Today is Martin Luther King Day, a national holiday honoring the influential American civil rights leader who tirelessly campaigned for racial equality. While listening today to King’s most notable public address, his “I Have a Dream” speech, I couldn’t help but think of all of the various forms of discrimination that still take place. Discrimination based on skin color is still rampant in many parts of the country. The repression of women and the denial of their basic human rights is practiced in many areas across the globe. Countless people are taunted and abused due to their sexual orientation. People with disabilities are still often seen as less capable, or the “other,” as is evidenced by a 70% unemployment rate. People of certain faiths exclude, judge or are violent toward others who do not share their beliefs.
However, Dr. King reminds us today that it is our character that truly matters. I have a dream that we will “one day live in a [world] where [people] will not be judged by the color of their skin,” or their gender, their faith, their sexual orientation or by their disabilities, “but by the content of their character.” Let us not be satisfied, let us continue to question the norm and continue in non-violent activism across the globe, until we find our common humanity as human beings with equal potential for greatness.