In four days, Donald J. Trump will be sworn in as our nation’s 45th president.
We all know what’s happened for the past year a half. We all know how polarizing it’s been in this country.
A lot of people like to say that this election divided America. However, what I’ve realized is that these divisions were always there. This election just brought it out in the open.
If Hillary Clinton eked out an electoral victory, do you think that would have silenced the people who are fostering hate? Of course not. They’d still be there.
But Trump did win. And in four days, it becomes official.
On Martin Luther King Jr. Day, it’s fair to wonder what he would think of today’s political climate were he alive today?
Call me crazy, but I think he’d be hopeful.
While it’s true that we are transferring power from our nation’s first African-American president to a man who is so culturally obtuse that his rallying cry to sway black people was asking them “What do you have to lose?” it doesn’t necessarily mean that we are going backwards.
And yes, it’s true that a Trump administration won’t continue the progressive agenda that Barack Obama championed, and likely will even scale back some of the measures his predecessor implemented to protect civil rights.
But not even Trump can stop progress when our nation’s fought too hard to achieve it.
Since Nov. 8, people are more emboldened. They’re more likely to stand up for what they believe in. They’re more willing to become advocates.
Since Nov. 8, we are looking out for one another. We’re all making sure that the most vulnerable factions of are population are protected.
Since Nov. 8, we’re putting our money where are mouth is, donating in record numbers to organizations like the American Civil Liberties Union and Planned Parenthood.
Leaders of the Civil Rights Movement never expected to end racism and discrimination in a day. They — like all visionaries — knew that progress would be slow and arduous, and that there would be many obstacles along the way.
But if you look at our country’s history, we’ve always shone the brightest after our darkest days.
What dreamers like Martin Luther King sought to achieve was to change the status quo. To convince people to have empathy for those who aren’t like them.
Changing the mind of one single person is one thing.
Changing the minds of millions is another.
Martin Luther King envisioned a world where love overpowers hate. Where helping each other is not a choice, but a responsibility. Where equality reigns free and we build bridges, not walls.
Forty-nine years after Martin Luther King’s assassination, millions upon millions of people view the world the same way he does. And millions more will follow.
One president can’t change that.
Happy MLK day, everyone.