MLK reflections...What have we overcome?

Like many Americans, I celebrated the observance of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr’s birthday on yesterday. My contribution locally was beside an incomparable voice, accompanying her as a mural saluting dreams and dreamers was painted in south Fort Worth. During an interview with a local news outlet, I answered the question posed in regard to America’s proximity to Dr. King’s dream: “...we’re still working toward it.” I couldn’t stop rehearsing my answer once I got home. That got me to thinking though. This year, Dr. King will have been dead exactly 49 years and the best response to his dream is for this country to have elected a bigot who has staffed his cabinet and leadership choices that think exactly like him.

“...we’re still working toward it...”

Our best response to the dream, 48 years later in the election process was to allow vapid promises that evoke the terror of Hitler like building a wall and establishing a Muslim registry to be the cornerstone upon which we would vow to “make America great again”? Really, America? This was the choice as President Barack Obama’s successor? Millions of Americans stooped to the level of blistering ignorance to agree that somehow President Obama’s birth certificate was fraudulent and he was not even born in America since his father is a Kenyan native. Bolstering that blunderous bloviation, Donald Drumpf pathetically promulgated the asinine assertion that somewhere on President Obama’s birth certificate he’s named as a Muslim baby. Really, America?

President Obama’s response was rather tepid if you ask well, everyone who has a brain. The American public watched as our Commander in Chief was reduced to the low life scale of his accusers. What we saw was the unmatched grace President Obama is packing with him and moving with him to Chicago. In comes the Donald, like a flash flood...wiping out everything sacred and respected about the office of the Presidency as his Republican colleagues cheer him on.

But why, why are we still only working toward Dr. King’s dream? In the nearly 50 years since Dr. King’s death, America has beat back all logical safeguards against the subjugation of people of color, different social, wealth and even thought classes. All for the sake of the lie of white supremacy, which rejects patent truth. White supremacy is an abject abberation of the American constitution which was formed in fallacy and endorsed by men with Africa slaves in their possession. Which men were created equal and which truths were self-evident at that time? The world has questions that may never be answered.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. -The Declaration of Independence, 1776

We like Dr. King have a dream for a better tomorrow, but not without first waking the sleepers yet enduring the nightmare they call America. It seems that many in leadership want a return to life before blacks were extended civil rights, so blacks must return to the times and tools that won their rights, marching, protesting and boycotts. Police brutality, killings without convictions and cover ups have made civil rights attorneys household names in the black community. The Flint, Michigan water crisis remains unresolved, predatory lending is still a business practice and even our most distinguished scholars and laureates are dismissed as a mediocre trifle through the lens of mythical white supremacy. Blacks are still fighting an existential crisis in America. Don’t believe it? Everyday, that argument is met with “well, isn’t your President black?” Or some other dismissive gesture to praise a black rapper, athlete, actor or television housewife.

America marveled at the dreamer, but assassinated the visionary. It’s not enough to honor Dr. King if that day doesn’t coincide with a calendar replete with days and deeds that walk out the tenets of his “I Have a Dream” speech. Though deferred, we will defiantly pursue the dream. For too long blacks have been mislead en masse, and our citizenship mismanaged and misappropriated, but now is the time to magnify Dr. King’s mission. We have not yet overcome, but we will.

Asking permission is off the table, it’s time to possess that promised land Dr. King saw. And yes, he will go with us because he is with us. He is the driving force leading all Americans who want a better day to continue striving for it. Dr. King was killed in cold blood, but you can’t murder the indomitable spirit Dr. King imparted to his fellow dreamers.

We refuse to wait any longer, do you hear the clarion call? Arise from your slumber sleepers and dreamers, the time is now to overcome. We are the generations of Americans who can make the dream America’s greatest reality. This Friday, America will install its newest President and it would be shameful to allow his foul and disingenuous spirit to permeate the population of this country. Dr. King ‘s dream is not a myth as some suppose, rather it is the method by which true Americans, the real friends of America will strive to make America its greatest.

“In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”

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