It was 45 years ago today that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. told the world of his dream.
I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal."
I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.
I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.
I have a dream that my four little 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 have a dream today!
In the decades since this speech our country has moved at what many times seems like a snail's pace toward realizing Dr. King's dream. Last night when the delegates to the Democratic National Convention nominated by acclamation a man of color to be our nominee for the highest office in this country, we opened the door to a future that could see this nation once again marching toward equality for all rather than crawling or worse standing still.
The nomination of Barack Obama is indeed an historic step, but it is not a sign that the battle is over or that the march is at its end. It is far more likely, we will find that the battle is simply beginning anew.
The nomination of a Black man to be our choice for president will bring out the haters. We will more than likely see a resurgence in the exhibition of racist feelings. As horrible as it sounds keep in mind that it is far easier to fight the racism you see than that which is latent or hidden.
This time we will be better prepared. This time there are more on our side. This time we know that once one shade of brown makes strides toward equality the haters will direct their attention to another shade of brown. This time the haters won't win. They won't win the next time either.
The election of Barack Obama as the Democratic nominee does not signal the end of racism. It does not heal the wounds of the past. The nomination of a Black man to run for the highest office in our nation is only one step of the journey. It is, however, an amazingly beautiful step that will inspire those of us willing to fight the hate to carry on.