This Martin Luther King Jr. Day, I find myself thinking about how Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. spent his life and sacrificed his well-being raising up those who could not attain the American dream. Dr. King serves as an example that we must rise up when we see injustice; when we see a peoples who are systematically put down so that others may remain above them. I see the parallels in our society today – From torch wielding white supremacists marching in the South to President Trump denigrating African nations the day before Martin Luther King Jr. Day – and I am beside myself wondering what Martin Luther King Jr. would have done. After much contemplation, I came to this simple conclusion: Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. would fight.
The work of Dr. King is not only unfinished, but there is more to be done now than at any point in American history. More and more peoples and communities are rising up and demanding equal treatment under the law and it is our duty to fight alongside them for their well-being. People like DREAMers who had no shot at the American dream when they first came to this country, and years after they were given the opportunity to reach their potential in our great nation, President Trump and the GOP are trying to take it away. Dr. King would fight for them.
200,000 Salvadorans who escaped natural disasters, gang violence, and corruption were given refuge in the United States and have since become integral parts of our lives, culture, and economy. While Trump is trying to send them back to be persecuted and live in squalor, it is our duty to rise up with them and against the policies that would destroy their lives. Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. would fight for them.
When we see white supremacists raise their tiki torches and march proudly in broad daylight, emboldened by their leader in the Oval Office, we rise together to oppose them. We come together as African-Americans, Latinos, Jews, LGBTQ, Women, Native Americans, Asians, Caucasians, and most importantly as Americans to do what Martin Luther King Jr. would do: Fight. Resist. Dream. Empathize. Battle. We must do as he would do and do it with compassion.
So much has been done for civil rights before, during, and since the time of Martin Luther King Jr., yet there is always more work to be done. This Martin Luther King Jr. Day we will do as Dr. King would do and continue the fight to make our nation “a more perfect Union.”