Monday, January 19, 2009

MLK reflections…from a white guy

I hear it said all too often that with the election of BHO; MLK’s dream is now finally being realized. I have only (4) words to accompany that absurd statement: “Are you kidding me…”

Our 1st African American President, an historical accomplishment, is only the beginning of the dream MLK had. This excerpt from his speech below truly sums it all up for me.

"I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character."

Yes, MLK said it first in 1963, not Barrack Obama, who often quotes Dr. King.

The sad reality is, until we stop referring to our president as “African American”, or “Black”; King’s dream will never be realized. I know there are still many ‘1st’s’ to come for the African American community. Let me be bold and also state that as soon as we stop referring to every accomplishment as a ‘1st for the African American community” and focus more on the individual and HIS accomplishment we will not be aligned with Dr. King’s dream. If race is always part of the statement, then we are not moving forward.

I was lucky enough to be raised in a very diverse environment. My father is a 23yr veteran of the US Army. During that time we had the opportunity to live in many different places where cultures ran the gamut of social and economic diversity. What I’ve learned from this experience is that stereotypes, though holding some interesting generalizations and cultural truths, are not a way to measure an individual. We have all been created to be unique, and it is the uniqueness that we should hold a measure to.

Some other excerpts from Dr. King’s speech I like to reflect on are below:

"I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: 'We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.'"

"The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to a distrust of all white people. For many of our white brothers as evidenced by their presence here today have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny and they have come to realize that their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom. We can not walk alone."

Full speech here:

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