Archive for January, 2009

Martin Luther King is among the greatest of all American heroes.  Perhaps I have known this for some time.  But today is the first day I really have thought of Martin Luther King in these terms.  On this eve of a most historic event, MLK day must be reflected on by all Americans, and by all in the world who love, loath, or depend on our great country.

Without MLK, would America, despite the follies of the past several years, still be able to profess to the world that it is self-evident that all people are created equal?  Had it not been for MLK, would America be able to define itself around its belief that all people are guaranteed the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness?  Would there be a Barack Obama if not for Martin Luther King?

The United States is considered the world’s one remaining superpower.  That our military and economic might defines our superpower status is unfortunate.  This must change.  Instead, our historic legacy should be defined by our conviction to the unalienable rights of all of people to pursue life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Just as MLK warned against questing freedom’s thirst by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred, our conviction to spread unalienable rights should not be used to justify war and harsh economic punishment.   Just as MLK demanded that the fight for equality be conducted on the high plane of dignity and discipline, we  must use the power of words and the example of our way of life as the inspiration for others to adopt the unalienable rights.

Any American who doesn’t feel proud on MLK day is unworthy of the advantages they enjoy by living in our great country.  Let’s use this pride to take the American dream to a world level.  Let’s be inspired to enact policies that bring economic prosperity back to the world but in a way that allows hard working people of all geographies and circumstances the fair opportunity to pursue prosperity.  Let’s encourage freedom not because it serves our purposes but because it is right.  Let’s return America to greatness, but not to set ourselves on a self-gratifying pedestal but instead so that the beacon of light we represent to the oppressed is once again pure and bright.    Let’s embrace Obama, not because all his policies are agreeable, but because he can provide the leadership that our world so urgently needs.

Martin Luther King had a dream.  The dream was for freedom to ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, and to all the nation’s children whether black or white men, Jew or Gentile, or Protestant  or Catholic,   Let’s help Obama take the sequel to the world stage and allow freedom to ring to those parts of the world and those ways of life that MLK would be concerned with if he were alive today.  Perhaps one day, MLK day will be celebrated throughout the world.