MLK Day’s Importance

From the Black Lives Matter movement to the unfortunate amount of violence and loss experienced by the African American community in 2015, Martin Luther King Jr.’s words ring true to this day.

Joseph Rivas, Columnist

With 2015 behind us, it’s hard to ignore the innocent blood spilt and the rising racial tensions particularly involving the African American community and the numerous transgressions against them we saw last year. Jan. 18 was Martin Luther King Jr. Day and as one could imagine, it was very emotionally charged. With all the recent events, the messages and words spoken by Mr. King ring as true now as the day they were first conceived. His sentiments of anti-violence and unity are needed as the country seems more and more torn and conflicted.

The recent Martin Luther King Day saw many, particularly those involved in the Black Lives Matter movement, participating in “Reclaim MLK Day” rallies and marches protesting the over-commercialization of Martin Luther King Day. This highlighted how the day has, over time, become deluded, sanitized, and commercialized to the point of being a shell of what it stood for. For many, it’s less about celebrating the victories, triumphs and unfortunate passing of Mr. King and more of a day off, little more than a three day weekend. While it’d be unreasonable to expect everyone in the United States to recognize the day’s importance it shouldn’t be overshadowed as horribly as it is, even though I am not a part of the African American community as a minority in the U.S. I personally see MLK day as an important event considering all it represents and how its history impacts my own life and the lives of many others so many years later.

Going forward into 2016 as a country, paying more attention to the events like MLK day and by paying attention to what the Civil Rights Movement and Martin Luther King Jr. were all about maybe we can start to mend issues that have plagued the country for decades.