This is not related to my travels or Malaysia. But it is on my mind as my family prepares to return to the United States this year. To set the context, in my 7th Grade English class at Mont Kiara International School (M’KIS) in Kuala Lumpur, we had to do a biography speech as a famous person. I chose Martin Luther King Jr, because he is well known figure who changed the course of history. As students, our assignment was to represent the voice of the person we had researched, while inspiring a change in behaviour of the target audience we were addressing.
This week was a strange one, because it began with MLK’s birthday, and ended with Donald Trump’s inauguration. My mom thought it would be a good idea to put up the speech on my blog since it is so relevant.
Good morning to the 45th President of the United States, President Donald Trump and his future cabinet. Thank you for this opportunity to speak to you as we share the goal of “making America great again”. My name is Martin Luther King Jr. and I am known for giving my famous “I Have a Dream” speech at the March on Washington in 1963. I am also known as the man who fought for equal rights among all people, no matter the color of their skin. I am here today to discuss the racism that has been unleashed by your campaign, and the discrimination against people of all kinds, based on how they look. This discrimination undermines everything I have worked for, and sacrificed.
One reason why I think that this is important in America is that people are being judged on where they’re coming from, instead of the “content of their character.” I am not just speaking for African Americans, but I am speaking for all races in America. You called for the total and complete ban of all Muslims coming into America. I recall how people reacted when in 1955 the federal government made it legal for integrated buses to bring black and white students together in schools. It was my dream for ”little black girls and little white girls to join hands as sisters and brothers”. The reason why people rejected the idea of integrated buses was because they were scared of change. Do you want our new generation to be scared of something new? They should be open to learning about different cultures, instead of being taught how to fear people who are different from them. We cannot rely on these stereotypes to dominate our thoughts about people. I did not organize the many non-violent protests against racism for it to be ignored in America today.
I am also taken aback about how social media has been used by your campaign to attack individuals and groups of people to gain political power. When I was fighting for African Americans, I used non-violent protests to get the message of change throughout America. I was inspired by Mahatma Gandhi, who overthrew the powerful British empire through passive resistance and peaceful protests. More than 20,000 people joined the 1963 March on Washington, and many of them were white people who also believed in and fought for equality and civil rights. This issue is worth talking about in America because as leaders we need to set a positive example for our younger generation, rather than using social media as a platform to cyber-bully them.
America should be a place where people go to start new lives and make new memories. It has always held that promise for new immigrants. But as part of your electoral platform, you pledged to build a wall to keep immigrants from Mexico out. This has torn apart the fabric of American society, where immigrants are being made to feel unwelcome in our country. Immigrants should not be judged on how they look, but on the contributions they make to our country and our economy. America is a place where people should feel comfortable to bring their customs and share them with others. I have been fighting for equal rights my whole entire career and I do not want us to relive those dark times when people felt they were unequal. Immigration from other countries gives us a chance to connect with people who have not lived the same lives as us. Therefore, we need to have an open mind about other cultures. This racism is showing that America is not a place for immigrants to start a new life with their families.
My proudest moments were when the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the Civil Rights Act of 1964 were passed. I felt that my goals had finally been reached and that I had made a change in my country. But, as you know, I paid the ultimate sacrifice with my bloodshed on April 4th, 1968. It pains me that young black lives are still being sacrificed everyday in the streets of our cities. These are pressing issues that you and your cabinet should address if you really intend to make America strong again.
In conclusion, we should not judge people on how they look or where they come from, but on their contribution to our society, and what is in their hearts. So, Mr. Trump, as you take the oath of office, I am asking you to be a true leader who is worthy of this great country and uphold our Constitution, that “we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”
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