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Today is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. This is a US national holiday (even though I’m still in school) that celebrates the birth of Martin Luther King, Jr.

King was born on January 15, 1929. King admired Mahatma Gandhi’s peaceful activism for the independence of India, as opposed to Malcom X’s Civil Rights movement that sought anger and violence to make a point. He became active in the Civil Rights movement, and soon became its Chief Spokesman.

Back then, the Jim Crow laws were still in place. These laws, passed by angry White Southerners,  segregated restrooms, restaurants, and many public places. This meant that Blacks like Martin Luther King Jr. could only access specific areas designated for Blacks, and not ones for Whites. King was a Christian, and knew that this was not right, but he also knew that violence was not the answer.

In 1964, King gave his famous “I Have a Dream” speech. He was successful in boycotting buses and pubic buildings, and eventually the Jim Crow laws were repealed,  and the Ku Klux Klan, an organization to scare Blacks into submission, faded into history. However, some people hated King for what he was doing. On April 4, 1968, Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated by James Earl Rey.

Still, King’s legacy lives on. His birthday became a national holiday in 1986, the bill being signed by Ronald Reagan three years earlier. It is not fair to treat others as inferior just because of their race, and it certainty isn’t the Christian thing to do. As the Bible tells us,Love your neighbor as yourself” (Mark 12:31).

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