Color Blind: A 2012 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Grand Prize Winning Essay

Essay grand prize winner Elena Rodriguez from Alpine Academy

Essay grand prize winner Elena Rodriguez from Alpine Academy

I am a peace maker. I believe that violence is never necessary. I have decided to stick with love; Hate is too great a burden to bear.

There was a three-way tie this year for the grand prize in the essay category of the Utah State Office of Education’s Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Contest. The winners are Elena Rodriguez from Alpine Academy, Cassidy Hills from Woods Cross High School in the Granite School District and Johnathan Tarancon from NUAMES High School.

The USOE Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Contest is in its 28th year. It is open to all Utah students in seventh through twelfth grades, regardless of whether they attend a Utah public school. This year, students were asked to answer “How are you demonstrating Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s vision of unity in your life.” A list of all the winning students, which includes grade-level winners and the video contest winners, may be found by clicking here.

The essay that follows is by Elena Rodriguez, an eleventh grade student in Ms. Beverly Thompson’s class at Alpine Academy.

Color Blind

It is not enough to say we must not wage war. It is necessary to love peace and sacrifice for it. – Dr. Martin Luther King Junior

Color. It means so much to some people, but so little to me. I don’t understand how you can shun, discriminate or even hurt someone merely because of the color of their skin. Are the black crayons in the box better than the white crayons in the box? You need both to make a beautiful picture. Are the white pages better than the black ink? You need both to read a compelling story. Without unity all there would be in this world is hopelessness, shame and despair.

I am a peace maker. I believe that violence is never necessary. I have decided to stick with love; Hate is too great a burden to bear. I hope that one day racist jokes and comments will be unaccepted in society and looked down upon instead of laughed at. I hope that one day discrimination against race, gender, and sexuality will completely come to an abrupt halt and stay there. I hope that one day peace and love will overcome and defeat its rival-violence and terror.

Martin Luther King Junior has opened my eyes to the wonderful world of diversity that I know today. He has shaped me into the person I know myself to be, and that I am forever grateful to him. Needless to say, that unfortunately there is still segregation all over America. I plan to make a difference. It is my dream to educate people to become more aware of segregation by motivationally speaking to all races about love and unity.

Over the period of my life, I have been laughed at because of my race and the way I look, yelled at for my view and looked down upon for my belief. I do no ever want to put another individual in that circumstance.

I am so grateful that Martin Luther King makes such an influence in people’s lives. Every time a racist joke is stopped by an individual, Dr. King is there. Every time someone stops a bully, Dr. King is there, and every time a racial slur is being said and then stopped, Dr. King is there. I do honestly believe that diversity is the answer – the key to a happy life.

 

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