Wednesday September 28th marked the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King Junior’s iconic “I have a dream” speech. The courage and commitment of Dr. King to try and change the hearts and minds of a nation that still seethed and roiled with racial animosity in some parts in the 1960’s was nothing short of extraordinary, if not actually Divinely directed. The fact that Reverend King did so through non-violence and by inspiring others to overcome grotesque injustices to human dignity are the very reasons why most Americans admired and respected him so greatly to this very day.
In so many important ways, Dr. King’s dream has indeed come true today. Throughout much of this great but faltering nation today, most people of color can indeed rise above humble or even down-right poor beginnings to achieve whatever their personal dreams might spur them towards, just as all Americans can. Indeed fifty years after Dr. King’s historical speech in front of the Lincoln Memorial, we have seen leaps and bounds in America’s relations among the races. True equality among the races has indeed been achieved throughout much of our nation today.
All of that said, sadly it would still seem there are those that would rather have the issue of race to fight rather than actually continuing to bring people together. Now that doesn’t mean that racial bigotry, injustice, and discrimination should be tolerated whatsoever. But stirring up hate and discontent due to imagined or created racial hatreds does far greater harm to race relations than not. Further, it serves as a great injustice when true issues of racial bigotry are found. Unfortunately such seems to be the case in recent years and it does indeed seem that such animosities are being re-stoked and thus setting back much of the progress we have made as American brothers and sisters of all colors.
Truly ironically, our very president seems to be part of the problem rather than the solution. This was seen early on in his administration, when a friend of the president’s by the name of Henry Gates was arrested because it was mistakenly reported that he had broken into his house. When asked to show ID by a veteran officer that taught diversity training for the department, Gates became belligerent and assumed that it was because he was black and not because the police didn’t know if he owned the home and had a right to be there or not. President Obama responded that the police “acted stupidly” while admittedly not knowing all of the facts of the incident. All he knew was that a black friend was arrested, and so it must have been because of race.
And then there is the more recent tragedy of the Trayvon Martin killing. Again, it was assumed that the “white-Hispanic” (whatever that means) George Zimmerman’s killing of Martin was due to racial hatred and not in his own self-defense. I would argue that Zimmerman acted foolishly but when attacked by Martin, he still had the right to defend himself with lethal force. The jury agreed.
That episode has seemingly triggered a lot of outrage which has been stoked by the race baiting media and the Jesse Jackson/Al Sharpton’s of the nation. Unfortunately, our president once again had to insert himself into a local incident where he should not have strayed when he showed such great sympathy for Trayvon’s parents while saying that if he had had a son, he would likely have looked like Trayvon. Quite a foolish statement for someone that was once again ignorant of the facts of the case, especially when Zimmerman was indeed acquitted of murder charges and was thus was seen to have acted in self-defense against Martin.
Never mind that Zimmerman has black relatives and has even gone out of his way to tutor black students. Why should the truth stand in the way of promulgating a false narrative when it serves a greater political cause? I guess the only way that George Zimmerman could have proven his innocence to the race baiters would have been to let Trayvon Martin beat him to unconsciousness or death. Of course then we would never have heard of this story.
Now, President Obama can stop this seeming rash of retaliatory violence that has erupted in the wake of the Zimmerman verdict by simply speaking out firmly and unambiguously about not condoning such behavior from people of any color; black, brown, or white. Unfortunately all we hear is crickets from the White House on the matter.
Slavery has been over in the United States for 150 years since Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation in 1863 and the ending of our civil war in 1865. And yet there are many people of color and those sympathetic to their inflamed cause of “racial injustices” that think that this is still a “searing” issue for many folks. Really? Nobody alive today was ever a slave in this nation, nor was anybody a slave owner, and yet to some people, you would think that we are only a generation removed from slavery and the specter of returning people to chains hinges on the outcomes of the next election. Ain’t that right, Mr. Vice President Biden?
People of good character of all colors must stand up and shine the disinfecting light of truth on any and all cases of racism and injustices based on color. However, when people play the race card for political, or often times economic advantage such as the pernicious Sharpton and Jackson often do, then they too should be called out for it. Of course with today’s climate and the politically correct statist media, doing that would take courage nearly on the level of Dr. King’s.
Our President, most of all, has a duty to bring all Americans together instead of dividing us as he has. His animosity on race issues has set back race relations decades. The unbelievable irony of it all is that the very reason Barrack Obama is president now is due to the color of his skin. Now I know that statement would seem inflammatory to knee-jerk reactionaries who pull that race card from their sleeves every opportunity that comes by, but stay with me for just a moment and let me explain.
How does a junior first term senator from Illinois who has offered no significant legislation, who has no significant managerial skills, and is missing much of the documentation of his educational history rise above seasoned political power-houses to cement the Democratic nomination? Indeed, if Obama’s resume were to come across the desk of any board of directors of any Fortune 500 country as a prospect for CEO, it would not even be looked at, let alone considered. Now that is not to say that running a Fortune 500 company is like governing the greatest super-power in the world. Indeed, it is considerably easier. So how does Obama garner that nomination over the much more seasoned Hillary? I would submit to you, dear readers, that if Obama had been white, we would have had the first woman president in 2008 instead. Color did not hinder Obama in this “racist” nation. Indeed it is the very reason he sits in the oval office today.
On one hand it is a testament to the American people and a tribute to the hard-fought battle of Dr. King and his fellow American marchers that We The People could indeed lay down past generational prejudices and elect a man of color as our president. Unfortunately it is also a damned shame too because once again we did so strictly because of the color of his skin and not the content of his character.