Thursday, December 29, 2011

By the content of their character

When Martin Luther King Jr. said, "I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character," it was a pivotal moment in history--or should've been. The greatness of that one line transcends time, and yet millions of Americans cannot discard the racial divide that has plagued us for so long.

There are groups such as the Black Caucus, and other groups associated with Black Americans. There are Latino groups, such as La Raza. There are many, many different groups all aligned with one race or another. Why? Why do we have to keep dividing each other by the color of our skin instead of only judging each other by the way we act and the things we say?

This isn't a game. This isn't like elementary school when the teacher asked the girls to line up along one wall, and the boys to line up against the other, opposite wall. Why do we have to keep acting the child, instead of the grownup? 

Those searching for would-be terrorists are asked not to profile, because profiling sometimes puts more emphasis on one set of physical characteristics (skin color) than another.  Yet many of those same people who ask for profiling to be abandoned as a tactic for discovering terrorists, huddle in groups of their own racial type, and fail to meld into society, not as a latino, arab, asian, or black, but as an American. E pluribus unum--from one many. Skin color should only be used as a description of what a person looks like for either solving crimes, or helping to find someone who is lost.

The fact is, King's dream may be fading as those who most prospered by it are forgetting its importance. If racial divisiveness continues, we can never be a united nation. Can we just forget about the color of our skin and think of each other as the human race instead?

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