In case you’ve been living under a rock for the past several years, today is a day of historic importance in the suffrage of black rights in the US: Martin Luther King Day. This day marks the celebration and memory of a man who had a dream, and sought to make it a reality. Martin Luther King Jr. advocated for equality within the US, aiming to bring together a nation divided by colour, and is known the world over for the advances he helped to create in not only the awareness of inequality, but in finding solutions.
Today, he would have been disappointed, but unsurprised, that all the work he did was seemingly for naught.
At the Martin Luther King Jr. park in Florida, in a horrific example of human depravity, eight people were shot whilst paying their respects to King. All the more horrible due to the fact that two of the victims were children, barely into their teens. All victims, of course, were African-American, and that says so much for how far America has come regarding their awareness of basic human rights.
As a non-American, I have adopted the habit of looking at these events in a way that removes them from the reality in which I live. There is so much violence in the media, especially in depictions of America and American culture, that the idea of something like this happening is normalised to the point of apathy.
But it isn’t normal, not in 2017. Not after everything King, Parks, and so many others did to promote civil rights and equality.
There have been many, many events within the last year alone –in the US and elsewhere- that should have opened up the floor to discussing the issues still dividing the US –and, again, elsewhere. And yes, while some of the issues are discussed, they are not discussed loud enough; they are hushed whispers behind closed doors, shouting in the streets that may as well have been shouted into the void. The people with influence do not care, and the people that do care have no influence. This is not unusual, and has been the cause for one too many revolutions for any sane person to consider okay. But maybe that’s what the nation –and the world- needs. Maybe that’s what the people are calling for, when they hear of an attack like this and think to themselves ‘this must end’.
And, with the Trump presidency looming, it looks more and more likely that the world will get what it wants; no sane human would willingly follow a leader like him with blind faith.
Viva la revolucion!