The Daily Chomp

From the Darkness, Let There Be Light

By Raegan Jones, Reporter

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Did you know the number of hate crimes has steadily risen over two consecutive years? Or that nearly 60% of victims of hate crimes are targeted because of bias against their race or ethnicity? These facts from The Washington Post help raise questions about segregation in America, and show the need for an open dialogue about unification in society.

Martin Luther King Jr. dedicated his life to speak out against racial discrimination, in hopes that one day our society would not judge someone based on their skin color, but by the content of their character.

Dr. King expressed these views on making our country better by replacing hate with love in a famous sermon: “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” If Martin Luther King Jr. were to be alive today what would he see?

A world full of violence and hate? Or a world he imagined for our society? If everyone applied the words of Martin Luther King Jr., our country would look very different because he shows the need to respond to the world’s current events with love instead of hate and discrimination.

One cause of our society’s segregation is distrust for law enforcement. Issues with the relationship between law enforcement and citizens became a national concern on August 9, 2014, when Michael Brown, an unarmed, African American teenager was shot and killed by Caucasian officer, Darren Wilson.

The case was tried in the local court where officer Wilson was not charged with the murder of Michael Brown. Dorian Johnson, a key witness in the shooting, said that even after Mr. Brown put his hands up in surrender, Officer Wilson still shot twelve rounds of ammunition towards him.

This caused outrage to the town of Ferguson, Missouri. People lined up on the streets protesting against this racial discrimination. Some people went as far as to burn down business buildings in revolt against the jury’s verdict.

Both law enforcement and citizens could benefit from the words of Dr. King. Because of the power it holds, law enforcement will always have abuse of that power. However, with the right training, it can be overcome.

Certainly the act of citizens burning down and looting buildings is not the light Dr. King was speaking of; it is quite the opposite. There are many ways to protest without adding more fuel to the fire, peaceful protesting is something that will bring the light to the darkness.

In fact, there have been peaceful protests that some National Football League (NFL) players have been exercising during games. During the National Anthem some of the players take a knee in protest against discrimination that has occurred in our society today.

This started with a San Francisco quarterback, Colin Kaepernick, who sat down during the National Anthem saying he would not honor or “show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color.” As a show of solidarity, other NFL players followed in his footsteps, but instead of sitting they took a knee.

According to The Chicago Tribune, “About 200 players sat, knelt or raised their fist in defiance.” This is an example of people in our society who are using love to drive out hate, by doing these small acts to end the discrimination people endure because of their skin color, we are working to stop it from happening.

Not only are NFL players doing things to stop this hate, but social media is also aiding to support Black Lives Matter. The black lives matter movement all started as a hashtag that went viral on Facebook.

 The hashtag became popular after the fatal death of Trayvon Martin in 2013 when Alicia Garza posted, “Black people. I love you. I love us. Our lives matter.” This hashtag morphed into an organization that works to end the racial discrimination that African-Americans Face.”The Black Lives Matter organization now have rallies and protests in thirty one states across the USA,” says CNN.

These actions to stop discriminatory actions are what Dr. King means when he says to drive out darkness with light and hate with love. We have an organization filled with people who came together to push out and stop the hate that people receive.

Martin Luther King’s words show how our society should respond to events with love instead of hate. In the future, if Dr. King’s words were applied today we would see a decrease in the number of hate crimes that occur every year. The number of people that are discriminated because of their race or ethnicity wouldn’t have to worry about experience attacks because of what they look like, everyone would be accepted into society and we could live in unity.

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From the Darkness, Let There Be Light