In 1964, singer Bob Dylan released the song "The Times They a-Changing" at a time in our history when it was necessary for our nation to produce a personality that could speak to the conscience of a racially divided and emotionally troubled America. Dr. Martin Luther King became that voice for many who could not access opportunity, especially in the Southern United Sates. In 1964, the times in virtually all corners of this country were vastly different for people of color and women than they are today and definitions of terms like equal opportunity had a dramatically different meaning than progressive liberals place on it in 2016.
I was a young boy in Shreveport, Louisiana in the times of Dr. King with an acute awareness of how different life was for Negroes. In those, times there were people who did not have a Hollywood script but knew how to hurl the ‘N’ word with stinging accuracy. I witnessed my mother step aside and allow whites to be served first in stores and doctors offices. Until 1965, I rode on segregated public buses and attended segregated schools until 1968. In 1962, I will never forget seeing men in sheets gathering for the Klan rally, I have drank from colored and white water fountains only to find as a six-year-old kid that the water tastes the same.
Over fifty years later this same Dr. who in 1959 spoke at my home church, Galilee Baptist, was vilified by racist and feared by some blacks as a troublemaker but now is honored with a national holiday. The times were changing in the 60’s because Dr. King had the insight to understand that if black lives were to matter in the United States, black people would have to have access to opportunity not the crippling guarantee of unmerited placement. To quote Dr. King, "Nothing in this world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity."
Unfortunately, I have seen both sincere ignorance in some progressive liberals who ignore and fail to acknowledge the weight of historical racial progress in America, and I have seen the conscientious stupidity of those who abuse the ignorant by using them as tools to perpetuate racial divisions for financial and political gain. Be aware that race hustlers come in all pigments of skin.
Dr. King, I believe, would be greatly disappointed at the failure of inner city education, family and job statistics. He would see that 48 years after his death racial attitudes oddly resemble the times of his life. It seems that in the current age of a bi-racial president, black mega stars, women with real financial muscle and black power brokers, young people are being brainwashed to believe the colored and white water fountain days are still the great evil in our nation. My friends that reality is truly the saddest commentary on the State of the Union. The times are a changing and 2016 most definitely will be the year that will yield a panoramic look at the direction of national change.