Ok…So I am just going to say it. I have no idea what it is like to be persecuted, discriminated against, to be a victim of a hate crime, etc. I am a middle class, straight, protestant, white girl. There are certainly people out there that don’t like me. But I can say with certainty that it wasn’t because of the way I look or who I love. So how does a member of the majority recognize Martin Luther King Day? Well, I generally do nothing. Or maybe I will post a MLK quote as my facebook status. Is there anything wrong with that? No. Not necessarily. I mean, Martin Luther King has said some amazing things…things that we should all be reminded of…probably more than once a year. Here are some of my favorites:
“In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”
“Like an unchecked cancer, hate corrodes the personality and eats away its vital unity. Hate destroys a man’s sense of values and his objectivity. It causes him to describe the beautiful as ugly and the ugly as beautiful and to confuse the true with the false and the false with true.”
“Man must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression and retaliation. The foundation of such a method is love.”
“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”
“Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars…Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”
“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
But back to it….my thoughts on Martin Luther King Day have always been fleeting. Discrimination, segregation, discrimination, hate crimes are a thing of the past right? I am so dumb.
I looked at my little girl today. My little bi-racial baby. My adorable, sweet, precious daughter. And then it hit me. If it weren’t for the civil rights movement, my little girl would be facing a whole different life than the life she has in front of her today. I cannot wait to teach my little girl about these amazing people. People who literally gave their lives in order for Madison to not be considered a second class citizen.
It is easy to sit and think that we are now all equal, that the fight is over. I desperately wish that was the case.
Within even just my closest friends, I have several who face persecution on a daily basis. Friends who cannot be certain that they won’t face hate when they hold hands with or kiss the person that they love. Just because they happen to love someone of the same sex. Being gay is not a statement of one’s character just as being black is not a statement of one’s character. The friends that I am thinking of at the moment have some of the biggest hearts of anyone. They have devoted their lives to making the lives of people with autism better, they have given me a place to live when I was without, they have taken me to the hospital and stayed with me when I thought I was losing Madi. I am incredibly blessed to know these people and the fact that some people hate them just because of who they love literally makes me sick.
And the fact that people hate them in the name of religion makes me want to vomit. I read another blog recently that I could not possibly agree with more. The author makes the point that all of the major religions hold as a major commandment to love. LOVE not hate. For example, Jesus hung out with drunks, prostitutes, etc. And guess what? He didn’t hate any of them. So, basically….shame on you for using religion to spread hate. That is straight up not ok.
I pray that Madison will be the kind of person who boldly stands up against wrong. Who stands up for herself. Who declares that she is as worthy as anyone else. Who stands up for others who are being persecuted and discriminated against. Who stands up for those who can’t stand up for themselves. Who loves people for who they are. For their character and not because of what they look like or who THEY love. Who loves people despite of their disabilities, despite their flaws. Because, for crying out loud, Martin Luther King’s dream has not yet come true.
And with that, I leave you with some of Dr. King’s most famous words…
“Now, I say to you today my friends, even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream. I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed:- “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”