This archived article was written by: John Keetch
This past week we celebrated the birth of a great American, Dr. Martin Luther King. He has been an inspiration to millions of both sexes and all races. It was he who led the great civil rights movements of the sixties, and brought about much of the equality that we enjoy in this world today. Without the great Dr. King, I don’t know what the world would be like, but I do know that I would not want to be a part of it.
However, the battle that Dr. King fought so long ago is still raging in the hearts of men today. It is not over. The battlefields may be different, the groups on different sides, but it is the same battle. There are many special interest groups in this world, fighting for the rights of Hispanics, gays and lesbians, and equal treatment of men and women. I tip my hat to them.
However, something that gets lost in the battles of these groups is the true meaning and message behind the great Dr. King’s civil rights movement. It is not a battle of race, or of gender, nor a battle of sexual preference. It is the ongoing battle for what Dr. King referred to as “the beautiful symphony of brotherhood;” A battle that is summed up in the belief that all men are created equal, that we have unalienable rights such as life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
The pursuit of happiness has almost become a joke. When a man who is qualified for a job, has put in the study and worked so that he can provide for a family, is passed over for a job because he is white, he is being denied that right. When a wrestler, who has dreamed of wrestling for Brigham Young University or any number of other schools can’t realize that dream because the wrestling program is cut, thanks to Title IX compliance laws, he is being oppressed.
I applied to Harvard University along with a friend. We had identical GPAs, similar courses of study through high school, but his SAT score blew mine out of the water by almost 200 points. I was shocked when I received a letter of acceptance and appalled when I found out that this friend had not. Ladies and gentlemen, this must stop.
This battle will not end until all people are given an equal chance, regardless of race, gender, religion or sexual preference. If that is to happen, we must all step up, swallow our pride and become brothers and sisters.
I do not want to sound racist, because I am not. I know the feelings of oppression. I grew up in suburban white Utah as the only Hispanic in my elementary school or junior high. I know the feelings of hate that can be held toward a man because his skin is a little darker. I have been insulted, spit upon and even stabbed … all because my father fell in love with a Latin woman. I know oppression. This is why I say it must end. It must end against all races, all religions, and all groups of people.
We must continue the fight that the great Dr. King fought so long ago. His fight was not to give the black people power, or to bring the white man down. It was a fight for brotherhood, for peace among the different sections. In the words of the famous “I have a dream” address:
“When we let freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, ‘Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty,