Let’s Talk Religion: We need another King-like figure

Let’s Talk Religion: We need another King-like figure
January 23
08:39 2020

The nation celebrated Martin Luther King Jr. Day this past Monday and it led me to think about some things. I thought about how hard the African American community came together for a common cause and it directly affected change across the nation.

Dr. King was assassinated in 1968, but while he was alive, he inspired millions of people to fight the injustices done to minorities in America. Through his selfless efforts and words, along with countless others, African Americans today are enjoying the freedoms they fought for.

The tremendous strides we made during the Civil Rights era has allowed America to take a step forward toward equality for all in the country. Although we have a very long way to go, King is one of the big reasons we have made it to this point.

In 2020, I am aware that African Americans have excelled in many arenas from sports and politics to business. But for some reason, I still feel there is more to be achieved. As I thought about what our biggest issue was, I concluded that Black America has become complacent.

When we were in the Civil Rights era, African Americans had a cause and something to fight for. Now that we have this veiled sense of equality, many black people have become comfortable with their place in this country, which has left the race in a stagnant position. 

I see that since we have had a black president, black college presidents, black fortune 500 CEOs, and countless black millionaires, many black people think “we have made it,” so to speak, and that couldn’t be further from the truth. That comfort level has left many to believe that we don’t have anything to fight for, but we definitely do.

Recently, there has been a push against police brutality with the ruthless killing of unarmed black men and women, but why should that be our only focus? There are so many issues plaguing the African American community; there needs to be an organized plan of attack to address the major ones.

That’s why I feel the African American community needs another symbolic figure like King, someone who can rally the masses for a common goal, which hasn’t been done since the Civil Rights era. I think as a people, we should know that now is a great time to push forward, but maybe there needs to be someone to spark that flame.

Slavery, Jim Crow and now mass incarceration have done a great job at separating the African American race on several fronts. Black people have been separated by skin tone, class, economic background and even intelligence level for generations and those things, among others, continue to tear us apart. The Willie Lynch Letter from the 18th century, describing how to control slaves, is still relevant three centuries later.

What baffles me the most is when other demographics of people come to this country, they work together to uplift their people, so everyone has a chance at success. Why have black people been the only ones to still live by this ‘crabs in a barrel’ mentality? If we can somehow harness that negative into something positive, the results would be scary, because the collective power of the African American community focused on a common goal would be a phenomenal thing to witness.

I am not saying we need another King to deliver speeches across the nation, but only that we have the most access to the biggest opportunities than ever before, so now is the perfect time to have someone step into that role. Black people influence every aspect of this country from film, music, culture, clothing and even speech, so why not come together and take advantage of the opportunities that are out there?

Everyone knows that any community is stronger together than they are apart, so now is the time for the black community to make King’s dream really come true. 

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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