- Posted January 15, 2012 by
Spartanburg, South Carolina
This iReport is part of an assignment:
MLK: Keeping the dream alive
Tomorrow many Americans, and people across the globe, will celebrate Martin Luther King Day. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was a clergyman, activist and leader in the African American civil rights movement. He was most revolutionary because of his unorthodox methodology of protesting inequalities. He promoted and instituted Gandhi’s non-violence method, often organizing sit-ins and non-violent marches to get his voice heard. Dr. King is most known for his 1963 “ I have a dream speech”, that he resonated to over 200,000 black and white Civil Rights workers. In this speech he talked about his “dream” of a colorblind society that was based on “the content of a man’s character” instead of the color of his skin. In 1968 Dr. King was assassinated while standing on the balcony of his hotel room, a day before he was to lead a protest for the striking Memphis garbage workers.
The question I think everyone should ask on this historic holiday is, “Was Dr. King’s dream achieved?” Is America truly a post ethnic, racial or even socio-economic society, where a man’s character is judged more than the color of his skin or the girth of his wallet?
This answer is often oversimplified with rhetoric that is often based on political affiliation. People on the left often say no because of the rate of black and Hispanic incarceration being high, low employment figures and lack of educational opportunities. People on the right say that America say that America is past is sorted history on race because of laws like Affirmative Action, court decisions like Brown V Board of Education and the election of our very first black president, Barack Obama.
America has made great strides when it comes to making amends for its ignorant and often disturbing racial past. What about the social and economic inequalities that are happening today? Today’s inequalities go far beyond the boundaries of one’s epidermis. The inequalities are that of CEO’s making 182 times more than the average American worker, Social services being cut while politicians lie and pander to gain a dependent base and the top 1% making more economic advances in the past 30 years than the lower 99%. Dr. King fought not only for racial equality but also economic equality and the unfair treatment of the working and middleclass of this country would for sure gain his attention.
Racial equality has come a long way in this country, but we as Americans still have a long way to go in regards to economic equality in this country. I believe that if Martin Luther King were Alive today he would be occupying Wallstreet and protesting, not only with African Americans, but with White, Hispanics, Asians and every other ethnicity that has been disenfranchised by the current economic system, because he fought for all regardless of race, creed, gender or sexual orientation.