Reflection on President Obama & Dr. King
By Kyle Edwards
On August 28, 1963, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his famed "I Have a Dream" speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial during the March on Washington for Job and Freedom. This speech mentioned Dr. King's vision for the future of not only the American Negro, but of the end of inequities based on the false conscious of race in the United States. On April 3rd, 1968, at the Church of God in Christ Headquarters located in Memphis, Tennessee, Dr. King delivered his last speech ever. This speech was entitled "I Have been to the Mountain Top." That speech did King not only predict that he would be a martyr of the Civil Rights Movement, but King also signified that change would come.
President Barack Obama is not the change Dr. King mentioned in his final speech. Dr. King was the descendent of people who were and still are being systematically disenfranchised and not allowed to amalgamate themselves ion the fabric of the United States of America. Dr. King said change would come from the ensuing generation of American Negroes. Thurgood Marshall was part of that change. Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice were apart of that change. President Obama has an inspirational story, yet it is not fair to all the martyrs of the struggle for equality of Black people in America to place the new president in the same category. Obama is however epitome of the American Dream.
President Barack Obama is the son of an immigrant from Kenya and a Caucasian woman from Kansas. He born in Hawai'i, and raised by the Caucasian half of his family. The new president's ancestry through the Diaspora is quite different from Dr. King's. Unlike most Black American's, President Obama does know where on the continent of Africa his origins can be traced. He father chose to come to the United States; where as the people in the Civil Rights Movement's ancestors' were brought to this soil by way of the Middle Passage. Obama is the American dream because an immigrant's son rose through the ranks, received an Ivy League education, and was able to claim the presidency of the most influential nation on Earth. This feat should not be overlooked.
The comparisons between our new president and the most revered martyr of the Civil Rights Movement need to cease. Hope brought about change, but not the change everyone keeps attempting to highlight. Just because he has melanin in his skin and his wife is black, does not mean it is fair to call this one the chosen one. I'll stick to the "skinny kid with the funny name."