At 26, I am very thankful to live in the generation I do. Had I lived in my parents generation or even my grandparents generation, life would have been very different for me and for my friends. But here we are, 50 years after the civil rights movement, able to live in freedom regardless of race or ethnicity. Or, you know, close enough…
I am certainly not naive enough to say that racism is no longer a problem in the US, because that would be foolish on my part. However, following this Sunday’s Super Bowl, I was shocked and overwhelmed with disappointment at the backlash that Coca-Cola received over their “America the Beautiful” ad. Now, to be completely honest, I had tuned out what was happening on our TV screen by the point that this ad aired (as had most Broncos fans, I’m sure), but viewing it afterwards, I thought it was a beautiful tribute to the tapestry of races and languages that make up America. Because… well… none of us are native to this geographical location (unless you’re Native American, of course). We’re all immigrants.
It hurts my heart to see the ignorance of people all around our country discount the value of others because they have a different skin tone or speak a different language. It reminds me that the fight for racial equality is still happening in our country. It reminds me that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream that people would not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character is still in process. The Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s was not a black-white issue, it was a people issue. It is still a people issue.
It only takes one person to start change. Be the change.