We’ve Come a Long Way Baby but not Done Yet: Martin Luther King Jr Day 2009 … Most Blacks Say MLK’s Vision Fulfilled
Today we honor the man and the tremendous efforts of slain Civil Rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. and his “dream”. Very few can be called heroic, MLK is certainly one. We look back to a troubled time and we look to present day and the long journey and strides that this great nation has made toward MLK’s ultimate dream of equality so that all people could be able to “join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual: Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!.”
America has a lot to be proud of in the past 40+ years and the efforts that have been made and its accomplishment. Is it over, no. Not by a long shot. I am glad to know that the dream moves forward and not in reverse. However, according to a CNN poll most blacks think that MLK’s vision has been fulfilled.
There are few speeches that have had as much purpose and meaning as Martin Luther King Jr’s “I Have a Dream” speech. On August 23, 1963 civil rights leader Martin delivered one of the most impacting speeches on the Mall in Washington, DC that would echo across generations. (Read the entire speech here)
Martin Luther King Jr. “I have a Dream” Speech
I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.
I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.
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.
I have a dream today!
We have come a long way since 1963 in America an it appears that many blacks also see the positive changes that have been made toward MLK’s vision and dream. Is MLK’s dream complete, not by a long shot as I believe as does Michelle Malkin that the education standard for blacks remains an unfulfilled dream. Why school choice and vouchers are not allowed for inner city school children and why “minority children and their families to languish in some of the country’s worst schools” is appalling. This issue does not always fall a long racial lines, but one of privilege.
The CNN-Opinion Research Corp. survey was released Monday, a federal holiday honoring the slain civil rights leader and a day before Barack Obama is to be sworn in as the first black U.S. president.
The poll found 69 percent of blacks said King’s vision has been fulfilled in the more than 45 years since his 1963 “I have a dream” speech — roughly double the 34 percent who agreed with that assessment in a similar poll taken last March.
But whites remain less optimistic, the survey found.
“Whites don’t feel the same way — a majority of them say that the country has not yet fulfilled King’s vision,” CNN polling director Keating Holland said. However, the number of whites saying the dream has been fulfilled has also gone up since March, from 35 percent to 46 percent.
So why are whites more pessimistic that Martin Luther King Jr’s vision has not been met? Is it as suggested at Hot Air that there is that much “liberal white guilt”? I tend to believe that there is liberal white guilt but not enough of it to make a difference. I do agree with Hot Air that the reason may be that we, as whites, do not have the moral authority to answer the question as we have not lived the “black experience”. We as whites can only make sure that we personally do not discriminate, provide barriers and live with racial division.
I would say that many are making far too much of Obama’s election to the Presidency as the end all be all vision on MLK. People of privilege come in all colors. Obama has been elected the first black President of the United States, now he has much to prove just like all Presidents that have come before him. He gets no pass because of color because it is supposed to be about one’s character. Is Barack Obama Lincolnesque or MLK-like as the MSM would like us all to believe? No. Not yet as least. Does he have an opportunity to be, yes. However, until the man does something that is worth noting, it is a slight against those that have gave their lives to the ending of slavery and the Civil Rights movement in America. Let us never forget how great certain people really were and Martin Luther King Jr. was one of the truly great men of the 20th century.
Mascmind takes a rather controversial approach to MLK’s true vision as compared to the election of Barack Obama. It might be controversial, but it has some merit. MLK focused on the point that it was “not about the color of one’s skin, but about the content of one’s character”. The point being made regarding Obama’s election was that it had little to do with his character. Although I do not quite go that far as there were so many other extenuating circumstances like a poor economy and a lame Republican choice for President, there is some validity to why many voted for Barack Obama. However, in the black community the election of Barack Obama is looked upon as a pont in the direction toward MLK’s vision.
It’s a forgone conclusion that the main reason that Barack Obama was elected president had little to do with the content of his character, but with the color of his skin. Blacks voted for him because he was black – period, and those who didn’t report they are looked on as traitors to the race. This is understandable in light of the past, but it’s a tragedity for the present as just to vote for someone on external appearance is a slander to the right to vote that many Americans fought and died for. It’s not a day of rejoicing, it should be a day of shame.