Written by Amiah Taylor

In the last few months, my lifestyle has changed dramatically and I find myself completing more and more of my errands and tasks remotely. Just this week, I was ordering contacts and considering different frames for glasses. I came upon a little acronym that I didn’t know the meaning of on my prescription: Sph.

For those who don’t know, Sph means short-sighted.

And that phrase shook me to my core, completely changing the trajectory of my day.

It fit so well with current events. It echoed a question that I’d been quietly posing as I watched recaps of the news. People are being so short-sighted, and how can that be?

In our multicultural society, hedonistic and destructive anger is a liberty that is more constitutional for some than others. I’ve long referred to the current president’s term as a “dumpster fire.” But honestly, it does feel like America is burning. And like everyone, I’m trying to take a deep breath and ignore the way the smoke is making my eyes tear.

Today is Martin Luther King Day and I am proud to be able to acknowledge and honor a man who was such a forward thinker. When it came to the morality and direction of our country’s legacy, Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. truly had 20-20 vision. He was a nonviolent and dignified man who wanted dignity and fairness for all of his brethren who had been historically dismissed or mistreated. In his “I Have A Dream” speech he talked about the intertwined destinies of both black and white people and together walking towards “the sunlit path of racial justice.”

He was a man who used his mind’s eye to picture a future that emphasized gentleness, beauty, and equality. And he was such a master of rhetoric that he was able to impart his vision unto others with dazzling clarity.

Martin Luther King famously said that “however much she strays away from it, the goal of America is freedom.” And I love this quote because I want so badly to believe it. The sentiment is hopeful and redemptive and it leaves room for change.

The truth is that this future that we are actively creating brick by brick, may not have been something that Martin Luther King would’ve wanted. The very soul of our nation needs to change.

If we’d like to hear freedom bells and join hands and truly love one another, there has to be a fundamental change in the conscience of this country. Democracy and equity have to be more important than privilege. Liberation has to be more vital than a constant state of comfort. And as our priorities shift, I think that we
will all realize that we weren’t seeing things clearly.

It was William Faulkner who said, "The past is never dead. It's not even past." I think as Americans we need to look the past in the eyes and realize that it’s our present. If we don’t want a repeat, and if we want to live up to Martin Luther King’s greatest expectations and fantasies, then we have a hard choice.

As Americans will we close our eyes to the constant problem of racial inequality or will we all get our eyes fitted with better prescriptions and walk towards “the sunlit path of racial justice?”

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