Would Dr. King Approve of America’s Racial Progress?

Bill C. (Jan. 20, 2014) During his historic “I Have a Dream” speech in 1963, Dr. Martin Luther King said, “I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”

I believe Dr. King was exhorting a new mindset, suggesting that when it comes to evaluating the character of other people; skin color should be ignored and should not be a factor in evaluating another person’s competence or moral stature. The best approach to changing racial mindsets is to model an attitude that simply stops discriminating based on irrelevant factors such as skin color and starts to focus assessing other people’s potential based on their individual abilities. If all parties would assume an attitude of assessing individual abilities and character rather than an attitude of group prejudice and stereotyping, racism in America would soon become only a regrettable memory of the past!

The racial equality that Dr. King envisioned can and is currently being accomplished by open-minded Americans who are fostering relationships, partnerships and teams in an open and transparent environment based on an individual’s abilities and merits regardless of their respective color or creed. This ideal should apply in every aspect of American life – including business, education, government, judicial process and politics. Americans have always embraced the self-made characteristics possessed by each individual as the ones that count the most. Americans should reject all forms of racism and focus on individualism, which is the proper remedy against discriminatory thinking. We need to teach our children and all Americans to look beyond skin color and to judge people on what really matters, specifically, “the content of their character.”

(Photo by the San Francisco Appeal)