Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Thank You Dr. King

Martin Luther King Jr.'s Letter from Birmingham Jail is just as relevant today as it was in 1963. We live in a world where class, race and gender discrimination are still alive and well. Although it is better than 1963, the fact that people are still discriminated against today with all of the knowledge that is out there is truly sad. Human is human no matter how you see or spell it. Color or gender should have nothing to do with how you are treated or what opportunities are available to you.

I feel this letter would work as a blog entry today because it reminds us that even though we have traveled far, and we have more rights than in the past, the deep seated issues of racism, classism and gender discrimination still are prevalent. It is important for those who have never been touched by the isms to understand that even though they may not ever experience what is like to not have rights, others experience this everyday.

One of the most prevalent examples of inequality and discrimination that comes to mind is Proposition 8. When Prop 8 was passed it took away the right of gay and lesbian American citizens to marry the person that they love. This proposition, in my opinion, is unfair and discriminates against this community of Americans. Getting married is a personal right and one that should not be taken away because some people feel that homosexuality is wrong. Heterosexuality and homosexuality are words that were created by humans, one is not right and the other wrong. The way I see love is love, and every American should have the right to marry. I had a friend recently tell me that gay marriage makes a mockery of my marriage and I was taken aback by this statement. My marriage is based in love and so is theirs, what gives any of us the right to say that they are wrong.

As a parent I try and instill in my son the beliefs that we are all equal, and to teach him to see human rather than black, white, yellow, red, gay, or straight. If we can teach our kids to see past the social constructs of discrimination we may just create a country that we will be proud to call home.

In the meantime, we should all listen to the lessons and knowledge that Dr. King shares in his Letter from Birmingham Jail and try to see that now is the time to rid this world of discrimination and prejudice. We need to quit being the silent majority and stand up for those whose voices have been lost to this battle. Because as Dr. King states, "injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Until all Americans have the same right, privileges and opportunities as those in power we will not see justice served.

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