The concept of race is no longer the automatic barrier it once was — even if we still have not completely achieved the point where people are judged not by their skin color but rather by the content of their character. The efforts of King and countless others have not only made it possible for Barack Obama to become the first black president of the United States, yet in addition made remarkable open doors for the likes of Oprah Winfrey, and virtually anyone who had previously been given a check that has, as King put it, “come back marked ‘insufficient funds.
‘” For that progress, we have Dr. King to thank. He turned the tide of history in just 13 short years before being cut down by an assassin at just 39. He did so not through coercion, but rather influence and persuasion — by nonviolently and peacefully asserting a moral authority that forced America to go up against both its past and its present.Today, we seek to put into practice many of the ideals for which the Civil Rights leaders advocated by deliberately hiring the best people regardless of their race, gender, age or sexual orientation, so that individuals of numerous types can have the chance to build their own American dream. to build their own American dream.
For many Americans, Dr. King’s most famous speech is both profoundly inspirational and deeply personal. Martin Luther King Jr’s “I Have A Dream Speech” was seared into the minds of thousands of people on August 28, 1963. He spoke in the hopes of solidifying a future for African-Americans and passing on the message of equality amongst all men and women. “…the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination,” King said.
Nowadays, we are seeing less segregation than before but it’s still prevalent in the public eye today. Although these words were spoken over 50 years ago, it’s uncanny and relatively frightening to read this rhetoric and realize how spot on King’s words was about today’s society.King passionately stated: “We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality.” This statement is the merciless truth of our existence — not that much has changed in more than fifty years. It’s scary to think that although time has passed, old fears have not vanished.
In recent years, we have been tormented by the killings of blameless black men by white Police Officers. African Americans are still disadvantaged and discriminated against in many parts of the nation. Places of worship and country clubs still have—spoken or unspoken—”Whites-only” membership policies. These were not part of Dr.
King’s dream. For many African Americans, Dr. King’s dream is still an elusive hope.
If King somehow happened to be alive today, I figure he would be disheartened by the various wars that have happened and by the fact that more than one million Americans have died by gun violence since he himself was shot and killed in Memphis on April 4, 1968. And moreover, he would be very outspoken about how some Americans treat foreigners, and our powerlessness to see their plights as great civil rights issues of our time. It’s enlightening to perceive the amount King’s words resonate within the realms of today’s society. We realized that his words have helped change the present conditions but we still have far to advance. Hopefully, we take these words seriously and concrete the change King wanted so long ago today.