You know, when you've idolized something, you put it on a shelf, lift it up, and when King Day comes out, you pull it out and show it. Or when Black History Month comes out, you show it, or when April 4th or other times, you show it. But, you see, Dad wouldn't want us to idolize.
If we can live a day in peace, then why couldn't we live a week in peace? If we can master a week, why not a month? If we can master a month in peace, why not a year in peace? And if we can master a year, then certainly we can master a lifetime of peace as God's highest creation.
There is more racial integration in American life and many more people of color serving as elected officials and corporate leaders than there were during my father's time. But there is also reason for concern about new forms of racial oppression, such as measures to make it harder to vote, racial profiling and crushing public worker unions.
When my father articulated his vision for the future, he expressed his wish that one day his children would be judged not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character. This dream was not just about me and my siblings, but about our children and their children.
My father's leadership was about more than civil rights. He was deeply concerned with human rights and world peace, and he said so on numerous occasions. He was a civil rights leader, true. But he was increasingly focused on human rights and a global concern and peace as an imperative.
My father would be very concerned about the environment. He'd be disappointed that we have hundreds of thousands and maybe even millions of people who are living out on the streets in the wealthiest nation on the planet. He'd be greatly disappointed because he would know that we can, and we must, do better.