I’ve written a post about Dr. Martin Luther King just about every year since I’ve started this blog. Today is a holiday that reminds us where we’ve been and the progress that still needs to be made. Many people will say that we have solved the problems of racism, sexism, and other forms of discrimination, but we shouldn’t forget that the face of racism has changed. It’s out of the public square (though perhaps Donald Trump is the exception) and is now much more secretive.
Dr. King helped us break through segregation and some forms of institutional racism, but there is still more to be done. It may not always be intentional, but a byproduct of polices and rules that have had unintended results. Affirmative action was one policy to fight this type of racism that may be over turned this year. It’s a program that will hopefully one day be unnecessary, but I believe is still necessary.
A sad fact: African-Americans have a much larger rate of incarceration versus Caucasians in drug cases. This is despite the fact that both groups have about the same level of drug use. I’m sure I’ve talked about this before, probably on this same holiday, so I might sound like a broken record here. I just wanted to say a little something about the issues we still face as a nation. I don’t know what laws or polices specifically that we could enact to improve the situation. However, I feel that many of these problems are cultural, which require education, but also can be solved with diversity. The more we interact with people who are different than us, the easier it is to understand each other. When a person can relate to someone of a different ethnicity, fear and confusion goes away about that group of people. Prejudice ends when we are challenged and are shown the truth. This is perhaps the best thing we can do, encourage diversity in our neighborhoods, schools, and workplaces.