“We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.” ~Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
April 4, marked the fiftieth anniversary of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination, since watching all the television coverage of the various celebrations of his life and his work within the civil rights movement I’ve been wondering if Dr. King’s dream for this country is actually attainable. Dr. King’s assassination was fourteen years before my birth so of course I can’t give a physical account of what it was like to live in the United States within his lifetime, but I think I have read enough about this country’s history and heard enough stories from all of my family members who lived during the same time to have formed the opinion that life in 2018 is somewhat similar to life 50+ years ago during the height of the civil rights movement.
There is one line in Dr. King’s now famous “I Have A Dream” speech that has always been one of my favorites since the first time I heard that speech, it’s when he says “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.” Fifty years after Dr. King’s death, fifty-five years after he gave the “I Have A Dream” speech, we have come so far but still have so far to go. Unfortunately we have yet to reach a time when people are solely judged by the content of their character and the color of their skin is of no importance. I think that racism may be more prevalent today than it was before Dr. King was killed. We live in a world where people are automatically prejudged and demonized simply because they were born of a certain race. It is deeply dispiriting to realize that this country has become a place where those who are supposed to be leaders display racist and prejudice behavior on a daily basis which in turn leads others to think that it is okay to have and publicly exhibit their repugnant racist, prejudice, bigoted beliefs and behavior. It’s absolutely appalling but sadly that’s the state we are living in right now and it seems like a change is not near.
I wonder how Dr. King and many others who worked so very tirelessly for all people especially African Americans and other people of color to have some of the simple civil rights that we now have would feel not only about the condition of this country but that of the whole world. Dr. King would be in his late 80s now and I wonder if he would still be working toward achieving his dream of making this world a better place or would he have chosen someone else to pass the baton to. I wonder if we will ever learn to live together peacefully without judging one another based on our differences. It may be pessimistic of me but I am not so sure Dr. King’s dream is truly attainable. If some day this world becomes the place that Dr. King dreamed it could be I hope that I am around to witness it.
“I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made straight and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together.” Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
That’s just my perspective💜