An Ideal Society
An ideal society – that is a beautiful concept, indeed. Ideal; while the term itself could indicate a standard of perfection, its excellence could also be assumed to exist only in the imagination. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. imagined, or dreamed rather, an ideal society that looked very much like the one I want to be a member of Dr. King’s dream that “the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together…With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood” is the very same vision I seek for not only myself, but especially for my descendants. In a nation, built on the backs of many different types of people, those same people should be equally experiencing their lives, liberties, and pursuits of happiness; without the burdens of the labels, profiling and privileges that separate them.
Thomas Jefferson so clearly seemed to acknowledge, while writing the Declaration of Independence and speaking for a new nation of people: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among them are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”. Still though, almost two hundred years later, Dr. King was standing at a podium in that same country’s capital sharing his dream with a nation still riddled with inequity. He spoke the desires of the millions that were still waiting to hear the ringing of freedom, demanding that the rights Thomas Jefferson penned two centuries prior be extended even to those who didn’t look like Thomas Jefferson. As a society, we should wholly aspire to and pursue the concept of true and complete freedom.
Those aspirations could lead us to a place where labels would not exist. There wouldn’t be derogatory terms to describe those who are different than others; whether those differences be skin, hair, features, language, religion, or country of ancestry. Gone would be the need to check one box to racially identify ourselves on government forms and applications; especially considering that many of us don’t fit into just one box anyway. To that effect, non-existent would be the ridiculous words that describe our races, particularly since we are all really one race – the human race. Within this human race would reside our right to pride in our own appearance and customs, and also a pure and honest respect of the appearances and customs of others. Consequently, the perceived offenses of questions and stares would be re-interpreted and defenses would melt away; somehow uniting us, even in the midst of our differences.
This new spirit of unity would mean the elimination of profiling and privilege. The facts of life for a portion of a society’s people; that it’s possible for a job application to be disregarded due only to race or that you are immediately considered suspicious or inferior due only to race, would no longer be that portion’s reality. As a result, there would come about the demise of the other portion’s privilege: the advantage of living without the above stated facts of life. Freedom from profiling would be a birthright shared by all people and would, therefore, no longer be an exclusive privilege. People’s children wouldn’t be shot dead on the street, armed only with Skittles and iced tea, because the skin under the hoodie seemed menacing. Instead, people would see their own children past the melanin in another child’s face, and have a respect for the preciousness of that life. This type of change could only be initiated in the hearts and souls of a society’s people.
If the long-hardened hearts and souls of a nation’s people could somehow be softened, within the span of only a few generations there could be born my ideal society. The term tolerance would be replaced with the concept of appreciation. The male members of this society would respect one another as men, brothers, husbands, and fathers. The female members would follow suit to exist as a family of sisters; each understanding the struggles of the others as women, wives, and mothers. The children created in such a setting would not have possession of racial hatred; because it would never be taught to them. They would most definitely tease and giggle at one another, as children do, but it would never occur to them to do so regarding the discrepancies in their physicalities. Additionally, when these same children became adults, they wouldn’t think any more about marrying someone with a different skin color than they’d put thought into a difference of hair color, depending on whose heart theirs was compatible with. This would be a result of the true definition of love and acceptance being instilled in them by their very wise parents and then they, in turn, would also become very wise parents; and so would continue the pattern.
From the establishment and maintenance of this philosophy would thrive an ideal society; its origins lying on the pages of the Emancipation Proclamation, but its victories fought in the hearts and souls of the human race. Subsequently, a new nation would arise and its members would be looked upon equally and without the stains of yesterday’s vision. Only then could Dr. King’s desire for his children, which is the same wish that I have for mine, come to fruition: that they “will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character”. People may choose their religious preferences, their political affiliations, their careers, and the geography in which they place themselves; they cannot, however, choose the skin they’re in. To that end, the right to equality shouldn’t be based on a sliding scale, determined by a person’s hue; and it wouldn’t be in my ideal society.