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Reflecting on change since “I Have A Dream” speech

Posted on Wednesday, January 18, 2012 at 9:11 am

General Manager/Editor Ron Schott

Every year during the celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday, Vandalia area residents might either hear an audio recording of the late civil rights leader’s “I Have A Dream” speech or take time to read the transcript.
The words of the speech are still powerful in 2012 and it’s amazing to see just how far our nation has come since August 28, 1963.
While racism still exists and may never go away for good, our country as a whole is a far cry away from its segregated past.
His speech completely summed up the reality of the time and those in my generation can’t believe how our country treated African-Americans/black people just 60 years ago.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said in his speech that just 100 years earlier, the Emancipation Proclamation was signed to end slavery. It was a feather in the cap for President Abraham Lincoln.
Yet while slavery had come to an end, black men and women never experienced the promise of our nation’s Declaration of Independence. It includes a passage showing all Americans, blacks included, to be guaranteed unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
Unfortunately, President Lincoln’s intention never became reality until the Civil Rights movement took hold nearly a century later. This is a sad truth in the history of our country. I’m just glad America has moved so far forward to where a black president was not only considered but even sworn into office.
I may not agree with many of President Barack Obama’s policies and decisions, but his election in 2008 is something that should be celebrated by all Americans for years to come.  Many pundits often wonder what Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. would think of America if he were still alive today. I believe he might still have some vision for fighting poverty and vision on the future of black Americans regarding college, the inner cities, and more. While he might still be working hard for civil rights, I think he would be pleased to see just how far we’ve come.
Baltimore Ravens
It’s been a while since I’ve written about my Baltimore Ravens in my editorial, which likely means they will lose the AFC Championship now that I’m sharing my thoughts on them in my column again.
Let’s just say I was pumped that they won but not impressed with the Ravens’ pressure on the quarterback and the awful play calling from Offensive Coordinator Cam Cameron.
Who in their right mind calls for three passing plays in a row while their team is up four early in the final quarter? Who in their right mind throws the ball on third down and three with a running back in the backfield like Ray Rice? Who in the world throws the ball on second and third downs with under two minutes to go in the game while up four?
Let’s just say my wife had to look at me a few times to make sure my head wasn’t going to blow up while coaching my favorite team from my recliner. She kindly reminded me several times, ‘they can’t hear you.’
I wish they could sometimes. The Ravens will need to sure things up this week in order to knock off the No. 1 seed New England Patriots on the Patriots’ home field.
Baltimore did crush them in the 2009 playoffs, as I have reminded former Van-Far football coach Jason Hall of this through the years, and I hope they can do it again this year. Though deep down I think it will be the Patriots against the New York Giants in the Super Bowl, I’m pulling for both the Baltimore Ravens and the San Francisco 49’ers. For those who don’t know, the coaches of both teams are brothers; John Harbaugh of the Ravens and Jim Harbaugh of San Francisco.
Who do you think will be playing on Super Sunday? Sorry, there are no polls available at the moment.