“Don’t Tarnish the Dream”

“On MLK Day, racial equality found wanting,” was the head line on a recent post by the Pew Research Center. The post was based on a 2013 survey that indicated 45% of Americans believed that we have not reached MLK’s “Dream.” The most telling issue in the survey seems to be the parsing of the survey based on the color of a person’s skin and their political affiliation.  The reality, however, is that 81% of all those surveyed believed that progress toward racial equality has been made. Even 71% of Blacks and Hispanics believed the same. When parsed over political affiliation over 80% of both parties and independents agreed that progress toward racial equality has been made. Moreover, a decide majority believed that racial and ethnic groups get along pretty well to very well. Yet, the perception among nearly 80% of blacks is that a lot more work towards equality needs to be done.

I guess the old adage that “perception is reality” rings true today. The reality is that MLK’s dream was not that all men would be continuously parsed by race, but that one day we would realized that there is only one race – the human race. MLK’s dream was not that all men should be pressed into the same status of life, but that all men would be given the equal freedom to pursue their unalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. MLK’s dream was that all men irrespective of their race would be judged by character and not “color.”

I, like the majority of those surveyed, think that we have made great strides in reaching MLK’s dream. We live in a country where people of all races, because of their character and hard work, have achieved greatness. The most pointed example of this is Barack Hussein Obama. I live in the state where MLK made his famous march from Selma to Montgomery. I grew up in the after math of integration. I saw the linger tension. However, I personally know of very few people that automatically discredit and devalue a person because of the amount of melanin in their skin. Is racism still around? Yes! Is their work to be done? Yes! But, we have made great strides towards realizing that we are all one race and that character is more important than degrees of color.

Unfortunately, the merchants of racism and their liberal media allies continue to facilitate the perception of increasing racial tension in America. Sadly, we cannot expect that perception to change when the highest ranking person of “color” in our country publically states that the reason people like him or dislike him as president is based upon his race. Could it be, Mr. President, that the American people are actually living MLK’s dream and judging you by the content of your character? Is it not possible that people who think you are a great president do so because they agree with you political agenda? Conversely, is it not possible that those who don’t like you as a president do not agree with you political agenda? Is it too difficult to think that we have actual followed MLK’s advice and we just don’t like your ideology and/or certain aspects of your character?

It is sad to see those of whom Dr. King dreamed continually attempting to dismantle that dream. It is disgusting to see those whom Dr. King dreamed about continually peddle racism for financial and personal gain. On this day we celebrate the Legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. Is it too much to ask that we, just this one time, honestly celebrate the reality of how much progress we have made as a people and honestly admit that there is still room for progress.


Ronnie J. Knight, Jr.


About Ronnie Knight
Follower of Christ, Husband, & Father. B.A. in Theology Masters of Divinity

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