The great man Martin Luther King Jr. in his “I Have A Dream” speech said, “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” He worked hard to achieve this dream. Through his efforts and others, he helped remove segregation and start the United States on the path to seeing people for their character and not their race.
Yet 58 years later, I see more and more focus on race than on character. I think that Martin Luther King Jr. would cry if he could read how much focus the media, the president, and more put on races. So often, I want to cry and ask, “What does race have to do with it?” In many stories, I see the focus on race rather than the actual story. The media needs to stop focusing on race. The color of one’s skin has nothing to do with it most of the time. In fact, people would realize that racism was going away for the most part, if the media would let it go.
A few days ago I told the tragic story of Ahmaud Arbery. This young man died during a run when two men tried to detain him. It was a sad story that didn’t have to happen. I told the whole tragic tale without focusing on race. Sadly, the story I read focused on how this young man happened to have black skin, while the two men that killed him had white skin. In this instance, the color of skin does not matter. The death of Arbery would still be tragic and sad even if he had bright blue skin. His race had nothing to do with this tragedy. It should never have entered the story. The media should have focused on the sadness of a young life ending and how we can prevent further death.
On NBC I read a story about people accusing a congresswoman of racism. Why? She said, “We have to take care of American citizens, or people that are here legally, first.” That’s not racism. That is doing her job. As a congresswoman, she needs to take care of the people in her country. That means prioritizing the citizens and legal residents. Again, races have nothing to do with it. I wish more politicians tried to take care of the citizens of the country before allocating resources to others. That is the reason the people voted them in, to take care of them as citizens of the country.
Recently I wrote about the story NPR did about evangelical writing an open letter condemning radical Christianity and the riot of January 6th. Though I did not previously mention it, the letter specifically calls out white evangelists. What does race have to do with it? Shouldn’t evangelical leaders call out anyone who would Christianity as part of riots? I think so. People of all races, colors of skins, and cultures believe in Christianity. All people that would use their religion for a political fight, regardless of race, should be included in that open letter.
My Thoughts on the Focus on Race
More often than not, as I read media stories, I think, “What has race to do with it?” Honestly, it doesn’t. I remember growing up in a time period where people did not focus on race. Instead, schools and churches encouraged us to work on our character and learning. When I went into the job market, I never worried about the race of others. Rather I worried about whether they had more skills or experience than I did. Race never entered my mind.
Until the past few years, I don’t think race entered into many people’s minds. We had almost reached the place where Martin Luther King Jr. wanted us. We almost reached that point where we focused on character and not race. Now I feel like we’ve slipped backward almost 60 years. Too often the media and politicians focus on race and not on their or others’ character. With this thought, I have a challenge to the media sources: Try for one week to stop writing articles that mention race. Write the story, not focus on race. At this point, I doubt they could do it.