Martin Luther King Day: Where are We Now?


Morgan Carpenter, Staff Writer

Following a year of controversial politics and social justice outbreaks, Martin Luther King Jr. day is the ideal way to renew the spirit of equality in the new year.

While the common summation of 2016 as the worst year in history is undoubtedly extreme, it’s impossible to ignore the seemingly increased atrocities of the last year. MLK Jr. day presents itself as an opportunity to sensitize the nation to the needs of those directly affected by prejudice.

Martin Luther King Jr. once envisioned a nation united not despite of its diversity, but because of it. Now, some fifty years later in the midst of a persistent struggle against injustice, we are faced with a choice.

At this crossroads, we can either upkeep King’s Dream and continue to make great strides in the fields of equality, or we can turn our backs on the rampant spreading of ignorance and racism.

We must actively decide to do better. To pursue equality without hesitation. To be relentless in our quest to quell outbursts of cruelty.

Beyond that, we must listen.

For those in positions of privilege, relatively free of social oppression, you must not shout above the aggrieved. But rather, must step aside and act as amplifiers for their voices. You cannot know their needs first hand, but you can be empathetic and ensure their voice is heard.

For those facing oppression, injustice, fear, you must be brave – be patient. Do not lose faith in humanity because you have been made to feel small.

This year, 49 years after his assassination, do not be asleep at the wheel. Take a moment -a day- to acknowledge the road behind.

The road paved by Dr. King and the work of his followers, the road mottled with the potholes of brutality, painted with the lines of progress.

Then, look ahead. Take in the vast expanse of asphalt in front of you, and decide.