Archived Story

Treat each other as equals

Published 3:54pm Monday, January 16, 2012

Monday morning I had the privilege of attending the 23rd Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration and parade.

In a few short hours, I witnessed hundreds of people gathered together under a common banner of freedom to celebrate the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his fight for equality.

Several times during the program I was almost brought to tears by the thought that our nation still struggles with a racial divide.

Has it really been over 40 years since King and his followers fought for liberty and justice for all?

It’s hard to believe it’s been that long because I still see how much we all stick to our “kind” and only associate with those whom we feel are worthy to be in our presence.

Most of us don’t say it out loud, but we all know it’s true. We struggle to think of everyone as our equal.

Hearing the words of Dr. King, from his “I have a dream” speech to several other of his statements quoted by guest speakers, I was reminded that we really do need to keep the dream of equality alive, and more than that, make it a reality.

The keynote speaker, Evangelist Marilyn Benson, said some powerful words when she said, “America needs a heart change.”

And I agree because unless we as individuals can change our hearts, we will not truly see equality for our nation.

As Benson quoted from Luke chapter 6 of the Bible, “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.”

Here Jesus was speaking to a crowd of people and basically said if a person has good in his heart, they will bring good to this earth, but if they have evil in their heart, they will bring evil.

So my question is, what’s in your heart? How do you treat people?

As Benson said, “Do you judge people because they may look at little bit different than you do? Do you judge people because they have a different accent than you do? Do you judge people because the texture of your hair may be different than yours?”

Benson said Dr. King once said “desegregation will break down the legal barriers and bring (people) together physically, but something must touch the hearts and souls of men and women so that they will come together spiritually because it’s natural, and all the more because it’s the right thing to do.”

And Dr. King is right; our hearts must change to love ALL of our brothers and sisters, blacks, whites, Hispanics and Asians, because it really is the right thing to do.

Jessica Hargett is a staff writer for The Outlook.

  • QueenV

    I agree with your opinion in this article 100%. I have been attending the MLK celebration since my mother originated the idea of the celebration 21 years ago. There use to be more participation from members of other races at the program. Over the years after many racial comments against white people and what happened then has deterred them for being present.I understand why they would not want to attend because it is an awkward situation(even I am uncomfortable) because black people in Alexander City keep themselves segregated and there are still some white people that don’t understand why I greet them when I pass them in the store. We all need to do better black and white to move on and catch up with this century. I love everybody!!!