BLACK AND WHITE
Today is April fourth. This day will always be marked by the death of a man named Dr. Martin Luther King. Sadly, I believe that this day also marks the death of an idea and a dream. As I am only 37 years old, I was not alive in the days of forced segregation and separate water fountains. Luckily, I do have access to television, books, Internet, and a whole list of other options that allow me to look at historical events. One such event is the "I have a dream" speech given by Dr. King. Arguably, one of the most famous speeches ever given.
One part of that speech has always stood high above the the rest. The part where Dr. King dreamed of a day when a man would be judged by the content of his character, not the color of his skin. It was this idea that resonated with me and still does today.
So, just how far have we come as a nation since Dr. King first spoke those words? Apparently, not too far.
As I watch the media struggle with Senator Obamma's spiritual past, it becomes obvious to me that we are still hung up on race as a nation. So I have decided that it is time to walk out on a limb and set a few things straight regarding race relations in 2008.
1. There are no more slaves.
2. There are no more slave owners.
3. There are no more "whites only" signs at lunch counters, water fountains, or buses.
4. Americans of all colors have the right to vote and own land.
5. If you are living in a poor neighborhood, it was your decision.
6. If people look at you funny when you go shopping, it's probably what you're wearing or how you're acting, not your skin color.
7. If you feel that whites in general should feel guilty, or blacks should feel victimized in the year 2008, you are part of the problem.
You see, you have a choice. You can either pay lip-service to Dr. King's message, or you can live it. To truly live it, you have to have the inner strength to not see a person as a color. Better yet, ignore color all together. It really doesn't matter. If you think it does, you're part of the problem.
As one who actually lives the words of Dr. King, I can tell you in all honesty that I am not a racist. That means that I do not judge people on the basis of skin color, hence my hatred of "affirmative action" policies. That also means that I refuse to be made to feel guilty about things that other people did decades or centuries before I was born. Conversely, I have little respect for those who think I should. I also have little respect for anyone who looks at someone as a victim just because they have a particular skin color.
So at the end of the day, you need to ask yourself if you are part of the problem or the solution. Are you living the dream of Dr. King or just talking about it?