What would Martin Luther King think about America in 2022?17 January 2022 ❤ 2
Its certainly no coincidence that debate over the most significant piece of voting rights legislation in more than a generation is coming to a head as the U.S celebrates the holiday dedicated to the preeminent civil rights leader.
While its a stretch to call the prevailing political opinion over the John Lewis Voting Rights Act actual debate, one still cant help but wonder: What would the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. think about the America in 2022?
On a day meant to bring people together, King would likely note that we couldnt find ourselves farther apart. In his eyes, an amalgamated America would find its strength through its differences cultural, philosophical and otherwise and work together for the greater good. Instead we are focused more than ever on selfish individualism, hiding it behind bastardized terms such as patriot.
A master of the spoken word, King would no doubt have a thing or two to say about this. In fact, he actually did.
In August 1965, King delivered his Birth of a New Age speech in Buffalo, New York, for the 50th anniversary of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity. The message was resonant with his audience of Black men.It was a time when the country struggled to break free from a colonial mentalityin the treatment of African Americans.
An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity, King said in anaddress.
Today, some of our political leaders haveprovided discord so deep that they have sprouted a garden of distrust that seemingly cannot be uprooted. It is from this state of weakness that the leaders taketheir strength. The farther we are apart, the more readily they can use fear and mistrustfortheir own self-serving agendas.
How can we arrive at common ground in the spirit of compromise when were at a point where basic scientific fact and empirical evidence are ignored because doing so would jeopardize freedom?
Its a stretch to think that even King, were he alive and in his prime today, could calm these waters. He hadnt turned 40 yet when an assassins bullet ended his life at a Memphis, Tennessee, motel, in 1968.
The greatest influence King could have now in present-day America, filling the chasmic void of leadership that is so acutely needed., is someone who not only speaks but also acts in the true spirit of a community.
Listen hardand you will hear Kings voice, how he can still provide a lightthat guides us past the ideaof self-preservation and isolating like-mindedness, and through this passage in history when our future course is still unclear.
By F. Aslam