The first thing to come to mind is how the holiday itself has lost some it's importance. I know it's been a Federal holiday for a while and most schools are closed, but I thought many banks and businesses also toke the day off. It seems not to be the case. Does this mean we've somehow lost the sense of importance of Dr. King's works?
No, I think just the opposite is true. The election of this country's first black president has shown how far we've come as a country. Yet in a recent poll, only 38 percent of those asked feel we've reached racial equality.
Folks, I can't sugar coat this any. The opportunities for blacks who are motivated to make something out of their lives is as good, if not better than like minded whites. The key word is motivation. That begins with education. These days, you can't even blame lack of finances for not being able to obtain a college education. The grant money is out there.
I was really hoping that the election of Obama would inspire more young blacks to reach for that so called brass ring and maybe they have. I have not seen the numbers in relation to the percentage of black college graduates as opposed to whites. Realistically, it may be too early to tell the real impact Obama's presidential victory has had.
We may be several generations away from true racial equality. Despite all the efforts desegregate our society, we still have a tendency to migrate to those of our own kind. In my opinion, this is more of a cultural issue than a practical economic issue, but it may be the last remaining roadblock to true equality.
I don't think we can look to our president or our government to lead us toward racial equality. But instead the ability of every individual to look beyond the the color of their own skin and tap their true potential as a human being living in the greatest country on the planet.
It's up to all of us to keep the dream alive.