Martin Luther King Day represents many things. First and foremost, it represents equality for African Americans. But I believe it represents equality for all people. Racism is just one way people discriminate against each other. The plight of African Americans and erasing segregation is a world-changing and on-going fight and one of the many milestones Martin Luther King, Jr.‘s ideals touched on.
In order to address racism, we need to address how people use our differences as a way to hate one another. Whether it’s the color of our skin, our sex, our sexual orientation or even our age, if you believe in equality for one group, one must accept equality for all.
Today’s America is so focused on hate:
- Republicans vs. Democrats
- States’ rights vs. federal laws
- Same sex marriage vs. religious beliefs
- Affirmative action vs. reverse discrimination
- Illegal immigrants vs. closed door policies
- Women’s work equality vs. the old boys’ club
- The 1% vs. the other 99%
- National Rifle Association vs. moderate gun control
- Pro choice vs. pro life
As a Caucasian woman, I find Martin Luther King Jr. to be an inspiration for all of humankind. When he spoke, he spoke not just to African Americans but to all Americans. He asked us to embrace our differences and realize that only through light and love can we exist as a peaceful and equal society for all.
On this day, while there are many charities you could donate to, I encourage you to look at the American Civil Liberties Union. Founded in 1920, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is a nonprofit, multi-issue public interest organization devoted to protecting the basic civil liberties of all people in the United States. The ACLU works daily in courts, legislatures and communities to defend and preserve the freedoms guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution. To learn more visit www.aclu.org or to make a donation click here.
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