In honor of the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., MTV is having an honest and brave conversation about race across all screens. Share your story using the hashtag, #TheTalk. Your tweet may appear on-air, or on MTVNews.com
It may seem like our political leaders can't agree on anything, but it turns out that's not really the case. As part of #TheTalk, we sat down with N.J. Senator Cory Booker, K.Y. Rand Paul, and G.A. Congressman John Lewis to hear what they have to say about racial bias in the United States, and found out that they all believe that we need to start talking about it.
Senator Cory Booker
As the first black U.S. Senator from New Jersey, Corey Booker knows how important it is to take on a leadership role even when history is against you. If you want people to start talking, you need to speak up first.
“Stokely Carmichael said it best: we are the leaders we’ve been looking for. You have a choice to make every single moment of your life: to accept conditions as they are or take responsibility for changing them. And we are the ones that must lead in this movement. I’m kind of tired of people yearning for some hero to come in and save us. The reality is, we are the saviors.”
Senator Booker is also no stranger to "the talk," as racial bias was something he experienced growing up in a mostly white town.
Senator Rand Paul
Sen. Rand Paul, believes peace will only come when everyone has access to the American dream.
“The future of our country will be secure when we break down the wall that separates us from the other America. Let’s wish Martin Luther King a happy birthday by uniting the two Americas into one America that includes justice for one and justice for all.”
Congressman John Lewis
Long before he was in Congress, Rep. John Lewis was the youngest speaker at the 1963 March on Washington, and worked closely with Dr. Martin Luther King during the Civil Rights Movement. Decades later, the representative from Georgia is still doing his part to promote equality. He even visited and spoke with protestors in Ferguson as they awaited the grand jury verdict.
“We cannot sweep the issue of race under the American rug or in some dark corner,” he told MTV News.
If you think it is harder for young adults to make an impact, Rep. Lewis says that when it comes to civil rights, there really is no such thing as too young.
“Children played a major role in the Civil Right’s Movement,' said Lewis. "The movement in Birmingham and Selma – it was almost like a children’s crusade. They must continue to dream and must never, ever give up on trying to fulfill and make that dream a living reality.”
Have something to say? Share your story using the hashtag, #TheTalk. Your tweet may appear on-air, or on MTVNews.com
Want more? Watch all the artist, activist, and politician’s testimonials HERE.