Thursday, February 21, 2008

Baby steps to four o'clock. Baby steps to four o'clock.

The following is an article I wrote that came out today in the local paper, The Murphy Messenger.

It's obviously about the progress seen since the days of Martin Luther King, Jr. In some respects they are giant leaps, yet in other ways we're only taken baby steps.
“The Dream: Progress Report”

In honor of Black History Month, we pause to fill out a progress report.

Less than 45 years ago the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke the following: “I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.’”

Since that time many things have transpired for black people, especially in the political arena. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 outlawed segregation in US schools and public places, invalidating Jim Crow laws. A second black man has been appointed to the Supreme Court, Thurgood Marshall was the first in 1961 and Clarence Thomas was appointed in 1991.

We’ve seen the first black Secretary of State, 4th in line to succeed the presidency, in Collin Powell in 2000. In 2004 we saw the first black woman Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice.

We are at a historic time where we could very well have the first black nominee for president in 46 year old Barak Obama. In a country where black people have been regarded as property and then 3/5 of a human being, that’s quite a shift in perspective.

That doesn’t mean that people of all ethnicities live in perfect harmony in these somewhat united states. But that speaks volumes, I would submit, to the legacy of Dr. King and others like him for valiantly stood firm against injustice.

Yet, with stories such as the “Jena 6” from last year, we know we still have a distance to travel before we fully live out the true meaning of our creed, that all people are created equal, which means they should be treated with dignity and respect.

Some of you can remember white schools and black schools. Some of you can remember white and “colored” drinking fountains.

It can be hard to watch a tree grow seeing it day by day, but with the passing of years an acorn becomes a great oak. It’s encouraging to see the acorn of Dr. King’s dream spreading its branches through each passing year as progress is made.
P.S. What might we hope to see in the next 45 years?

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4 Comments:

At 21 February, 2008 22:18, Blogger AJF said...

Racism is a sin that will always plague mankind and due to our history with slavery, we'll never fully escape it.

Having said that, I think overall we have taken leaps and bounds. Hard evidence is the rise of Barack Obama. He very well might win the presidency. It takes a whole lot of southern white votes to accomplish that. I say his successful campaign shows how far we've come in this area.

 
At 22 February, 2008 09:05, Blogger mark t said...

I don't agree with Obama's political views, and for that reason would prefer that he not win. But from the standpoint of race, if he were to win, it would be exciting to see if some level of healing could come to our nation from it.

 
At 22 February, 2008 09:24, Blogger Jesus Girl said...

What about Bob?

Great movie.

 
At 25 February, 2008 09:04, Anonymous Lionel Woods said...

You know me Pastor Gunny. I believe it starts with the body. Unless we are willing to do what it takes to end the stench of racism and classcism, we should keep our big mouths shut. It is funny we expect that a black president will change anything. Maybe and just maybe blacks are protrayed a bit better, but it will no more heal the pains of the past as a an asprin will cure brain cancer.

Until white churches, and black churches make the necessary sacrifices to be one church we can forget anything else. It is funny how so many Christians would rather push this responsibility on voters instead of being a catalyst for change where they have the most influence, their homes and their churches.

However, I do appreciate the strives you have taken my brother from another mother. Continue to do what you do, it takes a rock to start an avalanche and you are that rock my brother.

 

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