Friday, April 4, 2008

It Was 40 Years Ago Today

Martin Luther King Jr. would now be 79 years old. He had a vision of a world free of the shackles that held it down. The mountaintop would only be attainable when those shackles disappeared. If Dr. King is today looking down on us, is he looking down on us?

John McCain has come late to the party in celebrating the memory of Dr. King. His earlier opposition to proclaiming Dr. King's birthday a national holiday cannot be dismissed as an error made by one not fully informed. The prior actions of Senator McCain speak volumes. We still live in a world where, try as we might to hide it, we are often only comfortable when we foster policies that lead to separation and exclusion.

If we think the borders of our inclusiveness have significantly expanded, we are seriously mistaken.The inability to control our prejudices closes our national borders, fuels our wars and colors our opinion of our Presidential candidates.

If we could harness our brains, and focus on what is common rather than on what is not, our landscape would be altered forever. If preconceived notions that create dislike and distrust gave way to openness and unbiased examination, then hatred for hatred's sake might soon be no longer. If we permitted ourselves the freedom to judge worthiness , rather than pre-judge it, we would be able to respect the differences in us, and celebrate similarities we share.

Until that day arrives, color, religion,sexual orientation and a host of other prejudices will be barriers of the mind that prevent us as a society from reaching our potential. For Dr. King, looking down on us, the world won't be looking up unless this happens.

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