Monday was Martin Luther King’s birthday! However, sadly it seems that many of the horrors that haunted Rev. King still endure in the world today. It’s 2010 and everyone in America is presumed equal, no matter their race or religion. On the surface it looks like times may have changed for the best. However, regretfully, bigotry is still alive and kicking on a number of different levels. You see, a significant amount of the planet’s population is still suffocating from the savagery of racial and religious bias.
The immeasurable sacrifices made by Martin Luther King and the civil rights movement, by all accounts, ended forty years ago. Thankfully, the black man won the grand prize and arrived in the promise land. Unfortunately, it is a promise land still filled with rundown schools, lethal ghettos and harsh prisons.
Unfortunately, it seems prejudice is still alive and well. Moreover, it is probably the most contagious and deadly disease plaguing our planet today.
According to the Uniform Crime Reporting Program, last year, law enforcement reported almost 10,000 victims of hate crimes in America. What’s more, there were over 5,000 victims of racially motivated hate crimes. Not surprising, 66.4 percent were victims of anti-black bias.
Clearly, we should no longer judge a book by its cover, or a person by their outer shell, but so often we do. As Rev. King often acknowledged, we should not judge someone by the slant of their eyes, their country of origin or by the way they worship God. He believed we should look at someone’s character before condemning or forming an opinion of them.
Rev. King also believed that, to stop discrimination, people must open their eyes to new ideas. He felt we should close our ears to the old lies, narrow-mindedness and the belief everyone should look, think and act just like we do. He wanted us to judge a person for their integrity instead of the way they speak, dress, look or pray! He recognized that the world would be a very dull place if everyone were exactly the same. He knew a man’s destiny should be determined by his courage, conscience and moral fiber instead of the tint of his skin or the color of his bible. And only after we can gaze past the fiscal looks of a person can we truly see the real beauty in their heart, soul and mind.
Rev. King felt that we are all brothers living on the same planet and that we must start acting like it. He knew it was important we forget the old stereotypes and labels that we attach to groups of people who are different from ourselves and, even though we have our differences, we are all basically the same. Also, he felt humanity was capable of achieving so much if we could only learn true tolerance and develop a genuine understanding of our fellow man. He truly believed we must share this small globe in brotherhood. Furthermore, he thought God desired all religions to live side by side in peace and brotherhood!
Since Rev. King’s death, man has walked on the moon, as well as found new cures for horrible diseases. However, if man could only achieve the simple feat of tolerance toward his fellow man, it would end all wars, plus stop the majority of violence in the world today. After that, citizens from all around the globe could work together and truly help humanity and change civilization for the better. Subsequently, every day could more or less be like a bona fide holiday. Happy Birthday Rev. King!
Kevin McKenna is the Executive Director of IDEAS (Investigative Documentaries Educating American Society), a 501C non-profit corporation. If you have any comments, ideas or need more information on how you can help or contribute, please write to IDEAS (1015 W. Clark Suite C. Burbank, CA. 91506), call (818) 588-3047 or E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.