The King’s Legacy

Martin Luther King Junior Insisted Upon Acceptance and Equality

(Image courtesy of The Huffington Post via

(Image courtesy of The Huffington Post via

Autumn Jenkins, Editor-in-Chief

On Monday, January 16, the United States celebrated Martin Luther King Jr. Day. While alive, King advanced civil rights for African Americans through nonviolent protests ( Forty-nine years following his death, which occurred on April 4, 1968, it is evident that much work is still necessary to prevent the persecution of many minority groups. The peaceful protests that King advocated for have turned violent because these groups have not seen equality and acceptance progress in the manner that King urged.

Though King’s efforts improved situations for many, his legacy of equality and acceptance is often neglected, as seen in the persecution of groups such as Mexicans, Muslims, African Americans, and the LGBTQ community. Due to preconceived notions, fear and anger towards minorities has grown, especially with the media portraying mainly negative actions of minorities. While it is important to display the social and economic issues within every group, it is equally important to adequately assess minorities as a whole, not centering all media coverage around extremists.

Although many news sources could be blamed for the persecution of Muslims, it is easier to condemn the media franchise as a whole for the fear-mongers, who use both print media and television to exploit terrorists (The Huffington Post). The unfortunate aspect of fear-mongering is that it encourages anger and hostility towards its victim. Though there are extremists in every religion, the mainstream media has honed in on Muslim extremists to an overwhelming extent. The sad truth is, a story on Muslim extremism is what sells.

However, Martin Luther King, Jr., wrote: “This is the faith that I go back to the South with. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.” He said these words in his “I Have a Dream” speech on August 28, 1963. King’s dream was that one day society would be one.

King’s dream was that one day society would be one. He would be pleased to see minority-owned businesses, unsegregated schools, and interracial relationships. Unfortunately, he would be disappointed in the violence towards each other due to differing religious beliefs or social status.

While there are positive effects of Martin Luther King Jr.’s efforts, there is still much room for improvement. Progress must still be made towards equality and acceptance, so King’s contributions won’t be forgotten.