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today's word on

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Those were the days:

"The way I had it is all gone now. The bars are
gone, the drinkers, gone. There remain the smartest, healthiest newspeople in the history of the business. And they are so boring that they kill the business right in front of you."

--Jimmy Breslin, newspaper columnist, 1996 (Thanks to alert WORDster Jim Doyle)


Candlelight vigil observes struggles in society are not over

REMEMBERING: USU students and friends hold lighted candles in memory of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. / Photo by Jared Ocana

By Megan Roe

January 20, 2005 | Social change must occur to fulfill Martin Luther King Jr.'s dream to erase racism, poverty and violence, keynote speaker Darron Smith said at a candlelight vigil held in King's honor in the Taggart Student Center Sunburst Lounge Tuesday night.

"Until all Americans have three square meals a day and jobs provided with equal pay for equal service, this particular commemoration is nothing more than an observance," Smith said. "It needs to be a new beginning. It needs to be a jump-start for deep reflection about Dr. King's dreams.

Smith, a doctoral student and University of Utah, adjunct faculty member at Brigham Young University and author of "Black and Mormon," said anti-racist white people need to educate other whites about the challenges that black people face in American society.

"It is imperative that social and civil rights reform begin with all Americans, white people in particular," Smith said. "Until white people become outraged about racism and equal causes, social change will remain elusive.

Three other men spoke at the vigil. Mike Addo, a graduate student at USU, Gabe Carter, the ASUSU Campus Diversity vice president, and Moises Diaz, the Director of the Multicultural Student Services at USU all spoke on the importance of King's vision. After Smith's talk, the audience lit white candles while watching a slideshow presentation featuring King's famous "I Have a Dream" speech.

Candace Mayweather, a senior majoring in liberal arts, agreed with Smith. She said King made it possible for minorities to have opportunities, but his work needs to continue on.

"We need to keep educating people and letting them know that the struggle isn't over, that it's really just beginning," Mayweather said. "We've come along way, but there are still tons of things that could be changed for the better.

Smith said many white Americans are colorblind racists, they don't understand why circumstances must improve for blacks. He said white people don't see racism because they are the beneficiaries of it.

"In order for America to be the nation it could be, we must continue to push for change. The dream is not yet fulfilled," Smith said. "I call on all civil-minded and civil-rights oriented individuals to rise up to this occasion.


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