First, let me say that I completely support the right of private organizations to give scholarships to anyone they want using any selection criteria the organization prefers. However, I think it's unfortunate that an organization named after Martin Luther King would be disturbed by accidentally giving a scholarship to a white kid.
A hush, followed by some giggles, enveloped the Martin Luther King High School gym in Riverside, Calif., when it was announced on senior awards night that Warren was the winner of the scholarship awarded by the local Martin Luther King Senior Citizens Club.
The $1,000 scholarship, one of two awarded annually by the seniors club, is meant for African-American students. Club members didn't know Warren is white until he rose to receive the award.
"We just couldn't believe it at the outset. It was really something. There was a mixed feeling in the crowd," recalled Etta Brown, chairwoman of the club's scholarship committee, of the May 22 ceremony.
Martin Luther King isn't just an inspiration to blacks, he's an inspiration to all Americans. His defining premise was that we should all be judged on the content of our character rather than the color of our skin.
Jeffrey Warren decided to return the scholarship, and I don't really blame him considering the social pressure he and his family must have faced.