North American Division President Reflects on Martin Luther King Jr. Day


North American Division President Reflects on Martin Luther King Jr. Day

To the North American Division Family,

I ask you the question: Has the dream been realized?

As we draw to the end of the Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebrations of 2021 and reflect on the state of things in the United States, North America, and our world, one can’t help but be perplexed by the paradox of our times.

In one of Dr. King’s most famous speeches he said, “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” Some want to say that we have arrived at that place, but have we really?

A paradox of our time is that there has been racial progress and yet it is obvious to most that we have a long way to go. On the one hand, we have sent a Black man to serve in the highest position in the land, and now we’re just a couple of days from sending the first black woman to serve as vice president. On the other hand, we have watched George Floyd and other black men murdered by those who were sworn to uphold and protect with rapidity. Another paradox is that on the one hand, the state of Georgia sent a Black man and a Jewish man to the U.S. Congress for the first time in the history of the South; but on the other hand, on the very next day, the U.S. Capitol was attacked because a significant number of whites feel they are losing their country and must take it back by force, and they felt like the presidential election was stolen. Another paradox is to watch how different groups of protesters are treated — for one group an overwhelming show of force; for another group hardly any force at all — and yet some people don’t understand why others look at those realities and see inequity and injustice. In our world today people are living in two different worlds, adhering to two different sets of facts and, of course, arriving at completely different conclusions. Has the dream been realized?


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