Saturday, April 05, 2008

40 years without Dr. King

Yesterday, I spent the day of Dr. King's assination contemplating the unfinished business of his Dream. My old law school hosted the event entitled  "Did Dr. King Die in Vain?"  [We concluded "No!" by the way] It was very inspiring in all respects.  Now some undoubtedly came from the 6.5 hours of free CLE (continuing legal education, a part of the requirements to keep your license) and free lunch.  But those who stayed did so due to the incredible speakers and fellow attendees.

My sister's boyfriend gave my "My Traitor's Heart" a memior/history book about South Africa in the mid-1980s from the perspective of an Afrikaner (white) exile who came back to face his race and his country.  

This book, along with NAACP's Julian Bond (in his speech yesterday) reminded me  that even though we never (nor our ancestors) owned slaves, we stil continue to benefit from slavery and the persistance of the institution of racism.  

I think we all need to realize our privileges and confront what it is like to be an Other, to purposely place yourself in a spot where there are lots of people that don't look like you, believe what you believe, nor share your same culture.

And we all must realize that we are not helpless to stop/reduce the persistance of the achievement gaps.  While the problem is a large one, it can only be solved by individuals confronting it and doing their own small part.  

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