Houston Forward Times

15 January 2014 Written by  Jeffrey L. Boney

DR. KING: WHAT WOULD YOU SAY?

67979947Well, it’s that time again, where we honor and celebrate the birthday and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., on a day that has been set aside as a federal holiday.

As I think about this great man and his stellar legacy, I can’t help but wonder what Dr. King would say to us if he were alive today.

After all of the beatings; all of the marching; all of the fighting for equality; and after all of the time he spent in jail, what would Dr. King actually say to a people who have squandered so much in such a short time?

All of Dr. King’s efforts led to the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, where King delivered his "Normalcy, Never Again" speech, most commonly referred to as the "I Have a Dream" speech. 

Since that speech, his vision of a color blind society and a land of racial equality have been continuously promoted across the country.  As a result, and as he predicted, we now have a Black president; something that was nothing more than a desired hope for many Black people in this nation.

If he were alive today, I believe Dr. King would be livid and would probably deal with the issues that impact our people with as much passion as Jesus did when he turned over the tables of the money changers in the temple, after witnessing the way the Black community has significantly dropped the ball that he passed off to them.

If Dr. King wouldn’t have fallen victim to that targeted assassination attempt on April 4, 1968, I am certain that he would not be "silent about the things that matter."

When Dr. King said, "I Have a Dream," I know that this is not the type of behavior and response he would want to be associated with promoting.

As we celebrate the birthday and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on the third Monday of every year, we must not only respect this historical hero, but respect what he labored for and the convictions he stood on.

As we celebrate Dr. King, I challenge every one of us to take a moment to go on the Internet and do some research on Dr. King.  Start with reading his autobiography and then move on to his writings and sermons.  By doing so, you will get into the mind of Dr. King and understand who he was and what he wished for concerning the country, particularly Black people.

Dr. King didn’t just fight to end segregation; he fought for Black people to have economic and educational equality.  The way Black people have responded collectively to integration, speaks to a bigger issue of how we view ourselves as a people.

We need to embrace the importance of educating our kids on the real world and come back to a place where we teach them to know the difference between right and wrong; and shield them from the debauchery that leads them to make asinine and life-altering decisions.

We must take ownership of the problems that we face in our community, the same way that Dr. King did.  We must hold one another accountable, if we want to see the world as Dr. King envisioned it for Black people.

So many other races and groups have taken the playbook that was laid out for us by Dr. King during the Civil Rights movement and have done with it, what we have failed to do for our future generations of leaders.

It sickens me to see and hear Black people attempt to celebrate Dr. King, yet they cosign with the destructive propagandas of those who systematically seek to institute policies, pass laws and make decisions that contribute to the demise of our community.

It sickens me to see and hear Black people invoke Dr. King, yet refuse to hold their own community accountable, turn a blind eye and become numb to the type of issues our communities are faced with on a daily basis.

Don’t we see what is happening to our communities?  We’ll never see our communities change until we stand up and demand that things be corrected and addressed proactively by our people.

Like Dr. King, we must tackle these problems, not run away from them; running to places where the grass is ‘allegedly’ greener on the other side. When that happens, we lose strength and power and our lack of unity, hopelessness and our failure to fight weakens us as a collective unit.

Since Dr. King’s death, we have advanced and been given opportunities in many areas, but collectively we are currently doing worse under the first Black president than ever before. This is NOT what Dr. King dreamed of. Truth be told, many of us have become hamsters on the wheel of life; chasing after favor from the ‘powers that be,’ while eating nothing but the crumbs from the table. 

As I sit back and wonder what Dr. King would say to us today if he were alive, I wonder if he would say that some of us are "fearful chickens," having no backbone to fight for what rightfully belongs to us.

Thank God for a man like Dr. King, who refused to sit idly by and do nothing; instead he demanded freedom and equality for every Black beneficiary of the struggle. Let’s come back to Dr. King’s vision and make sure we are doing everything it takes to fulfill his dream.

Jeffrey L. Boney serves as Associate Editor and is an award-winning journalist for the Houston Forward Times newspaper.  Jeffrey is a Next Generation Project Fellow, dynamic, international speaker, experienced entrepreneur, business development strategist and Founder/CEO of the Texas Business Alliance.  If you would like to request Jeffrey as a speaker, you can reach him at

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