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[Black Star News Editorial]



When Dr. Martin Luther King arose in the 1960s to challenge the old ways, doubters and naysayers told him that the country wasn’t ready for the kind of transformational changes he advocated for even though they were overdue.

Whites were not ready for drastic changes, Dr. King was warned, by Whites, as well as by Black people. Official racial segregation and discrimination, in schools, at the work place, and at all social institutions, would end, one day, in the distant future, Dr. King was told.

Yet, Dr. King believed there was such a thing as the “urgency of now.” He marched forward. He was beaten; he was arrested; he was humiliated; and, he was eventually murdered. The people followed, and a new chapter was opened in this country’s long march towards a more perfect Union.

Dr. King was fearless because he knew that many others before him had also sacrificed, since the days of the Middle Passage Holocaust, plantation slavery, the civil war, Reconstruction, and American apartheid.

Without Dr. King’s audacity and sacrifice, millions of Black people, descendants of slaves as well as new arrivals from Africa and the Caribbean, and countless immigrants from Asia, would not today enjoy the bountiful opportunities in these United States.

Moreover, this country would not have been as accommodating to millions of White women, who benefited from the opportunities opened up in the work place and at schools, as a result of the Civil Rights Movement spearheaded by Dr. King and many others.

Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, like many of us, are beneficiaries of the Civil Rights Movement.

Today is a different day, with new challenges and new solutions. Dr. King would like the march to continue.

Yet, to move forward, the country must, once again, be willing to part ways with the old traditions and once again reject the naysayers.

Barack Obama advocates the kind of transformational changes that the United States requires as it continues on its long course towards realizing its potential.

Obama has brought out voters that had given up on politics entirely. Even Republicans are inspired by Obama. He makes us all believe once again, that of all the countries on this earth of ours, these United States is where almost all dreams can come true.

Obama, the ultimate outsider, has Black and White parentage; he has American and African breeding; he has Asian rearing; and, he has African American experiences. Obama shows that one can seize opportunities in this country and attend the best schools and open doors that can lead anywhere.

Obama shows that Blacks, Whites, Latinos, and Asians can all have that big dialogue that we need to bring us all closer as a people, in order to tackle common challenges and afflictions.

Obama demands that we must no longer accept the status quo--business as usual.

In the old days, Democrats lined on one side of the barricades and Republicans on the other side. Then each side waited for the other to make mistakes, and the other side collected a few more seats in Congress. That’s how “success” has been measured in politics.

Obama asks for more. He dares to say that politicians should actually govern. That government of the people, by the people, for the people can become a reality.

Obama believes that Americans can work towards overcoming racial, class, ethnic, social and gender divisions. Obama challenges Americans. Once we come together, as Americans, we can deal with the serious problems, including: economic malaise; wealth inequities; the costly and corrosive war in Iraq; the problems of having millions of Americans walking around without health insurance; unemployment; the tendency of focusing on incarcerating Black youth, rather than on education and job/skills training to steer them towards other possibilities; homelessness; drug addiction; crumbling schools; and other challenges.

Obama says we must stop addressing these challenges as “Black problems,” or “White problems,” or “Latino problems.” He wants them to be dealt with as American problems.

Obama believes that Americans are tired of political stalemate. That’s why Obama has been able to attract Republicans and Independents everywhere he has campaigned. His campaign is not for the hearts of Democrats. His is the campaign for America.

Obama is not interested in winning the White House for the sake of being president. Obama wants to be president in order to show a new form of government--a broad based government able to govern and to tackle the country’s problems.

If these are what are referred to as “false hopes” then let false hopes reign.

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