By John Horton
I got to thinking: What if Dr. Martin Luther King were still alive. And, imagine that he got to see Barack Obama elected president (twice). I got to thinking: What a phenomenal happening and extraordinary experience!
I think Dr. King would have been profoundly elated (and pleasantly surprised) by this portion of his “dream coming true.”
As a black American who has been around since September 1940, I became an Obama supporter and advocate during the 2008 and 2012 elections. Among other things, I wrote several articles and letters to the editor, made campaign contributions, and actively supported him.
President Obama’s two victories have made a true believer of me. And, now I truly believe that the “American Dream” is achievable…for all of us.
However, I would caution that “Dr. King’s Dream” has not yet been fully achieved for (too) many of us. And, I choose to concentrate on those “real world” situations and circumstances where Dr. King would still be working toward/for. Contrary to some present day circumstances and statistics, “we” have not (fully) overcome…not all of us, not yet….
Notwithstanding Obama’s (two) elections, we need to continue to strive for Dr. King’s “Dream.” As one who has been there and done that, I still believe that the “most pain” will, again, be suffered by those who can least afford/deserve it.
For example, recent news events have saliently documented what confronts and debilitates us as a people/nation: tax policies, budget deficits, income disparities, government regulations, ongoing wars, healthcare costs, affordable housing, voting apathy, political corruption, crime and violence, racial unrest, financial bailouts, corporate bankruptcies, wall street manipulations, governmental and business layoffs, infrastructure improvements, and the like.
In the excitement and joy of electing/reelecting Obama, we must not take our “eyes off the prize.” There is so much, so very much, that remains to be done.
And, if Dr. King were alive, I firmly believe that he would exalt us to believe in and practice “P.R.I.D.E. – Personal Responsibility In Daily Efforts.” Also, notwithstanding Obama’s ascendency, he would offer the “ten most powerful words in the world”: If it is to be, it is up to me! And, King would remind us that “Success occurs when opportunity meets preparation.”
As you can see, I do not want to downplay or pretend that Obama’s two elections are not of major (historical, social, and political) significance. God knows, it is. However, Dr. King’s “Dream” is by no means complete or over. Obama’s presidency is on the pathway of achieving that “Dream.” It is the “first mile” of a “thousand miles” journey.
Let us rejoice; let us be positive; let us recognize change. But, let us continue the march towards the Dream; let us not forget those who still need assistance and facilitation; let us realize that much “heavy lifting” remains to be done.
The race is not finished. The “Dream” is not yet fulfilled. Now that we have entered the “race for the Dream,” anything is possible. That is the good news. However, while so much has changed since Dr. King’s death, so much still remains to be done.
If Dr. King were alive, I am sure that he would encourage us to resolve the social, economic and political challenges that buffet us. He would remind us of individual responsibility, family stability, group cohesion, and collective empowerment. And, he would remind us that many of the answers and solutions lie within us as a people.
Therefore, we must continue to live the “Dream.” Let us draw from Dr. King’s legacy and achieve his “Dream” for all of us. Now that President Obama has been elected twice, let us continue the march towards Dr. King’s “Dream” for all of us.
What a great way to show respect for Dr. King’s “Dream” and appreciation for President Obama’s achievement. Otherwise, it will have all been for naught. In the final analysis, it is what it is.