Monday, April 4, 2011

Did They Die in Vain?

Forty-three years ago today, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in Memphis, TN. His legacy of fighting for equality and civil rights lives on to this day. He dreamed of a better day for his people and for all people. Some would argue that this has happened, in that we cannot legally be discriminated against based on color, nationality, and gender. Some go as far as to say the fact that President Obama is in office the the culmination of Dr. King's dream. I am not one of those with rose-colored glasses. I know that the dream has not been fully realized, as racial profiling, economic inequality and the "glass ceiling" that minorities face in business is still very real.

But we must take a look inward to see what we have done to either further his dream or hinder it. Have we as a people lost focus of what's truly important? Does equality and the chance to achieve the "American dream" hold as much weight as the latest dance or what our favorite reality TV stars are doing? Do we as a people still have the sense of unity and community that we once had? When we remember the legacy of men like Dr. King, Malcolm X, Medgar Evers, James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, Michael Schwerner, Rosa Parks and countless others--known and unknown--it is not enough to say "thank you." We must show that we are thankful for their sacrifices by living up to our potential, continuing the fight for equality and refocusing on the things that matter most. Every day that we don't, we are saying that they died in vain.

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