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On Martin Luther King Day, we are called to celebrate the life of a man who steered the United States, kicking and screaming, in the direction that could have lead this country to being a better version of itself. Dr. King believed that if we wanted to, we could be better than we were at the time. A time when my father, an active duty military man, and my mother had to be careful where they went in Washington, DC, where they were stationed, because not all parts of our nation’s Capitol were safe for black people.

He was partially successful.

Here we are, fifty years since his assassination, and some people say that our country is every bit as racist as it was then. Well. It has to be said that black men are being killed and in some cases murdered at an alarming pace, by police. Facebook Becky’s continue to call the police on black people for the simple crime of being black in “their” spaces. We have white nationalists in the House of Representatives, and in the White House, so…

All of that said, there have been good things. My oldest is a college graduate from a school that had 75 percent white students, she is thriving as a charge nurse. My youngest is a second year geology/paleontology university student. I live in a cheerfully integrated neighborhood in a southern state. Some of the officers that I supervise are white. Where I live, people don’t look askance when they see me and my wife together.

How are we doing, America? I suppose it is a matter of perspective. As for me, I think we have a long way to go. We can get there if we want to, but, do we want to?