I don't know why but I've always been drawn to the stories of the civil rights movement. I can't hear Dr. King's speeches without choking up. I like to see the good in people and so when I hear stories about people hating other people it breaks my heart. I realize that ignorance plays a huge part in racism but I will never be able to understand the hatred. Why waste so much of your time putting people down, keeping people down, hurting people who ask nothing from you but acceptance.
Living in California almost forty years after the March on Washington I feel like I should be more optimistic about things than I am. I mean, things are so much better. Forty years ago in parts of our country people got killed for using the wrong restroom. People got killed for trying to check out a library book. People got killed for no other reason then their skin was the 'wrong' color. That doesn't happen as much anymore but we are still not living in an equal society. Laws may have changed but it takes a while to change the hearts and the heads of society. I forget sometimes about the capacity for hate in this nation, in the world. I'm lucky enough not to experience it first hand very much but sometimes I think about stories I've heard and for a second I can't breathe. I feel completely helpless.
And then I think about Dr. King and I take a deep breath. Because I do believe in the good in people. Much more than the bad.
Happy Birthday, Dr. King.