The first thing I hear when I walk into a restaurant is “welcome” rather than “this is the white’s only side”. I can walk down the street with people of different races regardless of the color of my skin. Even with these accomplishments, the question still arises: 47 years after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., has his dream come alive?
Taking a glimpse at society today, it is easy to see that King’s death was not in vain. Public places are now open to anyone of all races and, most importantly, schools have become a place where White and Black children can attend and receive equal education.
North Springs is a prime example of the changes that King and other civil rights activists brought about. Students of different races and ethnic backgrounds can call themselves a Spartan freely and openly. In the halls of North Springs, there are Black, White, Hispanic, Asian, European students and teachers.
Each person walking these halls can ignore the obstacles that King and others had to overcome when simply walking down the street. Students and teachers have the opportunity to be judged by who they are rather than what they look like. All in all, North Springs is a symbol of the dream King and others fought so hard to achieve.
But the question still remains, has the dream come alive?
At North Springs, we have a blend of people from all walks of life. But what happens on the outside? On the outside, things happen everyday that undermine King’s dream.
Sophomore Jake Goldman gives his opinion about how close we are to fully achieving King’s dream. “I don’t know [about King’s dream having come alive]. I would hope it’s a step forward but you can never be sure,” says Goldman. He speaks on the things that prevent King’s dream from actually coming true. “There’s the obvious ones like the KKK and racial groups and racial stereotypes… that have had a big effect on that dream.”
Racism still exists in the world, and although we are not always exposed to it, there are people who experience it more often than not. For them, King’s dream is far from achieved.
On a smaller scale, if not everyone is exposed to racism, judgement from prejudice continues, and for now, there is no way to tell if it will ever lessen or end.
Segregation, desegregation, racism, equality, prejudicism, and a hope for a better tomorrow are things King had to overcome and things he fought for. These are things that cannot be covered up by a handshake from two people of different races and things that cannot change without a change in mindset.
Take the time to remember what America once was and what it has become. Take the time to appreciate the things that you have because of the blood shed by those over 50 years ago. Whether you are Black or White, take the time to think about the things that you have because of the sacrifices of people like King.
Mr. Landreau, North Springs’ orchestra teacher, mentions that even his elementary school daughter knows the importance of Martin Luther King and his sacrifices. Little Alexandra Landreau says, “He was a very important man who helped changed the rules and laws that helped make things equal and fair for everyone.”
Well said Alexandra. Well said.