“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” — Martin Luther King [MLK]
I’d like to look at the part of this speech which IS what MLK had in mind, “.. but by the content of their character.”
By the content of their character. Character. Not skin color.
Now, looking around at the world 30+ years after he gave this speech.. it’s my conclusion that as much as we can expect from fallible humans, we ARE living the dream. I know it seems more romantic to think that it’s still some ideal that is ‘far off into the horizon’, one that will require even more demands, more protests, more legislation. But no. We’re there. Not perfectly, but we’re living the dream about as best as can be expected of human nature.
Is there still racism in this world? Yes. Is it part of the accepted norm to carry out acts of racism, as it was 30 years ago? No.
Back then a black man did not dare be seen dating a white woman. These days inter-racial marriages don’t even drum up a hushed gasp. It’s accepted. It’s fine. People are free to date no matter what the color of their skin. An inter-racial couple won’t be denied entrance to a movie theatre or restaurant or denied a home loan just because one of them is black. We have laws that prohibit such behavior and stern civil action to remedy it.
Are blacks, asians, hispanics denied access to the Sports arena as peer athletes? Again, no. Michael Jordan. Tiger Woods. Shaquille O’Neale and how many others are actually the star celebrities of sports. Golf and tennis, once domineered by ‘rich white men’ is now just as inter-racial as an L.A. school bus. As for the back of that bus.. it’s not even an issue any more.
What about the film industry? Denzel Washington. Samuel Jackson. Will Smith. Morgan Freeman. Not relegated to some small bit-part in the background.. these and so many others are major film stars with a great following for their fantastic leading roles.
The music industry. Lenny Kravitz. Michael Jackson. Beyonce. Usher. Do I really need to go on? Hip-hop, rap, reggae, R&B, rock, soul.. every area of music has it’s doors open to black and minority artists.
Education and Career. Not only are the colleges and scholarships there for minorities, it’s to a degree that many argue it’s easier to get into college as a minority than as a white kid. Doctors, attorneys, judges, accountants, research scientists.. if a man or woman possesses the training or schooling, it matters not the color of their skin these days. As it shouldn’t.
Politics. It can no longer be said that a black man will never sit in the Oval Office on account of a racist America. Like him or not, Barack Hussein Obama (how much more ethnic can you get than that?) is at this writing in his 4th year of term as President of the United States.
The Democrat party loves to cling to the past. I honestly believe people like Jesse Jackson, ‘Rev.’ Wright and Al Sharpton miss the days of lynchings by those “hatef-filled white crackers”. It served their purposes. They had a demon to point to on order to justify their existence, sitting on a pile of money they extorted from their followers and the white-man himself via closed-door threats of litigation. But, as I’ve pointed out.. in all reality minorities don’t NEED these kind of people like Jackson, Sharpton or his ilk anymore. The dream is here and I’m sure Jackson doesn’t like it one bit.
So what does he and any media outlet he can get to look at him do? Now that civil rights are a reality. If there’s a report that a black person was arrested or shot by a cop.. “Was the cop white?, it must be because he’s a racist!”. And there they go, trolling with ‘outrage’ in front of the cameras. Making unsubstantiated claims like, “(white) President Bush knew that hurricane Katrina was coming and so they dynamited the levies to drown out the black people in New Orleans.”. And the media gives Sharpton the air time.
I was doing jury duty in Riverside the day Jesse Jackson appeared at the court house steps to stutter out his incoherent outrage about a black woman shot by local white police officers. He was there for the fifteen minutes the cameras were there. He then slipped out once they left, leaving others to continue echoing his hate-filled rage and accusations. If there isn’t camera time or dollars involved.. he’s on his way.
The time is long overdue. We don’t need hate-filled, racist rhetoric stirring up ghosts of inequality from Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton or ‘Rev’ Wright anymore. We need to put an end to listening to these bags of hot-air racism left over from a time now past. I only WISH Martin Luther King himself were here to personally turn his back on Jackson, Sharpton & Wright for their lack of character and unabashed exploitation of their own people.
Let’s take a look at men such as this and take heed to MLK. Let them “not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” From what I hear coming out of their mouths.. people like Jackson and his kind lack any manner of character. They are not concerned with the rights of minorities except as to how they may leverage a profit for themselves by stirring up division wherever they see opportunity. I do not dislike them for their color. I despise them for their lack of character and I believe, looking at their actions, so would Martin Luther King himself.
— Henry Velez
Henry Velez is a writer, traveler and vlogger currently living in the Philippines. He has written extensively on social issues, relationships and travel.