“An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.”(Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.)
Regardless if you are old enough to have lived through the tempest of hatred during the 1960s or just young enough to get to read about the Civil Rights Movement in school, the reality of the famed “I Have a Dream” speech is more alive today than it ever has been since it was delivered 45 years ago today in the shadow of the man that freed the slaves.
Today is the anniversary of what happens when determination meets rumination. Martin Luther King, Jr. was a man with a passion to serve the Lord and defend the rights of the voiceless, the helpless, the hopeless. He fought with vigor and determination for equality. He was convinced that men and women were the same despite physical differences, they were identical although their parents were not, they shared much more in common that geography – they shared identity.
Despite those separations and transgressions, the groups of people arguing about issues these days are not divided by color or creed – and that is something to embrace. Whites and blacks stand side-by-side, arm-in-arm debating the same point with another group of folk that look just like them – mixed, diverse yet unified.
What this nation is going to witness tonight is so much more than some political candidate babbling about his 10-year plans, strength of his issues and dancing in circles. That is typical, except this evening has a special impetus.
This year is submerged with political tension dividing most of the nation for one party or another, and tonight is the culmination of that angst – at least for half the country. People insisting on verbal bashing rather than communicating because of partisan blindness. Families divided among political deafness only accepting to hear that which is appeasing to their own preference. We have all seen it and most of us are living it. However, the times truly are a changin’.
45 years ago, Martin Luther King spoke of a dream. Tonight, Barack Obama – a black man – will accept a nomination to become leader of the free world and fulfill that dream.
And who will watch it come to reality?
To use the words of a sage, a prophet, a beacon of light when the world was it bleakest: “…all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, and they will all be able to join hands…”
Wall Watchers, this night is more than great rhetoric, it’s a genesis for this country.
Consider there will always be prejudice because some people refuse to be anything less than ignorant of others that aren’t just like them. However, because of the strident steps of a few, the countless millions that are here now can walk in their shadows. Because of the missions of King, X, Evers, Kennedy, Barnett, Parks, Robinson, Hamer and many more, we can all sit here in the comfort of our own living rooms – as one family, one country – and see a product of that dream 45 years ago walk into history books as a part of reality.
Now there will be idiots that will use this moment in time and freeze it for ridiculous headlines, ludicrous agendas (like demanding reparations) and capricious stories like “if Obama doesn’t win this election, we are still a racist country.” Opportunists and terrible journalists aside, nothing could stop this from happening. Believe me, many have tried, failed and gave up. And good riddance for that.
That is a taste of the freedom Dr. King spoke about, fought for and died willingly.