U.S. has a way to go before quality sets inHow do you feel about Martin Luther King Day, celebrated Jan. 21? Some people feel that he said too much, too often and too prejudicially. I have met folks who sincerely believe that.
By: Bernie Hughes, Superior Telegram
How do you feel about Martin Luther King Day, celebrated Jan. 21?
Some people feel that he said too much, too often and too prejudicially. I have met folks who sincerely believe that.
Perhaps those of you who have read Doris Kearns Goodwins’ book, “Team of Rivals,” or have seen the recent movie focused on Lincoln, view King in a more positive light. While Lincoln’s proclamation set the stage for our Constitutional Amendment, it was a long time before the negro was legally free. There are still places and people who don’t fully accept that law.
King would not quietly accept the lack of negro acceptance. He continued speaking out despite very harmful treatment until the day he was killed.
Most of us feel our country was too slow to fully accept black people. Even though our nation accepts the theory of equal treatment of citizens, it doesn’t always happen without laws and enforcement. Too often, racism exists below the surface; it is not always concealed.
We have inequality today in America that bothers me such as race did King.
There is growing inequality of income in the U.S. When the income figures are charted it is almost unbelievable. Worse yet, the spread is constantly expanding. Various types of work in our country receive such markedly different economic rewards. It should be embarrassing for anyone who claims American equality.
Today, some type of work is not recognized appropriately in the distribution of wealth. Workers at both ends of the income scale are paid enormously disparate amounts. One example should remind readers of our immigration problem. Illegal aliens do many of our bottom level jobs for wages Americans won’t accept.
Jobs that require education are treated better, but money skills like those on Wall Street can and do receive astronomical amounts, creating. billionaires on the top end, and people on the bottom groveling for inadequate wages.
The main factor in this unequal treatment is birthright. People born into families of wealth have a distinctly different pathway of life. They not only inherit more generously later in life, but everything preceding is distinctly different: food, clothing, shelter, recreation, education — you name it.
Education was my life work experience where this unequal treatment is all too evident. Toys, travel, discussions and educational materials in the wealthy home is vastly superior for students beginning school. Readiness to learn is startlingly different.
We claim to have equalization support for education and it is partially true. But, if you doubt the inequality, check the amount of dollars per pupil spent between the poor and rich districts. Low-income districts receive some equalization, but in U.S. schools, inequality continues to exist. Those destitute districts receive some help, but with less money they, too often, have beginning inexperienced teachers, and when those teachers gain experience, they move to higher paying, better equipped school districts.
Were King alive today he might be challenging the trafficking of female children for sexual exploitation. Sex slavery should also be stopped.
The notion of equal rights for all is laughable and sad.
Bud Brand, local poet, may have summed it up in one of his poems entitled, Today’s Golden Rule:
“Of wise old sayings
The most precious jewel
Is commonly known as
The Golden Rule,
Which simply avows
“You should always do
Unto all others
As they do to you
It’s a case of “Do
Unto all others
Before they do to you.”