We mark the 40th anniversary of Martin Luther King's Jr's passing today by giving you the clip of his last speech, given the day before his murder in Memphis, TN. Unfortunately, it is only the last minute of his speech - the part that most people know.
I heard the extended version of it this morning , and the part that struck me was that King didn't just have a moment of irony by mentioning that he may get there with his people. The man was genuinely worried about threats against him, and he knew that the threats were serious. Living in fear is a tough prospect, and I'm glad that I've never been in that spot.
We'll never know for sure how things would have been had King lived. Would he be a hero, or maybe a Senator or President by now.... or would he be Jesse Jackson? It is interesting to speculate. However, I do think that we as a country have progressed tremendously since then, and that King , while not being completely satisfied, would be proud of the progress. Too many make their living by antagonizing the peace, and I'd like to think that he would not be one of them.
There can be no doubt that, in the year where we will likely have it's first black presidential nominee, that America has turned a corner in confronting race. I look forward to the day when we don't look at each other in terms of color - at least in a negative way.