I haven't liked anything I've written about Martin Luther King, his day and his dream. Except for some writing elsewhere where I dealt with a FB troll, nothing has really hit the mark. I just deleted four paragraphs I hated, in fact.
We have not fulfilled the dreams or visions of Martin Luther King. Society as a whole has not. White people have not. Black people have not.
Oh, we're better. There are no codified separation laws, no Jim Crow. White folks have discovered that they will not die if they share water fountains with Black folks. Black folks have had opportunity opened up to them in ways that would have been inconceivable back in the 1950s. It is illegal now to deny jobs or housing to people based on the color of their skin. That is all progress and good.
Still, a look at comment boards on sports and news stories will reveal White prejudice and hatred, and Blacks still sometimes struggle against White people judging them due to their being Black, rather than as individuals. Prejudice remains in the hearts of many, sometimes blatant, sometimes latent.
Black people have failed Dr. King. Some have taken up violence, against both Black and White, and making it a culture statement. Some have turned their backs on education, calling it "White", seeing it as selling out. Some Blacks have fallen prey to an entitlement mentality, waiting for a hand out instead of a hand up, or taking initiative.
Dr. King would be dismayed at the number of Black males in prison and dead due to crime and violence. He would rue the lack of firm family structure in America--a problem for both Black and White. He would be perturbed by both the quality of today's integrated public schools and the bad attitudes and laziness of students, especially Black students.
Dr. King, IMHO, would come against the use of race as victimhood. He would stand up against using past injustices as an excuse for failure, or an excuse for bad behavior. During the bus boycott and other protests, he constantly reiterated the need for non-violence. He called for all to be better then those who would commit violence at them during the protests. He pleaded for love and good to meet hate and evil.
We have made progress since the days of protest of the 1950s and 1960s. But we are not there yet. In my simplistic little mind, I would love for skin color to be as meaningful to the judgment of a person as the color of a cat's fur. It is more complicated than that, I know. It's tribe and culture, comfort with the familiar, fear of the unknown. In the end, we are all human. There is little DNA difference between the White and the Black. If we remember that, culture and all that seem less daunting.