Words holding strong

By on January 22, 2013
Dr. King

Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous “I have a dream” speech sparked many civil rights movements. Today people question whether it caused the intended paradigm shift, geared to alter society’s impression of other races, religions, and gender. Daniel Twieg/Photo Editor

“Injustice will always be around. That’s just the world we live in,” said one of the contributors from the Film for Thought: ‘Are We Living “The Dream” in 2013?’ discussion table.

Film for thought was held in the HUC Room 412 Tuesday afternoon. It was organized by the Black Student Awareness Committee.

The event began with a clip of the monumental 1963 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. speech “I Have a Dream.” The twenty UAB students in the room listened to Dr. King pleading for urgent change against the discrimination, injustice, and ignorance that plagued his generation.

Once the speech was over, the Film for Thought moderators ignited a discussion geared to analyze our generation in relation to three main questions:

1. Do you believe the world characterized in this speech has been realized today?

2. As a citizen, do you believe it is your duty to fight against injustice? Why or why not?

3. How are you attempting to fulfill the ‘dream’ in your current role at UAB?

The purpose of the discussion was to cause for the audience to realize the connections between the world that Dr. King lived in and present day. As the conversation progressed, it became more and more clear that the students did not believe that we were living the “dream” today.

At first, the students and faculty answered the question by extending it to the world. For example, one of the contributors stated that the Civil Rights movement was a “human rights issue that happened to start here, but then reverberated to the Czech Republic and the Congo.” Which are places where there have been cases of past ethnic genocide.
Later the audience’s responses centered around our own nation and our own injustices. The discussion revolved around how a trait as irrelevant as one’s sexual orientation can severely limit one’s rights even in a modern country.

The last question honed in on a student’s role against discrimination and inequalities. One man said that it takes “courage, conviction, and inspiration to fight injustice.”
Everyone in the room agreed that one of the main reasons why inequality and ill treatment of others still persists in the current generations, is that people aren’t comfortable outside of their comfort zones, and especially if standing up for their beliefs means countering the majority.

Film for Thought continuously holds stimulating discussions that allow students and faculty to take part in sharing their thoughts and opinions. These events are designed in order to provide each and every person with a chance to speak their mind without feeling uncomfortable. The room’s atmosphere was one of understanding, as the audience was respectful towards the opinions of others.

Anjali Wagle

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