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Achieving MLK’s dream of equality requires change

For the first time in the history of the National Football League, the coaches at the Super Bowl will be African-American. Lovie Smith, head coach of the Chicago Bears, had the honor first but was joined a few hours later by his friend and head coach of the Indianapolis Colts, Tony Dungy. It’s taken 41 years of NFL play for this to occur.
It’s a good thing we went through all that equal rights movement back in the ’60s. Otherwise, these two men, as well as many of their players, might have been denied the right to stay in the Florida hotel of their choice along with their white players because of the color of their skin.
But have we really come that far since Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his famous speech promoting freedom back in August 1963? Could it be he was slain in vain or did his death help keep the dream alive that one day all people would be treated the same because we are all created equal.
Isn’t that the creed on which this nation was founded?
Ask the young man I know who attends an out-of-county high school who had discriminatory remarks placed on his school locker last fall. He knows King’s passion must be carried on by others.
Or talk to the Harrison County girl who had an adult make a racial slur to her after a recent ball game. Who’s watching to protect her from such hatred?
Unfortunately, there are undoubtedly countless other injustices, ranging from subtle to unthinkable, every day against persons who are different from the attacker, whether that person uses words or actions as their weapon of choice.
Oh, yes, there’s still work to be done.
Leadership Harrison County ‘ a nonprofit organization that offers participants a chance to collaborate on current and future issues ‘ devotes one of its nine day-long sessions to diversity. Last Wednesday was that particular class, held at the Leora Brown School in Corydon. Maxine Brown, who spearheaded the renovation of the one-room schoolhouse where her aunt used to teach, came to the class to shed some insight on African-Americans in Corydon.
As part of that class, participants are asked to consider other diversities that could cause discrimination, such as religion or where they were born and reared.
One exercise even divides the class by their eye color.
Can you fathom being treated differently just because you have, say, green eyes and are in the minority of a world filled with brown-eyed and blue-eyed people?
So why should our skin color make any difference?
Apparently it still does, at least to some people.
We all have a responsibility to do what we can to stop injustices to our fellow brothers and sisters.
Earlier this month, Corydon held its 21st annual Martin Luther King Jr. celebration. Although the head count was good, the Harrison Countians in attendance were greatly outnumbered, especially compared to MLK services in past years.
The Rev. Dr. Patricia Efiom spoke about how she would not allow her daughter to go to a certain Indiana city because of that city’s historical ties to the Ku Klux Klan. She preached the importance of stamping out racism.
Efiom, the former pastor of the St. Paul AME Church in Corydon, also asked how Hispanics are being treated in Harrison County.
Jewel Brown, one of the long-time organizers of the MLK service here, knows the importance of bringing together people who are different. I’m glad she and the others who work with her make this happen.
We all must march onward to continue the passionate work of King to help achieve true equality.
What are you doing to help eliminate racism?