Wednesday, January 21, 2009


As mentioned in a comment from a previous post, after the inauguration, there were "man on the street" interviews being conducted. One such interview was a thirtyish black mother, who claimed that "on the day after the election I woke my children up and told them that, while they were sleeping, Martin Luther King's dream came true!"
Did Dr. King's dream truly come true? Not to put a pin prick to the celebratory balloons of joy over the election of a Black man to the U.S. presidency, but Dr. King's dream had more to do with injustice, inclusion, and harmony than one man's admission into the White House. Here are my thoughts on the suggestion that Dr. King's dream had, in fact, come true.
King wrote in his "I have a dream" speech that he was hoping to...."hew out of a mountain of despair, a stone of hope."And that is what the election of Obama is...just a stone of hope. Yes, the mountain of despair has eroded somewhat since 1963 when he had a dream, or in 1968 when he had been to the mountaintop, but it is still a mountain to climb.
In 1968 King said that "a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote, and a Negro in New York has nothing for which to vote." And for this brief moment, they could vote and had someone for which to vote on the same day. And for this, they have a right to rejoice and be glad in it.
Unfortunately after the joy of inauguration Tuesday comes the reality of Wednesday. Will this begin a new chapter in American politics? Not as long as there is only one Black Senator in Washington, and he had to be appointed in, at that. Not as long as there are Obama death threats, and hatred, and discrimination, and all of the rest of it.
No, clearly the election of Barack Obama has done little to realize his dream of the end of injustice, and the "transformation of the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood."
It may not have been a symphony, but it was a pretty cool song.
Let the music play on. God bless America.
For the entire texts of King's speeches, they are linked here:

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