it’s mlk jr. day & it does not entitle you.

For personal reasons, I decided to put this in a separate post. Plus, I needed the opportunity to fully articulate my disappoint in individuals that are in such a mindset. I did not know that this “entitlement” existed and it disgust me.

My group of friends are eclectic. Don’t put labels on people and just live life – it will make life so much more fulfilling. That’s been my motto, especially growing up in Farmers Branch, TX. I couldn’t just put myself in one box and there was no way at a young age that I could only be friends with all the African-American kids. If that was the case, my friends would be scarce and I probably wouldn’t be very happy with my life. In addition to those reasons, my parents didn’t raise me in that way. My dad raised me to understand that we are all human and bleed the same color. In my eyes, that’s what really mattered.

Tough times did come and go, because I always felt different. There were times when I really couldn’t find my niche. Luckily, I got over that. I may talk a little proper, hang out with a variety of individuals of a number of different races and ethnicities, and married a handsomely nice Caucasian man who had never thought of dating an African-American girl in his life – this is living.

The reason why I am making this post is because one of my friends (confided in me on diarrhea night) is dealing with a situation at work with a 42 year old African-American woman (for the blog’s sake, we’ll call her Susan). My friend is Caucasian, 26 years old, and the head office administrative assistant (we’ll refer to my friend as Caroline). Caroline oversees all the office admins and she started out where Susan is currently at. Basically, Caroline has worked her tail off to get where she is. She’s kind, fair, and honestly doesn’t have a racist bone in her body. This isn’t coming out just because she’s my friend. I know her and her family. I’ve spent numerous times at her home, at family events, and just random nights of having dinner and drinks. She was in my wedding and my parents frequently ask how she is doing. She’s a good person, but even good people can be placed in awkward and unfair situations because of ignorance.

Susan requested Monday, January 21 off – after informing Caroline that she hadn’t realized that they did not have this day off. Caroline politely asked whether she was going to be out of town or something of the sorts. Reason why, Caroline already has another administrative assistant out, making them short on admins and needing as much help with the additional role they would have to cover. Susan told Caroline, “It’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day.”

Pause. Take it in. Think about it.

Yes, you read that right. She requested the day off because it’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

The admin who requested the day off is Caucasian. Word on the street is that Susan questioned why this admin was allowed to take that day off.

MLK Day is not just for African-Americans. It’s bigger  than that.

America will always remember the work of Martin Luther King, Jr. Each year, on the third Monday in January, we celebrate his birthday. This is the first national holiday to honor an individual black American. The legacy of Dr. King lives in each of us and we are responsible to promote, teach and live the American Dream. (Courtesy of Raleigh-Walker King Celebration Website)

We ‘ve come together and made it a national day of service. They state it best on their website:

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: ‘What are you doing for others?'”

Martin Luther King Jr. didn’t specify African-Americans, Hispanics, Caucasians, Asians – he said others. What are you doing for your neighbor, your friend, the community you live in?

We cannot afford to go back. We cannot afford to wallow in this ignorant state. It upsets me that an individual can be as unknowledgeable about the true meaning of the purpose and drive that Martin Luther King Jr. had for the civil rights movement. He was for all people.

It’s 2013 – the world has changed and our melting pot is grander than ever. Leave the ignorance at home.  Be a force in making a difference. Embrace what life has to offer with an open heart, mind, and soul.

By all means, please feel free to leave me a comment telling me I’m right, wrong, living in a dream world, or whatever you think. For today, I leave you with this….

An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.

-Martin Luther King Jr.

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  • Reply Chris Carter

    WOW!! What a powerful and thought provoking post!!! I love this…sharing it for all to see. Beautifully said. Visiting from SITS!!!

    January 26, 2013 at 10:31 am
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