Eliandro Ramirez Chang/ Contributing Writer
When I think of any public figure that has passed away, I wonder how that individual would comment on current events that happen inside of the States, or when they occur around the world, especially if that individual was an activist or was known to speak on certain issues.
One of these individuals was Martin Luther King Jr.
If you didn’t already know, MLK was a true pacifist in the fight for equality for all; while individuals such as Malcolm X and others included violence in their methods, King did not.
King saw a different path, he saw that the way to secure equality could not come from violence.
Equality must be fought for in a peaceful way.
If not, the foundations of peace would have been built through bloodshed and not mutual understanding. The pacifist path MLK chose did not make things easier for him.
Throughout his life, he faced all types of physical and emotional obstacles, culminating with his assassination. April 4, 1968 while standing on balcony at the hotel he was staying at.
It has been a little over 50 years since his murder, things have changed but there is still work to be done.
The Ku Klux Klan still exists and we still have white supremacy marchers with tiki torches. Still I wonders what MLK would have said about Barack Obama when he made history and became the 44th president of the United States in 2009.
King would have certainly campaigned with Barack Obama at least once, as he would have been about 80 years old in 2009. Although I wonder if he would have agreed on all of the policies Obama wanted to implement.
I think MLK would have been very proud and supportive of Obama’s efforts, especially Obamacare.
A man who pushed equality for all would seem like someone who would want something like Obamacare put into practice.
Though maybe King wouldn’t have agreed with the kill order Obama gave in regards to Osama Bin Laden, nor the drone strikes. I only say this because of King’s pacifist nature.
Then again, perhaps the tragedy of 9/11 would have been to much, maybe even for a pacifist such as King. It’s hard to say what that answer could be.
I only spoke on a few of Obama’s key political stances but the opinion of any just civil rights leader or activist is always important to take into consideration.
The more perspectives one has, the more equipped one is to figure a solution to a problem, that problem in this case is racial discrimination.
So beyond that, why is any of this important? Why would King’s history and perspective on presidents or otherwise still be important?
The answer is the same I would give to anyone who questions the validity of Black History Month. Racism still exists.
The beauty of King’s marches and activism is that he preached for equality of all peoples, not just the black community. King was a martyr for all of us, no matter our creed or background, he saw every individual as part of one family. The human family. That is why he’s held to such a high pedestal in this writer’s eye.
Writing as a Cuban-Chinese American, his movement ultimately opened doors for me and all minorities.
And because the pillars of racism and discrimination are still an unfortunate part of life, the perspectives of individuals such as King and the existence of dedicated heritage months must remain.
Speaking specifically on heritage months, I believe that allocating one month to a specific heritage is the best we can do at this point in human history.
We have 12 months in a year, if we begin to extend one heritage over another the sense of equality is lost.
The dedicated months should not be extended if one heritage has it “worse” than another.
This shouldn’t be a competition of “who suffered the most.” We are all people; we all bleed, we all have fears, we all go through struggles.
To extend or remove any heritage month would be to make a distinction, to brandish the idea that some people’s struggles are worth more or less than another’s.
That takes away from the “human family” ideal and I don’t think that is what the message King was trying to convey, or at least I think so. While racism and discrimination continue to exist, months and memories must remain.
To remind people of the struggles that came before, so we can learn from our predecessors’ mistakes and further appreciate the future all of us will be able to enjoy.
The opinions presented within this page do not represent the views of Panther Press Editorial Board. These views are separate from editorials and reflect individual perspectives of contributing writers and/or members of the University community.
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