Celebrating Presidents and Black History

George Washington could have been a dictator. Instead he chose to be president and to serve a limited term. Thus he set the model for all presidents who followed him, lending a sacredness to the top office of the land. Some who have followed have sullied the office. Others have heightened the awe in which we view this position. Abraham Lincoln is one of our historic heroes. In his day, he listened to and was influenced by Fredrick Douglass, who pushed for civil rights. Freedom, however imperfect, followed. It was a great step in the right direction.

A hundred years later, Martin Luther King, in his push for civil rights, influenced John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson. Again, freedom was advanced.

I look at the faces of those who stood before MLK when he gave his great speech. And I see these people as, well, people.

I am white. Yet there is a connection with these people. It goes beyond the rainbow branches of my family. It goes beyond my nephew, years ago, regarding the boxes in his college application papers and trying to decide which one to check. White? Black? Chicano? Native American? Asian?…

This quandary of choices is not unusual. There are no stereotypes. The rainbow effect of our unity and blending adds richness, depth, knowledge, beauty.

I look at the faces of those who joined MLK in his march for freedom and think of how these wonderful people can teach all of us to fight peacefully and stubbornly to preserve and enhance our civil rights, our securities and protections, our freedoms. We are all brothers and sisters in this together. We are the tremendous force for good in our country. May we stand together, in peace and in love.

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