King's dream closer, but work left to do

Published 1:05 am Monday, January 21, 2008

By Staff
What would Martin Luther King Jr. think about America if he had lived to see 2008?
We celebrate King's birthday this week, with a day off for many and programs scheduled to honor the legacy of America's greatest civil rights pioneer.
Most certainly Dr. King would be proud that a black man is in serious contention for the presidential nomination, especially after winning a caucus in majority-white Iowa.
He would observe great gains in race relations, even in his native South.
He would see African-Americans in positions of power across the United States - CEOs, mayors, governors.
But, like the rest of us, he would also note that we still have far to go to achieve the entire dream King spoke about in his famous speech from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in 1963.
Blacks are disproportionately represented among the poor and among the prison population. We still see hate crimes and hear hateful speech, much too often. Leaders on both sides of the racial divide sometimes perpetuate the animosity as a way to keep themselves in the limelight.
And Sunday morning remains the most segregated time in America.
We are light years from the America King lived and died in, but we have far to go, and it will take all of us, working together, to reach that mountaintop King spoke of the night before he died.
In the meantime, we remember some of the words from his “I Have a Dream Speech” - and hope everyone will take them to heart:

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