|Martin Luther King, Jr. as a young man|
Today we celebrate the life and work of Martin Luther King, Jr.
He had a dream. Did his dream come true?
He would have been happy and proud to see an African-American president enter the White House in 2009. I am sure he would be pleased with many other changes that have occurred throughout the US since the civil rights struggles of the 60s. I suspect he also would be impatient with some of the things that haven't changed, or not changed fast enough, such as: the level of diversity within executive leadership ranks in government and business; differential poverty rates among people according to race and ethnicity; the high percentage of young African-American males who populate our prisons; the lack of educational attainment by so many of our children.
Racism continues to rear its ugly head. It does not go gentle into that good night. If we are honest with ourselves, we recognize that we all contain seeds of racism; and we certainly witness racism and bigotry throughout the world, where violence, repression and hatred is directed at one's race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity or other factors that render one "different".
We have come a long way, but we have a long way to go. As leaders, we are models. For change to occur, we must start by being honest with ourselves about who we are and what we value.
Dr. King did not give up.......let's keep his dream alive.