Dr. King’s Dream Still Unfulfilled…

January 24, 2009

Maybe it was the fact that we were eating in a Mexican owned Chinese food restaurant, with Univision soap operas on the T.V. Surreal moments like that happen in Denton. I don’t know.

My roommate and I talked about how Obama’s ascension (and the method thereof) to the presidency has affected race relations. I noted that we have yet to achieve Dr. King’s dream of a colorblind society (that is, a society where one is judged by one’s character, not by one’s melanin content). Obama is now the president precisely because of that.

I honestly think that if the normal folks of America lived out Dr. King’s dream, Obama would not have won the Democratic nomination. If people judged him on character, and not on how “clean and articulate” (To put it in Biden’s words) Obama is for an American of African descent, they would have judged him as lacking. They would have seen that the only notable political achievements he has were winning elections and killing anti-infanticide laws that even Boxer is OK with having on the books. They would have seen how he does not have the courage to take a stand on most issues enough to vote yea or nay. And the sound bites of Jeremiah Wright saying things like “The government lied about inventing the HIV virus as a means of genocide against people of color”would have been the last nail in Obama’s campaign coffin: people would have associated Obama with someone who judges people based on the color of their skin and said, ‘Obama is a bigot for giving this guy his ear for the past 20 years’ just like they would for someone who has been sitting in the back of KKK meetings for 20 years.

But, ergo vita est; we have the hand we have been dealt for the next 4 years.

Looking forward, there are still things in the way of actually achieving Dr. King’s Dream. A brief (though incomplete) list:

Racist Organizations: Any organization that requires a certain skin tone to be a member (or to reap the full benefits of membership) is holding back Dr. King’s dream, whether they intend to (like the aforementioned KKK) or not (like the NAACP). By saying that we are only going to help a certain race (or harm all other races), they are saying races are unequal; if people of one race needs extra help, they are implying that the average member of that race could not make it on their own. Dr. King’s message is that people should make it based on merit, not one group saying that the other is inferior.

Affirmative Action: the discriminatory hiring of minorities. By adding a qualification outside of merit, affirmative action basically implies that the groups that get preferential treatment are inferior to those that do not (why else would they need to get special treatment?)

Stupid Multiculturalism Incidences: basically sticking minorities into things to make sure they are represented. Case in Point: the PBS Kids show Super Why!. In it, Princess Pea (the apparent daughter of the prince and princess from H. C. Andersen’s The Princess and the Pea) is biracial (like Obama). Why could not the creators of the show go forth and find a decent African fairy tale if they wanted to have a legitimate reason to have a main character of African descent? Why ret-con a Scandinavian fairy tale to appease some self-imposed requirement for multiculturalism? The same could be argued for Whyatt, who is supposed to be the younger brother of Jack from Jack and the Beanstalk. Could they not find a Mediterranean or Hispanic fairy tale? Did they really need to ret-con an English one?

‘White Guilt’: The other side of the affirmative action coin. Basically, ‘white guilt’ is the shaming of people of European descent for atrocities performed by people from the distant past that happened to share the same skin tone. These people are told that they should allow themselves to be discriminated against because of things like the Trail of Tears and the Slave Trade.

People playing the race card willy-nilly: The latest victim of race card awry is apparently Prince Harry. He is being debased because he called another officer cadet a “Paki” and that he looked like a “Raghead” in a private conversation during 2006. The actual cadet in question was not offended by the usage. And let, there is this big hullabaloo about it. Certain hypersensitive people throwing the racism card over things like that hurt their cases when actual incidents of racism occur (the latest of which I can recall were the incidents in Jena, Louisiana; and the kids of African descent were not the only ones who should have been charged with something)

The “ethnic group”-American lingo: It is awkward to say American of African descent, but using the term “African-American” and it’s kin are part of the problem. By using those terms, one is defining the other person primarily by their skin color. It’s just as bad as saying “negro”; we need to define ourselves as Americans first and leave the ethnic terms as far out of it as we can. The only reason I am saying things like “of African descent” at all in this piece is because we have not progressed enough as a society to where I can leave the ethnicity issue out of this rant.

So, will Dr. King’s dream be left unfulfilled ’til Jesus comes back? Only time will tell. Lots of progress has been made (there is no melanin test to get to vote, for example), but as one can see from my list above, a lot more progress needs to be made. I pray that someday people do not need to write about this anymore.

Read a Book!


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