At the time MLK spoke those words, the world was not ready for accepting people based on their deeds and actions, but rather was focused more on skin color.
Today with Obama’s inagauration, one might suggest that MLK’s words spoken nearly 40 years ago, were prophetic… and in a way they were. But the election of Obama has turned MLK’s words of wisdom completely upside down. We have not judged Obama based on the content of his character, but instead we have judged him based on the color of his skin. More headlines and news reports have focused on Obama being a Black or African American rather than being the best and brightest individual for the job of President. MLK would be saddened by the rabid focus on Obama being black. So while many political hacks argue we’ve made history today, I would strongly argue otherwise. History would have been made, if the campaigns and the election of Obama was based entirely on him being the best and brightest candidate to be President. But from my vantage point we are far from living in a “post racial” society… oh quite the contrary. We still allow people to carry around labels such as Mexican American or African American… I ask: “Aren’t we all simply Americans?” To me it is a given if you were born here legally… you are an American… you are not African, Mexican, Polish, Klingon or anything else. You are simply an American. And until we get to the point, we are all simply Americans, there is no chance we are going to be able to move beyond race. To me it is insulting for people to insist they are Mexican American or African American. I am of Irish descent, but don’t label myself Irish American, I am simply an American. End of Story.