Martin Luther King, Jr. – Is his dream still alive?
Many of us remember Dr. King and his “I have a dream” speech. But, in 2018, is his dream still alive? Given the events that have taken place over the past year, one has to wonder. I wrote about him in a blog from last year. But, what – if anything – has changed?
We all know how Colin Kaepernick started a revolution by taking a knee during the playing of our National Anthem before NFL games. In fact, many others started doing so, as well – and it was no longer just in the realm of football.
Athletes started doing this to protest against what was going on outside of the sports arenas and stadiums. From police shootings to profiling, and multiple forms of disrespect, the taking of the knee was a form of protest much in the way that Dr. King held protests by marching in Washington and other locations.
Unfortunately, we all know of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s assassination in Memphis, Tennessee on April 4, 1968. But, more unfortunate is the reaction to all of these protests – and the fact that the vitriol that still exists today.
We also cannot ignore the negative reaction to the protests by our own country’s politicians. Indeed, our own president weighed in on Kaepernick’s protest by saying that he – and other kneeling participants – should be “fired” by the NFL. Of course, many of us were surprised by this reaction because the sitting president does not (usually) discuss the politics of the NFL or any other sport. Alas, 2017 was no “regular” year in any way.
However, the politics didn’t just show up in sports…
Who could forget the tragedy that happened in Charlottesville, Virginia? The deaths that occurred during those protests showed that we – as a country – are still learning how to come together. Yes, we are still divided in many ways – which is the root of the problem.
We also heard the news that Pres. Trump wanted to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. In a nutshell, the program allows children of immigrants who were born in this country to stay here. But, Trump wanted to end the program (created by Pres. Obama) and send them back.
While Trump’s plan was recently blocked, which allowed DACA processing to resume, he also allegedly spoke out against Haiti and African countries with a severe derogatory term.
There have been arguments – on both sides of the political spectrum about whether or not the term was actually uttered. Yet, a fellow Republican from South Carolina rebuked Trump’s comments by focusing on Dr. King.
Senator Lindsey Graham reminded us of something, according to a report from Greenville, SC’s WYFF. “The values and our country really are the glue that holds the world together,” he said. “The glue that holds America together is the life and teachings of Dr. King. We made it this far by focusing on what we have in common.”
Graham also remarked on how King “focused on individuals more than he did anything else,” and talked about how Dr. King wanted to “change the hearts of people.” So, Graham wants to “fix a problem that affects people.” He referred to the “famous meeting” with Trump in which he reportedly rebuked Trump’s derogatory comment in an effort to “fix problems” with a bipartisan solution to the DACA issue.
Indeed, if a member of Trump’s political party can stand up to him, and refer back to Dr. King’s dream, others in Washington could – eventually – see Graham’s side, as well. The result could allow others in the country to come together, as well.
If we truly want to move forward peacefully, we have to start coming together. Both sides need to remember what Martin Luther King, Jr. said –
Only by remembering these words can we move forward peacefully. I am fully aware that there are negative feelings about a lot of things in this world – and even our own country. But, we have to remember that violence breeds violence.
Only by sitting down with our fellow man with the willingness to talk things out civilly will we be able to move forward peacefully.
Sure, I know I speak in idealistic terms. I also know that things won’t get better overnight. But, I also know that Dr. King had a dream. If we start listening to each other, like the video below discusses, maybe 2018 can be the beginning of moving forward again.
Video from BuzzFeedVideo’s YouTube channel