Fifty years and still celebrating the day of the “Dream” speech? Come on. We don’t celebrate the “day that will live in infamy” speech. We don’t gather for the “ask not what your country can do for you” anniversary, the “Gettysburg Address” after 150 years, the “tear down this wall” moment, or the “I can hear YOU” speech.
You know why? Because those speeches, those pivot points in time – they became reality. They became more than one man’s dream.
After 50 years and nothing having changed, a speech remains only an unfulfilled dream of one man. I can understand “keeping the dream alive” if it is for the sake of more than just the dream itself, but what I don’t get is making a celebration of failure.
Christians don’t (and I believe wouldn’t) celebrate Good Friday as the day Christ died – even should it have ended there. Rather, we recognize it as our reconciliation with God, and then celebrate the culmination of total victory on Easter.
We’ve had parades for our sports teams as they win championships, but not for them when they lost the big game. As disappointed and disgruntled fans, we dissect what went wrong – and no one is immune to blame. We plot and talk in the off season about what must change. We devise new ways, no matter how farfetched, to find a path to success. (Believe me, I’m a Lions fan and understand what a half century of failure is!) Even we Detroit fans concoct miracles that could overcome ownership ineptitude and coaching and player deficiencies. What we’ve finally stopped doing is expecting success until a change in ownership, and that, unlike community leadership, is beyond our control.
Why does the black community not insist things change? Why does it remain content after 50 years? How can it continue to follow the same, failed, leadership and expect success?
I believe Dr. King would have personally had his Dream fulfilled because of the choices he seemed determined to make. I believe he could have brought an entire race along with him, rather than the relative few who have made the transition. Dr. King knew it was never his race that oppressed him, it was someone else’s perception of his race. It was changing that perception that, I believe, King was all about, and a change in that perception has occurred. Changes from the days when ownership of a person was commonplace. Changes from a time when lynchings went mostly ignored, and separate schools and drinking fountains were the standard.
James Earl Ray may have killed Martin Luther King, but he did not kill the quest for race equality. We find successful black men and women everywhere in America, but they (like King) got “it”. King had a hand in forging the acceptance of his race by much of the white community, and would be horrified at the squandered opportunity by so many. Dr. King’s Dream has come true, but (as with everything in life ) what matters is what you do with it. The opportunity for equality IS there, but you have to answer when it knocks.
Maybe its time the black community stop dreaming, wake up, and see who’s at the door! • (1212 views)