For decades, the liberal camp has stirred up the emotions of the African American Community with reminders of our victimization from first slavery and then segregation and racism. Yet, in the midst of all our oppression, we have always managed to rise to the surface, and even ascend to the peaks of promise, stepping over the boulders of despair that would try to hold us back.
My grandfather, Dr. Martin Luther King, Sr. often quoted his mentor Dr. Benjamin E. Mays. During his lifetime, Dr. Mays was President of Morehouse College in Atlanta. Many of the men of our family, including Daddy AD King and Uncle ML King, like Granddaddy, are "Morehouse Men."
Dr. Mays would say: "No one can ride your back unless it is bent." Granddaddy always taught us to "stand up straight and walk tall because God is on our side."
When I hear Mrs. Senator Hillary Clinton or Mrs. Michelle Obama, or Al Sharpton, or other leading speakers stir up memories of racial unrest and oppression, even when they are pointing out the obvious current racial overtones and undertones that Blacks in America are still facing, I don't hear hope. They don't offer solutions, only more anger, pain and despair.
As a survivor of the 20th Century Race Wars, my back remains unbent, and I move forward for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for all who were created equal in God's eyes.
In my book “KING RULES,” I write about the "Beloved Community" our legacy embraces. I write about Acts 17:26, where we discover that the human race is born of "one blood." So we are not even "separate races." This reminds us that what Uncle ML said is true: "We must all learn to live together as brothers [and sisters] or perish as fools."
Please, someone, remind speakers like Mrs. Obama and Mrs. Clinton that the answer to racial strife and confusion, in fact to all human issues, will always be love and nonviolent conflict resolution.
Kitchen table issues affect the rich and the poor alike. How will we feed our families, how will we educate our children, how will we manage successful career strategies, how will we improve our quality of life? It doesn't matter how much we are able to pay for these benefits. The American Dream is that everyone will have some form of satisfaction, free from fear of danger, poverty and harm.
We still have a dream, The American Dream.
Dr. Alveda King, niece of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., is the founder of King for America, Inc., consultant to the Africa Humanitarian Christian Fellowship and Pastoral Associate and Director of African-American Outreach for Priests for Life and Gospel of Life Ministries.
Editor's Note: This piece was originally published by Priests For Life.