As I watched the President and the First Lady promenade down the streets of Washington, D.C. I could not help but think about how special that moment was. Not only was it the second inauguration of our nation’s first African American president, but it was also a day in which we commemorate the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Dr. King was probably most notable for his non-violent approach to fighting for civil rights and his famed “I Have a Dream” speech, arguably one of the greatest speeches in American history. “That one day, little black boys and little white girls will one day hold hands together…” Well today, we have a black president. Would King have had the audacity to even dream of such a thing? Today we are blessed to witness and experience it.
So then I asked myself, Would Dr. King be happy with this moment? He would definitely be happy. But would he be satisfied? Would Dr. King be satisfied with the current drop-out rates, murder rates and incarceration rates of so many young black men? Would he be satisfied with the widening of the social-economic gap between the rich and the poor? Would he be satisfied with the shrinking of the middle class? Would he be satisfied with our war in Afghanistan (the longest war in America’s history)?
Yes, America is great indeed, but if you listen to the president’s message, he clearly understands that we have not reached the proverbial mountain top. We are still climbing. We are still standing on the shoulders of those who came before us and we need to prepare a foundation for those to come.