January 21, 2019

Martin Luther King JR., The Wall & What It Means Today [VIDEO]

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Martin Luther King JR., The Wall & What It Means Today [VIDEO]
(Photo Credit: ullstein bild/Getty Images)

“A symbol of the divisions of men on the face of the earth. For here on either side of the wall are God’s children and no man-made barrier can obliterate that fact.

Regardless of the barriers of race, creed, ideology, or nationality, there is an inescapable destiny, which binds us together. There is a common humanity which makes us sensitive to the sufferings of one another.” – Martin Luther King JR.

 

In 1964, Martin Luther King traveled to Germany and got a first hand glimpse of the Berlin Wall. The barrier was constructed in 1961, in between East and West Berlin in hopes of permanently separating two ideologies. King’s first thoughts were of disappointment.

 

“It symbolizes the divisions of mankind,” he said. When asked if he had ever seen anything as disastrous as the wall, he continued, “not really. Certainly there’s divisions that continue to exist, but when it’s symbolized with an actual wall it becomes very depressing.”

 

These words hold true today, as the current President of the United States Donald Trump essentially holds the government, and the lives of over 800,000 people hostage in hopes he can provide funding for a wall along the Mexican border that he had promised during his campaign. As the government shutdown continues, government assistance programs will continue to shut down, security around the nation will be hurt, and thousands of workers who have been shut out of their jobs will have to look for new homes and find ways to feed their families.

 

This isn’t the America Martin Luther King JR. had dreamed for, over a year before that visit to the Berlin Wall. It was August 28, 1963, where 200,000 to 300,000 Americans marched in Washington D.C. to fight for civil and economic rights in this country.

 

“I say to you today, my friends, so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream. I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”

 

The fight continues today in a time that has been as openly divided as we have witnessed in over 40 years. A president who had not won the popular vote is making decisions based on a small population of voters who agree and celebrate the policies and symbols of hate that once held prevalent as Dr. King gave his famous speech.

 

Over the weekend, a group of teens from Kentucky surrounded, and mocked Nathan Phillips, a Vietnam veteran and Native American during the inaugural Indigenous Peoples March in Washington D.C. One teen was seen trying to intimidate Phillips as he stared directly in his face as the veteran chanted with his drum. Those teens, many wearing MAGA hats all chanting “build a wall.” Sadly proving King’s words of an actual wall becoming a symbol of hate, bigotry, ignorance, and racism.

 

We must not look at the years after Barack Obama’s tenure as president as a failure. Instead, we should all look at ourselves in the mirror, and question how we can help one another. Despite ideology, we must find ways to find common ground one another, and not spew hate, but instead listen to one another.

 

“Regardless of the barriers of race, creed, ideology, or nationality, there is an inescapable destiny which binds us together,” King said during his speech in Berlin in 1964. This “common humanity should make us sensitive to the sufferings of one another.”

 

Today, as we all post our favorite and most inspirational quotes from the great Martin Luther King, sit back and think how you can do your part to bring more positivity, and good to the people around you.

 

Those teenagers in Washington D.C. this past weekend should not be an example of what to expect in the next leaders of America. Instead we should remember the words of Martin Luther King’s granddaughter Yolanda Renee King who channeled the leader in a speech, and thousands of kids who let their voices be heard during the March Of Our Lives demonstration last year.

 

“My grandfather had a dream that his four little children will not be judged by the color of the skin, but the content of their character,” she began. “I have a dream that enough is enough.”

 

 

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