Obama Has a Dream
My wife forwarded me an email from one of her work colleagues and a mutual friend noting that the Democratic National Convention will be August 25-28, which means that Barack Obama’s acceptance speech should come on the 45th anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech.
Quite naturally, the party will play up the historic symbolism and the national media will play along. It’s a great story, after all. A black man being judged by the content of his character. Freed from “the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination,” the black man will finally no longer be “languishing in the corners of American society” nor “an exile in his own land.”
In many ways, of course, all that’s true. Except that, as Dave Schuler has noted numerous times on OTB Radio, Barack Obama himself is not a child of that legacy. He was sired and abandoned by a black African and raised by his white mother and white grandparents in Hawaii and Indonesia, not Mississippi, Alabama, South Carolina, Georgia, Louisiana, or “the slums and ghettos of our northern cities.” He didn’t live in the continental United States until after graduating high school in 1979. He simply wasn’t shaped in any meaningful way by the civil rights struggles.