Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

posted on: January 16, 2007

I debated whether to include this in my blog - it's been written and waiting as a draft for a while. I try to stay away from politically polarzing subjects, but I think there's a message here that spans political, religious, and philosophical ranks.

I have to admit that I have mixed feelings about the Martin Luther King, Jr holiday, mainly because I feel that it is being abused and taken for granted. I think kids should be IN school, dedicating the day to understanding the Civil Rights Movement and the Peace Demonstrations led by Martin Luther King, Jr. To teach children that there is a way to fight back against inhumanity without raising fists, without loading guns, and that it's important to take a stand against injustice and discrimination. I think that rather than dedicating this day to one person, it should be dedicated to the Civil Rights of all people, which is what MLK, Jr. stood for.

Though the world that MLK, Jr. lived in was primarily concerned with Black & White - we fail to recognize what the fight was REALLY about. The problem was much bigger than race. The problem was poverty, and that wealth and opportunity were not balanced between the members of society. Blacks were poor because they weren't given opportunities, because they were ignored and cast aside as second-class citizens of our society. This discrimination still exsists, but it is no longer reserved for people who have dark skin. If you're poor- you cannot feed your children healthy foods, you cannot pay your bills or afford heat, you cannot provide basic healthcare for your family, and you cannot afford daycare to watch your children while you work 3 jobs just to clothe your family.

POVERTY is the biggest injustice we face in the entire WORLD. Impoverished people have long been the SLAVES of society, no matter what their heritage. Terrorism is not the act of any particular religion, it is the act of people who have nothing left to live for. People for whom dying is more rewarding than living. People who want basic freedoms and to feel as though their life has purpose. Because they have been cast aside by society, they seek to destroy the very society which has neglected them and failed to provide them with basic civil liberties.

I believe that terrorism is not just something that comes from outside of our society, it exists right here in the form of rapists, theives, serial killers, gangs, fatal disease and epidemics. Poverty and disease are what we should be fighting against because they are the biggest threats to a productive society. A society with an imbalance of power and wealth will always be at war with itself. A nation which relies on the poverty of other nations in order to sustain itself will always be at war with the rest of the world. Right now we are taking out huge debts with foreign countries in order to sustain our comfortable way of living. These resources are being taken for granted with no contigency plan in sight. If we don't start fighting the larger problems of poverty and disease that silently kill our society, we will ultimately end up destoring the very freedoms we crusade for in the rest of the world.

If you'd like to find out how you can help, here are a few organization dedicated to solving these problems...
Thirst Relief International - Providing Safe and Clean Drinking Water
Grameen Foundation - Using Microfinance to Defeat Global Poverty
Doctors without Borders - Providing quality Medical Aid across the World
Gates Foundation - Innovations in Health and Learning for the Global Community
Room to Read - Creating Educational Infrastructure across the World

The worst thing you can do is to not do anything at all.

1 comments, to add [click here]:

  1. Excellently put, Anne. I'm not one to be polarized in my blog very often either and I admire you taking a chance. Good video too... I hadn't seen that one.


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