It is only fitting that America’s first African−American president will take office the day after our nation observes Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
King declared his dream of a day when Americans will be judged not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character. On Nov. 4, when a majority of Americans judged then−President−elect Barack Obama had the character to lead our country in these challenging times, that day had arrived at last.
Bigotry and intolerance are scourges that must be eradicated, but the struggle against racism and inequality seems to have reached a tipping point. The generation that marched alongside King in the 1960s raised the one that helped elect Obama. To paraphrase Crosby, Stills and Nash, the ’60s generation taught their children well. Polling indicates the millennial generation is the most tolerant in our country’s history.
Obama’s election is a testament to the opportunities America affords regardless of race. America’s strides toward racial conciliation are remarkable, especially compared to the marginalization of minority groups in other Western democracies, such as France and Germany.
Undoubtedly, King looked down on Washington, D.C., at noon Jan. 20 and smiled at the realization of his dream.
©2009 Community News Group
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