Monday, January 21, 2013

He had a Dream and so do I

It is ironic, that on the day we celebrate one of the men who changed the country; we celebrate the inauguration of our first black president’s second term. It’s a nice coincidence.

In a lot of ways, today’s inauguration is the fulfillment of Dr. King’s dream. But we still have a long way to go. Although we have our first black president, it has not been without great strife. In fact, the last four years have shown us that racism is alive and well in this country.

Yes, I know people will say I am incorrect but I believe I am not. The world is changing and there are always those who will not and cannot change with it. There are always people who still believe that this country should be as it was centuries ago.
It’s sad. But the world will change with or without them.

I actually have to thank Dr. King for helping me gain admission into the University of Miami. On my admission application I was asked who I would be for one day. I chose Dr. King after thinking long and hard about all the people in the world.

The reason I chose Dr. King was because I had read his book: Letters from the Birmingham Jail. If you have never read this book, run out and buy it. It was one of those books that might change your life. For me, it validated certain things I inherently believed.

Even after he went to jail, he never lost faith that this country would change and that blacks would someday be treated as equals in this country. He never lost faith that things could change. He never lost faith that what he was doing was the right thing to do. In his words: “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” That is why he took up the fight for civil rights and that is what he died for on April 4, 1968.

His words resonated with me because of the truth of those words. It is something I believed before I read the book and believed even more after I read the book. It is something I still believe. And that is why I wanted to be him for one day. I wanted to feel what it was like to fight a battle you might not win. I wanted to feel his unwavering faith in his fellow man. I wanted to feel that faith he had. I wanted to have that faith.

Sure I have faith in many things, including myself, but I do not think it was or will be as strong as Dr. King’s faith. I think there are few people in the world who actually achieve that faith and then do something about it and actually change the world. Dr. King was one of those people. He never lived to see the changes he fought and died for but he made that difference.

He paved the way for our current president to be president. Don’t get me wrong, there were so many others who paved the way and who died for civil rights and I admire them as well. But Dr. King is the figurehead of the battle.

I never believed that we would have a black president in my lifetime. Honestly, I never thought that Americans would accept that. I was wrong and a little right as well. But, it happened. It actually surprised me. I actually burst out crying when they announced Barack Obama won the election. I am not sure why but maybe it was because one of my long held beliefs was shattered. But that was a good thing. On the other hand, I cry like John Boehner at the drop of hat, so go figure.

It’s funny because four years ago I started this blog and the second post I wrote on this blog, was called “MLK and Obama”. And the third post I ever wrote was called “A New Beginning” right after the first Obama inauguration. And four years later, I am once again writing about these two men. It makes me feel that my blog has sort of come full circle.

And although we have a black president, we still have a long way to go. It is never an easy road but it is one that has to be taken. Though on paper we have equality, it is never that easy. There are still people in this country who are not treated as equals whether it is because of gender, race, sexuality or income.

I also have the same dream that Martin Luther King did. Whether it will truly happen, I don’t know but we should never ever stop trying to live up to those words: 

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men (and women)* are created equal." ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

*I added the women!

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