‘Unarmed truth … will have the final word’

Chris Mesfin
Spare Change News

Let us mark the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr., one of the greatest Americans who ever lived.

The 1960s saw a few great men hard at work in America, trying to end the injustices that infected America. Martin Luther King Jr., Robert F. Kennedy, and John F. Kennedy knew that in order to make the United States of America greater, more powerful and successful, you have to work toward empowering all the people of America, providing us with the tools necessary to make people’s lives prosper.

These great men honestly assessed the race relations in America during their era and concluded that black people in America are not being treated the same as the rest of the people in America. They tried to change this ugly part of American history.

Ultimately these men met assassins’ bullets because of what they believed in. Martin Luther King Jr., John F, Kennedy, and Robert F. Kennedy only wanted to make America a better nation. The racial injustice in America, the laws that were put into place to keep black people from being the best they could be, these men knew had to go, the laws had to change. Clearly segregation was wrong and America could not grow into a powerful, productive, prosperous nation until the racial injustice issues were dealt with properly.

A United States of America free of racial injustice, a nation that provides every single citizen with equality and equal justice, was a goal of Martin Luther King Jr. The civil rights movement met vicious opposition and a lot of people in the United States did not want the movement to succeed. The people who were opposed to the movement tried everything to kill the movement.

King supporters were terrorized, bombed, harassed, and killed. And one of the greatest presidents of the United States was assassinated because he tried to “do the right thing.”

However this was a movement that was not going to die. The movement was determined to succeed. Martin Luther King Jr. and his supporters, people of all races and backgrounds planned massive demonstrations simply asking for a peaceful change. These demonstrations resulted in the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Segregation died and discrimination in publicly owned facilities came to an end.

Martin Luther King Jr. was a great American. America still has a long way to go in the area of justice and equality for all citizens. I appreciate the sacrifices of those who participated in the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s, great people who gave their lives in the struggle for justice and equality.

The life of Martin Luther King Jr. and his work had a great impact on race relations in the United States. The work that King did landed him with awards and recognition. Colleges and universities awarded King with at least 40 honorary degrees. In 1964 King was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. There are more than 700 streets named after King. In 1983, Ronald Reagan signed a bill creating a federal holiday to honor King. The Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change was created in 1968, by Coretta Scott King to advance the legacy of King. The center educates people about King’s life and teachings. Also a memorial was built in Washington D.C. to honor King.

It makes me proud that a great black leader, a nonviolent leader, a peaceful man, is represented alongside of America’s greatest presidents. King led a social movement for the equality of Black Americans and supported human rights for all people: Hispanics, Native Americans, poor whites and anyone else who was not treated fairly.

King tried to show us we should treat each other with love and respect. It is about having a caring attitude showing love for each other and helping one another regardless of whether you are rich or poor, or the color of your skin.

We should not be self-centered, we should be God-centered. If everyone had an attitude of caring and love and helping each other this world would be a better place.

Great men of the 1960s tried to show us that we need to develop a better attitude towards each other, but because we didn’t listen, in 2012 there is so much hate and animosity towards each other. I am ashamed of some people. If we keep going down the road of hate instead of the road of love, it’s just a matter of time before we destroy ourselves.

To quote the great man: “I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. This is why right temporarily defeated is stronger than evil triumphant.”

CHRIS MESFIN is a Spare Change News distribution coordinator.

Chris Mesfin is a vendor and a writer for Spare Change News.

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