Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

>> Monday, January 19, 2009

It's Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.  Every year on this day, I think back to how awful things used to be in this country with regard to race.  Things were unbelievably bad.  I look back on my own life and have seen improvements in even the last few years, but I have also seen and heard things which lead me wonder when we'll ever live out Dr. King's dream.

I think part of the solution will lie with the next generation.  I have purposely made sure my children live in a diverse neighborhood, with all kinds of people: black, Asian, Indian, white, Latino, single dads, single moms, and physically impaired people.  

I have really encouraged my kids to play with children that are from different backgrounds.  I expose my child to different religions whenever I can.  I plan on talking to them about Dr.King and his dream.  

Of course, children learn best from example and I try to lead in a diverse way.  Racial and ethnic slurs are big-time taboo in our house.  I have spoken up to family members when their children were making derogatory statements about an ethnic group.   I was quite pissed about that. 

The other part of the solution will have to come with this generation.  Us.  You and me.  We need to examine the prejudice in our own lives.  For me, I know I have to work harder to find people from other racial and ethnic groups with which to be friends.  

In addition, I plan on coming up with a Martin Luther King Day tradition for me and my family and I'd love some ideas. I'd also like to know how other people instill respect in their kids and in their own lives.


Coachdad January 20, 2009 at 10:55 PM  

My kids and I spent time on MLK days watching some of his great speaches on Youtube. It was remarkable to me how many we found. They really enjoyed it and now have a better understanding why we had a day off school.