This Monday is a pretty big day in our country. Not only is Monday Martin Luther King Jr. day, which has been celebrate for decades and always provides a renewed perspective on the history of our country, on where we were and how far we’ve come, but Monday is also inauguration day!
While both of these days are important in their own right, it’s particularly poignant when you consider that our first African American president is being re-sworn in on the day we celebrate equality between all ethnic backgrounds. This is a wonderful time to remember that we’ve achieved much since protesters milled in the streets with passionate political buttons, but also a time to remember that those buttons are not useless yet, and we still have a long way to go.
Equality in our country is no longer quite as black and white as it used to be, if you’ll excuse the pun. The ways in which we discriminate are even more varied, and sometimes more subtle. Perhaps it was easier to protest back in the 1960’s because the lines were more clearly drawn. The fight was less diverse, even if diversity was the fight. The slogans on the buttons were short and to the point, whereas now the fight is so much more subtle.
Despite all this, Monday’s inauguration on MLK day is a reason to celebrate all our efforts have resulted in thus far. But keep the buttons nearby, because, to steal from Dr. King’s speech, we’re not at the mountain top just yet.