The Awakening of a Nation

We watched the movie, Talk to Me, last evening about radio and television personality, Petey Greene. I was taken back watching the scenes of what occurred when Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was shot. I would have been almost ten years old at the time and I don't remember anything about the shooting. I have very clear memories of President Kennedy's funeral five years earlier, so I know it wasn't a matter of not remembering something at that age. It made me wonder what the worst form of bigotry is - looking down on someone or simply pretending they don't exist.

When I consider what it would have required to explain to a classroom of small town Idaho white students the significance of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s assassination, I assume they simply chose to ignore the event. Or, did the majority of Americans simply see it as a blip on the radar, nothing of any historical significance. Certainly, knowing everything I know now, it makes today's inauguration of Barack Obama all the more awe inspiring. And, it shows how far we have truly come, that so many people of every age are deeply engaged in this moment.

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