Monday, January 21, 2008

If a man hasn't discovered something that he will die for, he isn't fit to live. --- Martin Luther King, Jr., speech, Detroit, Michigan, June 23, 1963

Today, we celebrated Martin Luther King, Jr. Day in our own ways. I was not fortunate enough to have seen Dr. King while he was alive, but he still transformed my life, and the lives of everyone reading this post right now.

King rose to prominence at a time of great social and political upheaval. Blacks in particular had been freed from the bonds of slavery, but they were still slaves to terror and racism. Dr. King sought to change that by conveying a message of hope and of duty. His words and actions put a mirror beside our culture, and we didn't like what we saw. Rioting, police using tear gas on people who only wanted to be treated as equals, beatings, protestors being knocked down with fire hoses. No, we didn't like what we saw, so we embarked on a path to change it.

Where are we now? Some would say we haven't made much progress at all, based on smaller details and numbers crunching. Others would say we've gone quite a ways, so far that blacks and whites can co-exist happily. I'm somewhere in the middle, but closer to the latter than to the former. African-Americans in this country have made tremendous strides and are rightly taking their places beside whites.

But we still have miles to go before we sleep. Gang violence, drugs, teenage pregnancy, school dropout rates, all of these and more have plagued African-Americans and continue to do so. And, unfortunately, those who speak out about these and other issues, they get branded as "race traitors" or maligned for "acting white." Yet, rappers and sports stars are glorified, no matter how horribly they act, because they're "keeping it real."

Yet, Dr. King's message resounds through the ages, giving hope and fire to anyone who cares to listen and take action. And as he stated in the quotation I quoted above, he was willing to die for his beliefs of racial equality. He may not have lived to see it and we may not have gotten there completely yet, but we're making progress nonetheless.

And that's keeping Dr. King's dream alive more than anything.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

ANBAR PROVINCE - A U.S. Marine was killed during combat operations in western Anbar province on Saturday, the U.S. military said.

BAGHDAD - One U.S. soldier was killed by a roadside bomb in Arab Jabour on Baghdad's southern outskirts, the U.S. military said.

BAGHDAD - Three people were wounded by a roadside bomb which exploded after a U.S. patrol went by in eastern Baghdad's Baladiyat district, police said. . .

QAIYARA - Two people were killed and nine wounded by a bomb in a parked car targeting an Iraqi army patrol in the town of Qaiyara near Mosul, 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.

NEAR FALLUJA - Gunmen killed four members of a U.S.-backed neighbourhood police patrol and wounded two others in an attack on a checkpoint near Falluja, 50 km (30 miles) west of Baghdad, police said. Two of the gunmen were killed when police at the checkpoint returned fire.


An IED exploded targeting a US convoy near al Nosoor square west Baghdad around 8,00 am. No casualties reported.

Around 8,15 am, two mortar shells hit Owereeg industrial area south Baghdad causing no casualties. . .

Two road side bombs (2 bottles filled with explosive materials) exploded near al Qubbanchi mosque in Harthyah neighborhood south Baghdad around 1,00 pm. No casualties reported.

Police found seven anonymous bodies in Baghdad today. . .


Gunmen killed attacked a house in Kalar village 140 kms south of Sulaimaniyah province yesterday night killing a 35 years old mother and her 13 years old daughter. . .


Two policemen were wounded in an IED explosion that targeted their patrol in Muqdadiyah town east of Baquba city today afternoon.

Gunmen destroyed with explosives Mecca al Mukarrama primary school and a house in al Malali village, part of Wajihiyah district east of Baquba city today afternoon. The gunmen burnt also al-Malali mosque.