Incredible strides have been made in race relations since the era of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., whose legacy we will honor on Monday.
Unfortunately, it still isn’t enough.
Browsing through some of King’s writings this week, honestly, was a little depressing. His Nobel Lecture on Dec. 11, 1964, included the following:
“Yet, in spite of these spectacular strides in science and technology, and still unlimited ones to come, something basic is missing. There is a sort of poverty of the spirit which stands in glaring contrast to our scientific and technological abundance. The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly the air like birds and swim the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers.”
Unfortunately, that is still true 55 years later. In his address, King also touched on poverty and war. Yep, we still have those too.
Perhaps, given our fragile human natures, we always will have racism, war and poverty.
I hope perhaps racism can die an eventual, generational death. My children have been raised in a largely multi-cultural society. Associating with people of different races and nationalities isn’t much of an issue, whereas for my grandparents, it was.
Perhaps King had that hope, as well. This is from the conclusion of his Nobel address:
“Let me close by saying that I have the personal faith that mankind will somehow rise up to the occasion and give new directions to an age drifting rapidly to its doom. n spite of the tensions and uncertainties of this period something profoundly meaningful is taking place. Old systems of exploitation and oppression are passing away, and out of the womb of a frail world new systems of justice and equality are being born. Doors of opportunity are gradually being opened to those at the bottom of society… In a dark confused world the kingdom of God may yet reign in the hearts of men.”
Thanks for reading.