Reflections Of A King

How does one begin to explain the importance of MLK? How does one express the deep emotions and hurt that continue to be felt by those who were influenced by him and followed him when he was alive?

Perhaps nothing short of mythical and even super-human status belongs to him. The fact that he stands out as one of the most influential people of the last few centuries should be enough to put him in a class reserved for only the most outstanding people of all time.

When he died I was deeply moved. I wrote an article that was put on the editorial page of the Denver Post. In those days it was standard to use the word Negroes to those darker Americans of African descent. I called it Justice for Negroes. We all felt that the loss of Dr. King would be a severe blow to the desires of African-Americans to be included without distinction or differentiation. It was. It felt like the justice of the world did not include those deep desires of inclusion. Frankly, it has set back the movement for civil rights and is still felt today.  

The same problems of Black Americans continue to this day. Distinctions based on color are rampant.  Let us not kid ourselves. Many black Americans have joined with the larger middle class to be successful, but they still worry about their kids driving while black and they are warned to get home early and to avoid certain situations. They know that if their kids have a car problem, it may quickly grow into something more serious.   

From my vantage point, I believe that not only will America not solve its race problems, but the world will not solve its many problems with the economies, the wars, the internal strife of many countries and the severe wealth disparity until we understand the virtues of inclusion and the sin of exclusion. It can’t always be about “I am better because…” or “I got mine now, so I don’t care about you…,” etc. This kind of thinking has held humans back for the whole of recorded history, but now the difficulties caused by this limited thinking, may be what keeps the human race from evolving to what should be its next achievements.

Dr. King knew this. Dr. King lived this. Dr. King gave up his young life for this. Dr. King is my hero. I wish he was still here.

Mike Sawaya
Denver, CO