On Dr. King’s birthday, I like to think about how quickly the impossible becomes the everyday.
In the 1950s, steps toward equality between people seemed an impossibility. From the south to the northern cities, deep racial segregation was the order of the day. Law and custom kept working people separated for no good reason at all.
The lines crossed by Dr. King had divided not just people of differing bloodlines, but had also separated working people from each other.
Our being set against each other is how the bosses of the 1950s and earlier preferred it. Racial segregation kept us divided. And it was “impossible” to change.
Impossible — until King’s awakening spread in a few years across the United States, and the “impossible” gave way. Tradition ended and law developed, taking our country many miles down the road away from a brutal past and toward a modern civilization.
What used to be unthinkable is no longer.
Segregation does persist. Division is still profitable to some. Human beings are still human beings with all our faults and failings.
But to think about Dr. King is to think about how peace and justice are never off the table.
Happy MLK Day, everyone.