, January 16, 2012
I Salute You Dr. Martin Luther KIng, Jr.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. did what God called him to do. He stood in the face of fear and fought for justice. He did this so I could go to school with my white counterparts, use the same entrance, sit in wherever I want on a bus or in a theater, and the same bathroom facilities. Separate but equal wasn’t enough for him. It definitely wouldn’t have been enough for me either. While we have made successful strides toward equality, inequality still remains. It’s evident in the workplace, in housing and other areas too. I stand on his shoulders and I refuse to be treated as a second-class citizen.
Unfortunately, I am reminded of the work he did when I interact with my peers. Sometimes it’s evident they think that the color of my skin makes me inferior to them. It doesn’t matter if I am standing next to them on graduation day at New York University. Some think that I stand alongside of them because of affirmative action solely. When in fact, I had to do the work to graduate. I know I had to work harder. It’s something I’ve done all of my life. Even our current president has to fight harder than any other president ever has as our country is judging him based on the color of his skin, and not on the content of his character. He is being blamed for things that he had nothing to do with. He’s being blamed for the welfare system that has been in place for many years. People are angry because he is a black man in the White House, plain and simple. Let me reiterate, we have made strides but we have a long way to go.
What I have come to realize as an adult, is that these issues don’t belong to me. I believe in the equality of all people despite our differences. I make every effort to see people for who they are not what they are. I am not perfect but I am diligent. I don’t own anyone else’s stuff. I can only pray that younger generations of minority children embrace what Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. stood for and deflect the self-hatred imposed upon them. I want them to rise up and know their worth. He fought alongside many people who I carry with me daily. It’s because of them that I strive to be the very best. It’s because of them that I stand where I do today. I refuse to let anyone convince me I am less than. I know I am worthy of everything offered to others. Dr. King’s light shines in my life today and it is my desire to do the same in the lives of others.
I salute you, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.