Humans of the Dub: MLK Day


Jordan Bell, Humans of the Dub - Head Editor

What is your favorite MLK quote?

My favorite MLK quote is ‘The time is always right to do what’s right.’ I think that wraps everything together. No matter where you are or what you’re doing, the time is always right to do what’s right. It doesn’t matter if people are different from you or if people are the same. I think MLK is an amazing example of loving people regardless of what they do to you and standing up for righteousness.


Do you have any memories or traditions of MLK day from the past?

I don’t have any traditions for MLK day. When I was at my previous university in Kansas, we celebrated it, and I was able to make a poster for MLK. We held a meeting and talked about diversity on campus and what we can do to make the experience better for everyone. It was an opportunity for people of different backgrounds to talk about how we can do better to serve our community.


What was the impact on your life from MLK?

I would say when you look at Martin Luther King Jr.’s life, you see a man who was unafraid to go out into communities that hated him. They hated him not because of what he was talking about or his character, but they hated him because of his race. Just because he was different from them. I think if people looked at his character they would’ve treated him differently. Our nation has a long history of people being mistreated just because of their skin color. We’ve had issues with institutional racism where it was legal for people to mistreated in major ways. When you think about things like the jim crow laws, these were systems put into action to keep black people in place. MLK had an integral part in setting us free from that system and cycle of hatred. Now we’ve come a long way from those times. I’m here at this university now because of what he did. I’m here with people that look completely different from me, and if MLK didn’t do what he did there’s no telling where I would be right now.


Do you have any particular stories about when you first learned about MLK?

I remember when I was younger in elementary school, we read a book about MLK day. From a young age, I learned about situations where people hated each other just because of their race. It was a book that first introduced me to MLK and how he taught others the lesson of ‘Let’s not combat hate with hate, but rather combat hate with love.’ He was one of the first people I learned about in school, and he taught me to treat my enemies with love just as I treat my neighbors with love as well. Love always wins.


Do you think MLK’s legacy and impact still has a lasting effect on society now and the way we think about things?

I definitely think so. People now are more ready than ever to stand up for what they believe in. You’ll see people protesting for what they believe in now. People don’t always support the beliefs of others, but you’ll see more and more people fighting for what they believe is right. For example, you have someone like Colin Kaepernick. Police brutality is something that he wanted to stand out against, so he started taking a knee during the national anthem. Not everyone agrees with the way that he did it, but no one can deny the fact that it had an impact and that he brought a message to people who would’ve never thought about that kind of thing anyway. I think that has a lot to do with MLK and many others who stood with him in the fight for justice. Those influential leaders paved the way to even allow us to have certain freedoms. It’s a blessing, and it’s definitely something that we should appreciate every day.