On the third Monday in January we celebrate Martin Luther King Day. Martin Luther King was a social activist who led many non-violent protests against racism and discrimination.
Lot of people followed him and they gave life to the Civil Rights Movement, which became famous all over the world and the symbol of the fight for equal rights. They achieved a lot of goals, among them the Voting Right Act in 1965, which allowed black citizens to vote without any problem.
Martin Luther King was assassinated in 1968, but this didn’t stop the fight. In fact, Martin Luther King’s wife Coretta Scott King founded the Martin Luther King Jr Center for Nonviolent Social Change.
Nowadays, even though the situation for black people has changed, there are still problems and discriminations. An example is the murder of George Floyd, a crime that was committed in 2020 by the police: this man was suffocated by a policeman, who pushed his knee on his neck and didn’t remove it, even when George Floyd said that he couldn’t breathe.
The scene was recorded by some witnesses and the video published on the Internet, where it quickly spread. This caused protests all over the world, organised by the “Black lives matter” movement. In many cases police didn’t like these nonviolent demonstrations (as the ones organised by Martin Luther King) and reacted in a brutal way. However, protesters didn’t give up until the policeman who killed George Floyd and his colleagues were arrested.
In conclusion, this shows us that systematic racism still exists, otherwise policemen would have never done something similar, so spontaneously because if a policeman, who is supposed to protect citizens, is the first one being racist, who can imagine what a normal person, or worse, a criminal, would be able to do. So, maybe we all need to be brave enough to stand up and change what doesn’t work in this world, if we really believe in equality, as Martin Luther King taught us. Let’s make his dream come true.
Ginevra Cossi 3BL