Mark MLK holiday with new resolve

Nearly 42 years after Martin Luther King, Jr. made his famous “I Have a Dream” speech, many blacks in the United States are still dreaming of King’s equal nation. In 2005, it cannot continue to be ignored that random police brutality is claiming many young lives. It cannot be ignored that many black communities are filled with drug dealers and crack addicts. It cannot be ignored that students in those communities are not adequately prepared to continue their education. It cannot be ignored that men and women in these communities are contracting HIV at an alarming rate.

The reality in 2005 is that while some blacks may be living King’s dream of equality and fair treatment, many are not. Many blacks live in poverty. Many blacks can name more correctional facilities than institutions of higher learning. Many blacks will not live to see their 30th birthday. People who are supposed to serve and protect them will gun down many blacks in their own communities.

While the country may pause for one day, the FAMU community should re-commit itself to improving black communities everywhere. Not just in January, but throughout the year because poverty, violence and ignorance will never end if our collective work ceases after the holiday.

While King is remembered for many things, his commitment to service stands out. If any thing is to be remembered about King it should be the fact that “everyone can be great because everyone can serve.”

Let Monday be the beginning of service and fresh commitment to improving improvised communities in this country and maybe King’s dream can materialize sooner than later.

Marred athletes use disaster donations for

personal gain

The list is a who’s who of the athletic world.

Kobe Bryant and Barry Bonds along with a host of athletes around the world have donated thousands of dollars toward tsunami relief in Southeast Asia. Although it is admirable for Americans, professional athletes or not, to donate money at what point is such philanthropy a public relations move instead of one of good will.

Both Bryant and Bonds make over $15 million a year, but together did not give $100,000. It is true that neither athlete had to donate a cent, but in a world of cynical athletes and sportswriters the donations of Bryant and Bonds came off as an attempt to resurrect their sullied reputations.

Although he has the highest annual salary of any professional athlete in the world at slightly more than $80 million, Formula One driver Michael Schumacher, is giving $10 million to tsunami relief. While it can be said that Schumacher made the most money in 2004 at over 12 percent of his yearly income he also donated the most money.

Until more athletes donate their time and money because they can rather then their publicist telling them to do, so the world will look at the likes of Bonds and Bryant with a scornful eye.