Last week, I commented on the role of civil rights organizations and organized labor, in one of the most significant events in modern history, the historic March on Washington on August 28, 1963.
But what most people remember about that day is the historic "I Have a Dream Speech" by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. So what would Dr. King think of the state of this country and the world today? Would he feel that his dream has been realized? Dr. King was a global thinker, so his context was of the world and not just the United States.
I believe that Dr. King would say, "Pretty good, but we still have work to do." Dr. King was a realist. He understood that when he wrote his speech that it was being written 100 years after the Emancipations Proclamation. Was that moment in front of a quarter of a million people a dream realized?
Would he say, "My, my, an African American President of the United States", my dream has been realized. I think he would be pleased, but not satisfied.
I believe that Dr. King would be very pleased with the many aspects of the human condition and he would be very displeased with others. He would be pleased with how far we have come, but displeased with how far we have to go. And the "we" is a collective we.
At the end of the day we don't really know how he would feel. But I am confident in knowing that if Dr. King were here today he would tell us all to dream a new dream.