PEEK

Obama's Inauguration Ain't the End of the Struggle

This isn't the end ... it is only the beginning.

Between Sunday’s concert at the Lincoln Memorial and Monday being MLK Jr. Day, I became increasingly uncomfortable with the media and celebrity personalities drawing strong Lincoln-King-Obama parallels. While it is nearly impossible to overstate the significance of Obama’s inauguration, it is, indeed, possible to do so when such statements equate Obama’s inauguration with the end of the struggle for civil rights.

It was at Sunday’s concert that it first hit me hard. Bono was doing his Bono thing, prancing around the stage, slow-motion pumping his fist and preparing to sing his song, Pride, about Martin Luther King Jr. Talking about King’s “dream,” Bono said, “On Tuesday, that dream comes to pass.” Most of the crowd cheered. I cringed.

Sunday morning at Busboy’s and Poets on a GRITtv panel, I heard one of the speakers say something like: “This is what we all struggled for. This moment validates our work for so long.” While the people honored on this wall were certainly “shouting in heaven,” I doubt they thought their work complete.

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