I want to be honest with you, I kind of wished they held the Presidential Inauguration today instead of Monday, but they aren’t and it ain’t my show so que sera.
Tomorrow the first African-American President of the United States will be sworn in in front of the nation on the day we recognize the contributions of one its greatest citizens. In some ways for a lot of African-Americans see Barack Obama as Martin Luther King’s successor; the promise of America in the form of one man. If you doubt me I can show you shirts that say it.
As I sit here girding myself for the blanket news coverage to come, coverage that will include one of local new casters covering the event live, I have been thinking about history.
Tomorrow people will mention how we live in a Post-racial America; a place where race is a largely irrelevant aspect of the culture and the mixing of the races is a common occurrence. Now America in 2013 is not the America of 2008 or even 2001, and Lord knows it ain’t the 1960’s. The Civil rights issues of the day are over sexual orientation and immigration status and less about ethnicity. Black culture is largely accepted and assimilated by the culture at large.
And yet to say we live in a post-racial society feels disingenuous. Inequality persists, an unhealthy amount of Black men are still find themselves in the care of the state, education and access is still an issue, and we as a community still bare the scars of our American experience.
I write this not admitting that it hasn’t gotten better, but that as with all things issues still persist.
I write this to say that as we celebrate both the Inauguration and Martin Luther King Day that we remember that they are but men and to treat them as such;and not simply turn them into idols or golden calves.
It is always important to take stock of all that we have accomplished, but to never forget the work yet to be done.
image: Boi Genius