Royal Ironies

Most everyone is taking notice that Inauguration Day and Dr. Martin Luther King's holiday fall on Monday. From The Boston Globe:

President Obama plans to use a Bible that belonged to the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. as he takes his oath of office on the holiday honoring the slain leader, marking what some say is an inextricable tie between the nation's first black president and the civil rights movement.

It is only the second time Inauguration Day has coincided with the King holiday. Some say it is fitting that the celebrations are intertwined.

''It's almost like fate and history coming together,'' said US Representative John Lewis, who worked alongside King in the fight for civil rights during the 1950s and 1960s and plans to attend the inauguration. ''If it hadn't been for Martin Luther King Jr., there would be no Barack Obama as president.''

But I think it may be more ironic that the swearing in of Barack Obama and the celebration of Dr. King's holiday fall on the same day this time around. Can there be two men more at the opposite ends of the spectrum?

Where Dr. King strove to unite us, Mr. Obama has used the politics of race to "divide and conquer."

I imagine Dr. King has been turning over in his grave since Obama's first inauguration -- even before that, in fact, on Election Day 2008.

"It's about content of character, not color of skin," he would have reminded us. If Dr. King had lived, I believe America would have had a nonwhite president before Barack Obama ever came on the scene. And Dr. King would have helped to insure that that person were elected based on his (or her) good character.

Unfortunately, skin color has been overplayed in the lives of both men. People hated Dr. King because of his race; and people think it's okay to love Mr. Obama because he's black. But both viewpoints are racist. One is certainly "nicer," but it's still wrongheaded and has contributed to the decline of this nation.

So, Monday is a special day to remember Dr. Martin Luther King and what he worked for so diligently. And it's good to hope that the next time his holiday falls on inauguration day, a president of good "constitutional character" will be on the dais getting sworn in.

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