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Would MLK be happy with the state of racial equality in America today?

Posted: 7:20 PM, Apr 04, 2018
Updated: 2018-04-04 20:20:08-04

50 years after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Junior, people around the world celebrate his life.

However, how would Dr. King feel about the current state of racial equality in America today?

Kenneth Boudreaux sits on the Lafayette City Parish Council and he also hosts a weekly civic affairs radio program, “Community Hour" which airs on KNEK Magic 104.7 every Sunday night at 11 pm.

The hour long talk show focuses on politics, government, education, healthcare, wellness, and the judicial system mostly from the viewpoint of urban and rural black communities in Acadiana.

"I have no doubt in my mind from my readings, my studies, and my activities related to Dr. King that he would be disappointed," said Boudreaux.  

The show focuses a lot on racial equality through the message of peace and unity.

Boudreaux says some main areas of inequality for black communities include education, economics and the high incarceration rate.

"This is the caveat though, and this is something I wanted to make sure that we emphasize. Although he would not be happy, he was never discouraged, and he would not stop trying to improve,” said Boudreaux about Dr. King.

KATC went onto the campus of University of Louisiana at Lafayette to gauge college students opinions on the question of whether Dr. King would be pleased or displeased with the state of racial equality in America today.

One student says she believes Dr. King would be pleased by at least some of the progress made.

“We have had our first black President in the White House. More jobs have opened up. More education opportunities have opened up,” said senior Jakia Steele.

Another student said Dr. King would want to increase people’s understanding of race tensions in society today.

“Police brutality: both sides would probably disagree with each other. Some would say there isn’t police brutality when there are clear signs that there is,” said sophomore Darcy Lyons.

Another student says she believes the facelessness of social media plays a major role in the increase in the increase of vocalization of bigoted dialogue in society.

"I feel like it’s easier for people to state things without background information. I feel like it’s easier for people to just focus on people who have the same opinions they do, and not recognize the other side. And, just sort of put people in the same group where they don’t see other people’s opinions,” explained freshman Lauren Domangue.

Council member Boudreaux says if Dr. King were alive today, though he may be disappointed, he’d continue the March toward equality with hope and faith.

Boudreaux noted that the amount of unity Dr. King was able to garner through public rallies alone back then would likely be enhanced tenfold through the power of social media today.