“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.
Martin Luther King, Jr. is one of my personal heroes. This great man isn’t just a hero or role-model for people of his race, he’s a hero for all of us. He’s a role model and source of inspiration for anyone who applauds true bravery and cherishes a human spirit that refuses to give up or to be counted out.
The recent election had everyone talking more about race than they have in a long time, but to tell you the truth, I don’t believe this election was decided by race. I honestly believe that President Elect Barack Obama would have won if he had been as white as the driven snow. I think it came down to issues (namely the economy, taxes, and MOST DEFINITELY the war) and age.
However, the fact that our next president happens to be African American should touch every American’s heart. Even the individual who is so hardened that he/she can’t rejoice with our black fellow Americans should rejoice in the fact that this reflects beautifully on our country – specifically on Americans.
“I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made straight and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.
One of our greatest sources of shame in this country is the history of slavery. People in our generation are completely and deeply shocked that anything like that ever existed on our soil. We’re repulsed by the fact that human beings ever treated one another that way. (I remember in High School, during a heart-wrenching lesson about slavery, a history teacher of mine tearing up and having to leave the room for a few minutes.
To think that we’ve come this far causes tears to come again, but they’re from a different source this time. It’s not pain – it’s pride. It’s not shame – it’s success. It’s not horror – it’s hope.
When the phrase, “Yes we can” is whispered, spoken, or shouted, remember the we is all of us. We have come so far and I’m so full of pride in my country that I can scarcely sit still – and it’s not caffeine that’s making me antsy for once.
“I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.
I only hope, as everyone else does, that we’ll all come together as one now. John McCain represented the country he loves and his political party beautifully and he’ll continue to do so. I hope that his supporters, as well as Barack Obama’s supporters, will all come together and fight on the same side – America’s. Our country is still the most beautiful country on earth and Americans are (and should be) extremely proud to be Americans.
Hopefully, we’ll pull together and show the rest of the world that, quite frankly, we just got a little stronger.
CNN senior political analyst and Harvard professor David Gergen (who has the distinction of having been an adviser to four presidents—Republicans Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford and Ronald Reagan, and Democrat Bill Clinton) recently pointed out, in an interview on television, that President-elect Obama’s victory is a huge step forward for our entire nation.
Growing up in the 60’s in North Carolina, David Gergen witnessed firsthand the positive effects the civil rights era had on our nation. I’ll end the post with a quote Mr. Gergen gave during this interview. I think it sums everything up beautifully:
“What I learned then is something that Lincoln said way back earlier: That when one group advances in this country, we all advance.”