Obama: Dr. King's Dream Lives

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[National: Commentary]


American citizens are in the midst of one of the most important political races in our nation’s history. 

In November, voters will have an opportunity to change the course of history and impact how our nation is viewed around the world. 

The U.S. government hasn’t always shown good faith in upholding the democratic values upon which our country was founded. Our politicians have implemented a number of foreign policies that have proven detrimental to the U.S. economy. 

A large majority of Americans advocate the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan and Iraq because, despite our government’s best intentions, our military interventions have not only negatively impacted our brave soldiers, but also innocent civilians who live in the foreign countries where we are based.

Is it possible for the U.S. to spread democracy in other countries, when we seem unable to solve our own long-standing issues of racism and social injustice?  People throughout the world either watched or read about Hurricane Katrina. Thousands of American citizens waited five days for help. People in New Orleans were pushed to desperate measures to survive.

Our government’s response to the crisis, which made international headlines, appeared inadequate and callous. Katrina was clear proof that our nation’s history of racism and disenfranchisement remains an unfortunate reality for people of color and the poor.  As American citizens, we know that our country is moving forward. We have seen many positive social changes in schools, communities, workplaces and our churches.

Yet, despite our progress as a nation and as individuals, we are still struggling to shed the deeply ingrained racism, inequality and injustice that results when paternalism and white supremacy is the law of the land. This year’s election is an opportunity for American citizens to demonstrate to the world that the U.S. is prepared to enter a new era.

We can  show the world that old practices that once denied women and minorities equal opportunity have no place in an enlightened and just society. Once again, all eyes, on the U.S. Collectively, we must consider which candidate running for office will show the world how much we have grown as a nation; and convey that we are committed to putting our ideals of democracy and equality into practice.

Presidential hopeful, Barack Obama represents the melting pot of America. He is the off-spring of a white mother and an African father. Senator Obama is well-educated, articulate and an attorney. He is an elected official that has garnered the respect and trust of not only his constituents, but voters across the nation. 

He has utilized his hard-earned education to generate positive social change for working class people. His multi-cultural lineage, personal and professional experience should resonate, on some level, with all Americans regardless of their conservative values, age, economic status or gender.  Senator Obama’s presence on the ballot, more than any other candidate, embodies our nation’s most cherished democratic principles of equality, freedom and justice for all.

American citizens are at the crossroads of a historical moment. We are a country that was once incapable of envisioning a person of color as president of the United States. Senator Obama represents fundamental change for America and as Dr. Martin Luther King said so eloquently 40 years ago—a person should be judged by the content of his character, not the color of his skin.

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