It's become a tradition. On the 22nd day of every January, the Reverends Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson crawl out from their respective burrows. If they don't see their shadows, it means that Dr. King's Dream is yet unrealized, and White America must spend another year flagellating itself for the sins of slavery. If, on the other hand, their shadows do appear, then Dr. King's Dream has at last been realized, and both of these well-respected Black leaders will fade into obscurity.
Sadly, Al Sharpton's elusive shadow was a no-show again this year. Dr. King's Dream, it seems, is still unrealized.
"There are many who have said we are beyond race," Sharpton explained to the disappointed crowd. "But what happened in Jena reminded this country you still have not dealt with the problems of racism."
Sharpton was, of course, referring to the infamous "Jena Six" incident in which six African-American students ambushed and beat a White teen unconscious, then continued to kick and stomp him until they were arrested like common criminals. To the astonishment of everyone, the Black students all faced counts of second-degree attempted murder, while the White boy was never charged - neither for the rape of Tawana Brawley nor for the aforementioned sins of slavery - sins which he has yet to atone for by sending Al Sharpton a check.
So yes, even though Hillary is poised to become our first Black Female President, I'm afraid that we have yet to realize Dr. King's dream of an America where gangs of Black teenagers can brutally assault White kids without any legal repercussions. Until we do, please continue to make your checks payable to the National Action Network or the Rainbow/Push Coalition.