Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Today, my local paper (Edit-links to the paper still fail to work) ran a series of soundbites from essays written about MLK by in-state high school youth. And I'm of a mixed opinion. Firstly, it is good that thought is being given to King, but when a dozen different children talk about how great ignoring race is, it seems to me that this is a problem.

Priviliege allows colorblindness, since those who are privileged don't have to spend their whole life acknowledging race. To simply ignore this fact of someone's being is to deny them worth as a human. It denies race so that there isn't guilt associated with race. It's the "If you would stop acting Black, we could stop having racism" line of thinking. This is absurd.

Martin Luther King wanted people to be judged by the content of their character, as opposed to being judged by the color of their skin. He did not want people to ignore the color of their skin, he just wanted to make sure that skin color wasn't the determining factor in how people were judged. Ignoring skin color seems to be making as strong a judgement as discriminating because of skin color.

Really, I think the student's essays would have been a lot more valuble if they had to write about Rev. Dr. MLK Jr without citing (or even using at all) his "I have a Dream" speech.

No comments: