Are we living in Martin Luther King Jr.’s America? The one he so vividly had a dream of for his children and future generations. A dream painted with bright strokes of equality, images of open eyes on leveled planes, lips dripping sweet validation and truth like honey, and a beautiful song playing as prominent a feature as every image, the harmonious symphony reverberates. King’s dream has not come true, but there is hope yet. This morning, former U.S. president Barack Obama reminded Twitter,
“Dr. King was 26 when the Montgomery bus boycott began. He started small, rallying others who believed their efforts mattered, pressing on through challenges and doubts to change our world for the better. A permanent inspiration for the rest of us to keep pushing towards justice.”
It is not enough to remember him on this day, or any other. Obama seems to agree that the best way to honor King’s efforts are to reinforce them daily, encouraging people to exhibit their beliefs with every action. Attempt to top the “greatest demonstration of freedom in the history of our nation.” In the past few years, we have seen a rise in the publication of racial turmoil through various outlets of the media. There have also however been remnants of his message purveying every corner of the country as a result. They evoke messages of hope through civil disobedience. It is an idea that Rula Jebreal, a Palestinian foreign policy journalist claims that “American history shows… is not a departure from democracy, it is essential to it.” Martin Luther King Jr. defines and continues to define American values, and it is because of the injustices that were faced, that today, we not only remember this man and what he has done, but that we are reminded injustice in this world still exists. We will not let injustce define our American culture or its values. We the people who keep his dream alive will do that.
While so many in high and low places will fail to honor Dr. King, during such a volatile period, but take advantage of a day off from work, others echo the indestructible ideology that King so meticulously constructed, one that lives long after him. The country is divided and in a state of unrest, but citizens everywhere emulate what it means to be true leaders by taking the fate of their nation in their own hands. It is in his “symbolic shadow” in which we stand today. It is safe to say that time has run out for leaders failing to represent our best interest and the change we so desperately need. The time has come for King’s dream to be actualized and for his vision of strengthened soul forces In majestic heights conducting the struggle, “on the high plane of dignity and discipline,” to never be forgotten, more so when the powerful leaders we should look up to fail to do it on our behalf. As long as King’s dream is still but a dream, his dream is ours to manifest.