Letter to the Editor

BY DI READERS | OCTOBER 18, 2011 7:20 AM

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Obama was not King's dream

The Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Dedication was this past weekend, and we heard much talk about how President Obama's election was the fulfillment of King's dream of equality.

I would argue just the opposite: NOT electing him would have been such a fulfillment.

I believe King would have despised and rejected the tactics that many of Obama's supporters used throughout the 2008 presidential campaign and beyond, specifically, the charges of racism. Because of the weight that word carries in American politics, nobody in her or his right mind would want to be labeled a racist. It is precisely this fear that led many to make blanket, baseless charges of racism against conservatives, libertarians, Tea Partiers, and Republicans. Would King have wanted this, or would he have wanted people of opposing viewpoints to judge each other based on the merit of their positions without regard to anybody's race?

If the true measure of equality is judging people based on the content of their character rather than the color of their skin, then we must also not promote people to assuage our guilt of past transgressions. Now, not every Obama supporter voted for him because he is a man of color. Some were liberal, just wanted a change or a fresh face and charismatic smile. But some also supported Obama because they felt that putting even a wildly unqualified and inexperienced half-black man in the Oval Office proved that they or the country were over their troubled racial past. Without these voters and without the egregiously biased media's promotion of Obama as the nation's racial equalizer, I do not believe Obama would have had a chance. And in King's America, where nobody is judged, either favorably or negatively, on the color of their skin, Obama never should have had a chance.

Andrew Lorelli
UI law student

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