Today we remember Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his work toward equality for all. Ryan and I stayed up late to watch “King” on the History Channel last night, and what I saw made me terribly sad, angry and mortified.
Is it possible to be ashamed and proud of something at the same time? Because that’s how I feel about my state. I am so ashamed of the bombings and fire-hosings and beatings and cruelty that happened during the struggle for civil rights. To see people toss food on someone sitting at lunch color just because they were different was disgusting. To see peaceful marchers attacked because they weren’t white made my stomach churn. I can’t wrap my head around hatred because of skin color.
Yet, I still have a sense of pride that this is where the movement started, with one woman standing her ground and refusing to give up her seat. With thousands standing up to the racism and inhumanity. And with television cameras capturing it all for the world to see.
With President-elect Barack Obama’s inauguration just one day away, America has come a long way and many people have sacrificed their time, their jobs, their reputations, even their lives to get us here.
I hope we take advantage of this new chapter and continue to make the United States of America a more perfect union, where our children can be anything they want to be if they try hard enough, where they are not judged by their skin color, where we live by this Declaration:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
Visit the King Center site to hear what it’s all about.