The Bastardization of MLK's Dream
"It was all a dream..." - The Notorious B.I.G.
Quite a few generations have passed since Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his most famous speech, and shared his Dream with the world. The world has been transformed in so many ways since the days of using fire hoses and brutality in defense of an outdated cultural structure. Vietnam, Iran Contra, the end of the Cold War, vast economic shifts, the dissolution and formation of nations. Most culturally important, in respect to how America has changed as a people, we elected a black President. Yet despite all the change, all the progress, those who marched with King and carry his legacy tarnish the sacrifices of Civil Rights by ignoring the leaps which have been made and enflame a desired race war.
MLK had a dream. Ever since, the ever growing majority of Americans have dedicated themselves to eradicating the legacy of slavery. Generation after generation, race relations have continued to improve...until now, where polls show race relations are at an all time low under our first "post racial" commander in chief. Why?
It's no secret President Obama enjoys bringing race into as many arguments as possible, and he obviously sees the world through a colored lens. Sure, I would wager non whites have different experiences than whites do in our society. I said we have made progress, not that we have reached our destination. That said, let's say hypothetically the President has lived his entire life under the thumb of oppression. Is it not the responsibility of the highest seat in the land to bridge these gaps, to create an atmosphere of inclusion? Isn't that would King would do? Instead, he would rather bring up his own racist experiences, comment on perceived racism against others, and lose the trust and respect of his military, fighters of all colors and creeds. And I would be remiss if failed to mention that somewhere between 2008 and now he's forgotten that HALF of his heritage is white. One can imagine the identity crisis he must struggle with daily.
Here's a question: how many leaders from the 1960s are still relevant today? LBJ? Dead and buried. The Kennedy's? Dead or irrelevant. Kruschev? Long gone. Other than maybe Fidel Castro, the 60s are where they belong: in history books. Save for one man. One man who has somehow, someway, remained at the forefront and bastardized everything King once stood for.
If you have a good reason as to how Rev. Al Sharpton has remained relevant ever since his association with MLK, I'm dying to hear it. Everything on Earth has evolves since then. We have gone from .45s to 8 Track to cassette all the way to digital! Yet Reverend Al has stuck around. Fashions change. Tastes in entertainment change. Even the climate changes. But Al Sharpton? People are still listening to him?
In reality, he should have gone the way of Lawrence Welk, Johnny Carson, or the Edsel. But there he is. Spouting poisons, using racial tensions and misdeeds to fatten his pockets, and spitting on the Dream that Martin Luther King Jr. shared with us all.
As people of all colors and ages in America embrace King's ideals, one of his former acolytes continues to work against it, perpetually stuck in 1955, always trying to bring America back with him, with the support of our President. So while the rest of us keep working to make that Dream a reality, to Reverend Al Sharpton, a dream is all it will ever be.