On Martin Luther King Day 2020, the question that remains
So many years have come to pass with many related events long since forgotten; but some memories never fade away.
I will always remember the day Dr. King was assassinated. My entire family gathered around our television watching the news as it unfolded. We all cried. Even my father who was rarely moved to tears, could not hold them back as they poured down his face.
Today I am reminded of the words of the disciples on the road to Emmaus in the Gospel of Luke.
While reflecting on the death of Jesus, they stated (paraphrasing), "We thought He was the one."
The African American community had also placed great hope on the shoulders of Dr. King and in his work. The pressing question after his death was who, if anyone, would pick up the mantle and continue to lead the movement?
Throughout the years, great strides have been made in race relations. Indeed schools are integrated, neighborhoods are integrated, restaurants are integrated and even some churches are integrated.
But the question remains, "Have hearts and minds really changed?" Do we see all people as equal, created in the image and likeness of God and equally protected by the constitution of our nation?
Are we honestly assessing the value of every individual and realizing their worth?
I believe Dr. King's dream for all people to be judged by the "content of their character" is still in an incubatory stage and requires each of us to nurture it more intentionally and unconditionally.
We must not let the political rhetoric of today divide us neither as a country nor as the people of God.
We cannot afford a collective regression to the states of mind and heart that, for too long, painfully divided our country by race, wealth and politics.
We are "one nation under God."
Long live the dream of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
The Rev. Dr. Nathaniel L. Edmond is pastor of Second Baptist Church of Elgin and a member of the Daily Herald Editorial Board's advisory Sounding Board.