Martin Luther King, Jr.’s "I Have A Dream" speech is truly one of my favorite speeches in American History. Not only because of its significance to me as a black man, but because it speaks universally to the American ideal of equality for all.
Dr. King’s teachings played an important role in our family. My parents strived greatly to instill his message in siblings and I. As an adult, I realize how effective they were. Today I can see the ever so slight hesitancy in my parents to fully trust whites. I consider that their scars of the pre-civil rights era. To their credit, they kept their scars to themselves and left their children free of their old prejudices. For this I thank them.
As we come to the close of the first year of America’s first black president, I cannot help but wonder what Dr. King would think of Obama and America today. Would King feel his dream was realized by a black man holding the highest office in the land or would King be dismayed that so many are unwilling to treat the first black president like all the white presidents before him? What would Dr. King think of Political Correctness that demands you curtail your words? What would King say of Diversity, which promotes our differences, rather than celebrate the equality he strived for?
MLK and Obama will forever hold two major points in American history. What I find striking about the two is their passion for America. MLK was denied his inalienable rights, yet King could so effortlessly, eloquently and passionately speak of freedom, liberty and equality. In contrast, Barack Obama never knew a day without his inalienable rights yet Obama seems unable to speak easily of the same things King longed for. I believe the difference is how the two men view the meaning of equality.
As you go about your day, take time out to contemplate King and share some of your thoughts. Here is the link to The King Center, take time to stop by today.