Sunday, March 30, 2008

Obama is the realization of King's dream

I wasn't born when Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his "I Have A Dream" speech, but I have seen and heard it many times. It is more powerful to watch it, each time it brings me to tears because of King's oratory ability, the conditions of the time and his vision for a better tomorrow.

King would be struck down by an assassin's bullet before his dream was realized. Much has been written about how far we have come since that fatal day in Memphis 40 years ago. What would King say about where we are? If he were here today, I think he might say there has been progress, but there is a long way to go. Racial prejudice still exists and will likely never go away. Black people still lag behind whites economically. Misunderstanding and mistrust still exist based on racial and ethnic backgrounds.

If King were here today, he'd be 79 years old and likely tired and weary from the struggle. Undoubtedly, he would be looking to others to carry the baton for advancement and improved race relations. He would be looking for someone else to be the torch bearer, the bright light, the beacon of hope.

I think he would look at Barack Obama and say: "You are the embodiment of what I spoke of that hot summer day back in August of 1963. You, Barack, are what I dreamed of."

That Obama, a man borne of a white mother and Kenyan father, would be running for President of the United States and show an ability to unite people across racial lines would undoubtedly make King proud. He might equally sing the praises of Tiger Woods, a multi-ethnic athlete universally embraced across racial lines and married to a white woman.

But it isn't these men themselves that King would be proud of, but the conditions and progress that make their success possible. King dreamed of an America where a man would be seen not for the color of his skin, but the content of his character.

Yes, Dr. King, we still have a way to go, but we have come a long way toward that dream of yours.

Is Barack Obama the realization of Martin Luther King's dream?
No free polls