Monday, January 21, 2008

New York vs. Boston: A Prejiduce Dr. King Would Have Season Tickets For.

Brotherhood. Togetherness. Unity.

Three words that exemplify the meaning of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and the purpose of his mission 40-50 years ago. It's a mission that we all have embraced, honored, and lived by, creating a sense of all three words and their meaning in our relationships, communities and regions. Dr. King's mission is one that stands for character and credibility over race, religion, and any other significant prejudice that can seperate us from love and joy. It is important for us all to seek the teachings of one of the most fascinating persons to yours truly, as well as remember one of the most significant men in American history.
In a sense we have come to our nation's capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men would be guaranteed the inalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
Dr. King should never be forgotten.

On a day where he is celebrated, remembered and revered for his efforts towards a healthier United States, we are doing so through one of the planes of life for which the lines of race, color, creed, nationality and other forms of discrimination are invisible. Sports. For no matter who you are, a fan will cheer and support whoever wears "their" team's uniform, logo and colors. During NBA Today on TNT, Charles Barkley stated that "Sports is the only thing where race does not matter. You could be a member of the KKK and a fan of the Los Angeles Lakers, and you will cheer for Kobe Bryant until he either goes somewhere else, is traded, or retires. Fans do not care for your color within the sports spectrum." Although there is another side to that coin, for the most part, Barkley has a point, fans of sports are colorblind.

After all it is the way it should be. The way Dr. King would have loved to see it.
The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny and their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom. We cannot walk alone.
However, there seems to be a hole, almost a twist to the brotherhood, togetherness, and unity of Dr. King's mission. On MLK day, the world was exposed to the New York Knicks versus the Boston Celtics. Another rung in what has always been an historic rivalry not just amongst two classic franchises, but between two cities that seem to be clashing constantly. In a rivalry for which fans discriminate based on the name of the city across the jersey stronger than anything else, we have seen a fair share of prejudice shown from New Yorkers toward Bostonites, and vice versa. Each side coming together through fan hood to support their cause. Red Sox nation and Yankee Universe, both bands that oppose the enemy.
Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to open the doors of opportunity to all of God's children. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood.
For these two cities, so rich in pride, success and history, expressing an unconditional love for their teams, and hate for the teams and fans of the other city, has become not just normal, but territorial, almost regional religion. And with what seems like an advantageous wave swinging by way of Boston (Red Sox, Patriots, Celtics, Revolution) recently, this rivalry has escalated yet, another notch. A rivalry with both sides wanting to have that experience, and the opportunity to make that long road of tribulations end in a championship. Their dream, to become a reality.
I say to you today, my friends, that in spite of the difficulties and frustrations of the moment, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.
So after a game between the New York Knicks and the Boston Celtics that saw two ejections, the revival of a self-destructive fan base, a World War homecoming-like reception for Giants players, another Boston victory and no "Fire Isiah" chants, this feud continues.

And in a mere two weeks, this rivalry hits the biggest stage in American sports culture, Super Bowl XLII - between the New York Giants and New England Patriots.

And oh yeah, mid-February, the Yankees and Red Sox begin workouts and training.

How ironic? For as much hate that exists in this rivalry, I'm sure Dr. King would've loved this kind of prejudice. Where a person and/or player is not judge by the color of his skin, but by the content of his character... and by the team and city that he or she roots for.
And if America is to be a great nation this must become true. So let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire.

Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York.

Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania!


Let freedom ring from the snowcapped Rockies of Colorado!


Let freedom ring from the curvaceous peaks of California!


But not only that; let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia!


Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee!

Let freedom ring from every hill and every molehill of Mississippi. From every mountainside, let freedom ring.

When we let freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, "Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!"
God Bless Sports. God Bless Dr. King.

Keep the Dream Alive.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

"Making History" vs. Making History: Cheating the Demcratic Process

"It's about time we have a (Fill in the blank) president."

With the new year, not only comes an extra day in February, but the full court press of campaigning and candidate awareness, on the road to the White House. Every presidential election is important due to its ability to transcend a nation into a new era, however, none has been of such importance during this generation. President Bush's popularity, image and support has dwindled as he comes into the final stretch of his presidency. In a term that has seen many actions and incomplete performances, the nation has become ready for a new era, a new leader, and a new direction.

With the opening to run this country, and a lot of issues (economy, real estate market, war on terrorism etc.) to not only address, but resolve, choosing Bush's successor has intrigued many, even critics who have declined to vote in recent years. Clinton. Edwards. Gravel. Kucinich. Obama. Guliani. Huckabee. Hunter. Keyes. McCain. Paul. Romney. Thompson. The options are numerous, and their views and plans vary just as much.