This weekend, we are taking some time to reflect, remember and celebrate the legacy of a great civil-rights leader, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. We’ll refocus our attention on what we need to do to enhance our future. Dr. King fought for justice and equality for all people. He believed that all men were created equal and that everyone should be judged not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.
If we think about civil rights, we can honestly say that we have come a long way. Minorities are making progress in almost every area. With all the progress being made, one would think that we have arrived. One might think that the dream has been fulfilled. Since the nation elected its first African-American president for a first and second term, it’s easy to think that all is well.
Not everyone sees things as I do, and we all have the right to our opinions. I do think we have come a long way, but we still have a long way to go. I’ve noticed that since Obama has been in the White House, prejudice and hatred have reared their ugly heads.
When I reflect on the things that people endured during the civil-rights movement, it’s obvious there is much work to be done. However, just as Dr. King and others depended on God to help them, we also must recognize that our source of power and strength comes from the Lord. As Romans 8:31 says, “If God is for us, who can be against us?” If we trust in the Lord, he will guide us through the rough times in our lives.
Dr. King wanted our youth to have a better future. He wanted them to get a quality education. He wanted them to have the right to be all they can be. He wanted them to live in a world where opportunities are given based on character traits and qualifications, not on skin color. We still have a long way to go.
It appears that many of our young people are headed in the wrong direction. Many need to catch on to Dr. King’s dream. They need to understand that many fought and died for their right to get a quality education. Many fought and died for the rights and freedoms that young people today enjoy and, often, abuse.
I know Dr. King understood that God created all men equal, and he fought and died for equality. We, too, must see all men in the image and likeness of God. We must not judge each other by skin color. We must love each other so we can create a future that will embrace the worth of all men.
When it comes to equality and justice for all, we still have a way to go. When it comes to eliminating racial hatred and prejudice, we still have a way to go. When it comes to making Dr. King’s dream a reality, we have a long way to go. However, if we trust in God and allow Him to work in us, we make Dr. King’s dream a reality and make God proud of us for being the men and women He is calling for. Yes, we have come a long way, but we still have a long way to go.
Jackson is the pastor of the St. Luke Missionary Baptist Church, the president of the MLK Association of Liberty County and a member of the United Ministerial Alliance