Forty-five years ago, the great Martin Luther King graced us with his vision of racial equality, and words that will live on forever as a symbol of his struggles towards unity. In 1963, King delivered his ‘I have a dream' speech from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, a speech that still resonates today as a testament to his will and courage. Now, forty-five years later, Barack Obama stands on the precipice of accepting his party's nomination for the presidency by delivering an equally unforgettable, charismatic, and courageous speech. At least, that's what Stanley Crouch of the Daily News says others would like you to believe:
Thursday, Barack Obama, the son of a black man and white woman, will give a speech that many say has the potential to achieve the same level of gravity, ascendant courage and timeless charisma contained in King's speech.
My first reaction to this wild comparison was to wonder where parallel lines can be drawn between the two men.Actually, check that, my first reaction to this wild comparison was a fit of apoplectic laughter.That said, questions do remain. Foremost would be: Who exactly are these "others" that Crouch speaks of? And why is that when the MSM wants to make a point, they cite their sources as the generalized description - others? With all due respect, what courage, gravity and charisma will Obama be harnessing for this groundbreaking speech? King's speech was about lifting ‘our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood.' It was about ‘freedom and equality.' Obama's speech will encompass how he is the chosen one. I suppose the utterance of the word ‘change' could be considered as timeless charisma. After all change is a catchphrase that people throughout history can relate. But I question whether or not Obama can deliver this concept of change with quite the same fervor. Perhaps it will be change he can Xerox, by paraphrasing King's own words...
Let change ring from the mighty mountains of New York.Let change ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania.
As for the ascendant courage aspect, I am not quite sure how Obama will achieve this. The most courageous thing he could do at this point would be to actually define what ‘change' means, and develop a political platform, something he has yet to do. In fact, calling his acceptance speech amidst a crowd of adoring fans courageous is a bit ridiculous. Comparing that to the courage of MLK speaking about his dream in the midst of a racially polarized America in the 1960's is utterly ridiculous. The gravity of King's speech is also something which will not be matched by Obama's. Accepting a party nomination has nary the importance as a man carrying the entire concept of racial equality on his shoulders. To his credit, Mr. Crouch doubts that these aspects of Obama's speech will closely match what Martin Luther King did forty-five years ago. No, he offers up for consumption the true problems that face our country today. The true threats, not the militant radical terrorists who long to kill Americans thousands at a time. Real threats, such as ‘a Chinese or Indian student studying with absolute intensity.' Yes that is the threat Obama must awaken America to, the studious foreigner. Perhaps Mr. Crouch, Obama supporters, and Obama himself also have a dream. And hopefully they will one day wake up from that dream, to a better understanding that America should not be led by a man whose only mantra is ‘change,' but by a man who has a true understanding of the threats that face America today.