My father was a career officer in the United States Air Force. While we were stationed at Clark Air Force Base, in the Philippine Islands, one of my best friends, Kevin Stockdale, lived a couple of doors down, and we were inseparable. We played on league baseball, football and basketball teams, played backyard pick-up games, and did lots of kid stuff. He tagged along once when my mom was taking me to the barber to get a haircut. As we were leaving, one of the Filipino barbers, noticing that Kevin was African American, nodded and smiled at my mom, and said “adopted?” My mom without missing a beat said “nope, natural child birth,” and continued out the door leaving a perplexed barber in her wake.
I tell that story to make a more significant point. As we honor the memory of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King today, I hope that we are moving closer to his vision. I have listened many times to his “I Have a Dream” speech, and in particular to the phrase,” “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” As we move toward becoming a “more perfect union”, I hope that we continue to become a “color-blind” society. That we collectively notice people primarily for the content of their character, and that race, sex, and ethnicity are just interesting features. Thank you Dr. King for being such a powerful advocate for equality and justice!