Last night, I watched Jay Leno, as I am wont to do on Mondays. (I like the Headlines bit.) One of his interviewees last night was Tavis Smiley, who spoke of Dr. King, and the impact Dr. King had on his own life. During the exchange, Jay asked Tavis what he thought Dr. King would make of the fact that a black man and a woman were running for President, and being taken seriously in that effort.
Of course, the usual banalities were exchanged in reference to this. We heard how this was the fulfillment of Dr. King’s dream. References were made to his “I Have A Dream” speech. I am afraid, though, that I must disagree with Jay and Tavis. The true fulfillment of Dr. King’s dream is not that a black man (and a woman) can be taken seriously in a run for the Presidency.
I was saddened by the realization I came to as I listened to this last night. For in my opinion, 45 years later, we still have not achieved Dr. King’s dream, and I fear we will not, even in my lifetime. You see, to truly achieve his dream, we must reach the point where these things are not worthy of comment, where they are truly unremarkable. Until we get there, his dream remains unfulfilled. So I say to you, do not consider these things remarkable. Think not of the race or gender of the political candidates as you consider whom to support. Instead, focus on what position they espouse. How will they address the issues you consider most pressing?
Only once we do that, can we truly say that “Dr. King’s dream has been fulfilled.” And I would honestly like to see that happen in my lifetime.
“I HAVE A DREAM” (1963)