Martin Luther King Day (Coincidentally) Precedes Obama's Inauguration

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Today is Martin Luther King day. I find it interesting (and coincidental) that the very next day we swear-in our first black president. What are the odds these two (seemingly unrelated) days/events would occur consecutively?

Martin Luther King Jr.

I've always been good in math. I got the highest grade, for example, in my (first) Calculus class .. even after I opted to skip pre-Calculus, and hadn't had a math class in/for 10 years. (Pre-Calc is now a mandatory prerequisite, I hear.)

I also got the highest grade in my Statistics class (taken the same semester as Calculus). The professor who taught my 'Stats' class taught two classes that semester. He told me I got the highest grade in *both* classes.

Depending on how you categorize the variables, the odds of these two days/events occurring consecutively..

.. would be between 1-in-365 (the number of days in a year) and 1-in-133,225 (which = 365x365, since each event could theoretically fall on any given day).

I could spend today's entire entry discussing the nuances associated with probability & statistics, but my point is » the odds are miniscule .. no matter how you dice the math.

My brain, for some reason, seems predisposed to identify the statistical curios associated with seemingly unrelated events ('coincidences'). It's not something I try to do, mind you. Just seems to occur on its own.

We know that the inauguration date would've been the same whether Obama or McCain was elected. And (we know that) MLK could've been born on any day. Moreover, his birth (which we celebrate with today's holiday) obviously had nothing to do with our presidential inauguration.

So the proximity of these two events seem totally unrelated (from a design standpoint). Yet in reality, and certainly in influence, they are obviously very much related. So much so that many feel the accomplishments of one man could not exist without the efforts of the other. (See my point?)

I'm not drawing any conclusions .. merely identifying a curious coincidence. And it's obvious the work MLK did back in the 60's preceded Obama's rise to the presidency (chronologically). So even the ordering of the consecutive days aligns correctly with historical events.

••• today's entry continues here below •••

Speaking of which, I also find it eerily coincidental that MLK said (« YouTube) at the end of his final speech (« full text), given in 1968, the day before he was assassinated (known as the 'Mountaintop' speech .. here's the prophetic final paragraph):

We've got some difficult days ahead. But it doesn't matter with me now. Because I've been to the mountaintop. And I don't mind. Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I'm not concerned about that now. I just want to do God's will. And He's allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I've looked over. And I've seen the promised land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the promised land. And I'm happy, tonight. I'm not worried about anything. I'm not fearing any man. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.

First, consider that a generation is generally considered to be 40 years. So you can see that we are almost exactly 1 generation from the day MLK gave that speech .. where he (boldly) declared:

"I want you to know tonight that we, as a people, will get to the promised land."

None of this, mind you, is mere folklore, but we have the actual footage of his speech (recorded).

On a slightly different tack .. I can't imagine what it must be like to stand up and announce, "I know I'm gonna be killed," .. which is essentially what he said. The big question (for me) is » what drives a man to continue on a path despite death-threats? .. not only to himself, but also his family? (I think he had 4 kids, so I doubt it was the money, since the threats were obviously very real.)

If somebody said, "Rad, we're gonna kill the Bug if you keep publishing those blog entries" .. the site would be gone tomorrow. C-ya. Adios.

The way I see it » climbing to the top of Mt. Everest is hard enough. But doing it with a 50-pound sack of rocks on your back (the weight of adversity) makes the achievement even more remarkable. And you could easily compare the struggle for civil rights back in the 60's to climbing a mountain, or any other long, arduous task, where the environment itself seems hostile and death a real possibility.

It's difficult (for me) to comprehend the sense of adversity that must come with death-threats. (I read he received so many that he finally said, "Don't tell me about them any more.") This suggests he was resigned to the fact he could be killed anytime, any place. What a lovely feelin that must be.

He must of had many dark nights .. especially after being stabbed in the chest. (Where he nearly died.) Not for the faint of heart.

I draw strength from stories like these, because they make my own troubles seem insignificant by comparison. I mean, I've had some nasty lies told about me, and had to go talk to detectives, but nobody is threatening to torch my house or 'tune-up' my car.

When MLK said, "I've been to the mountaintop," and "I've looked over," and "I've seen the promised land," .. is tomorrow what he saw? .. Obama's swearing-in ceremony?

The image of MLK posted above is taken from the footage of the speech he gave in 1968 .. a screen-shot captured immediately after he uttered the words "I've seen the promised land." So perhaps you can look in his eyes and catch a reflected glimpse of what he saw.

The fact that Obama's presidential inauguration immediately follows MLK day is a 'coincidence' I find too juicy to ignore. Nobody planned it that way. It just seemed to happen .. on its own .. as if by chance .. a coincidence you might call an example of synchronicity.

Tomorrow will surely be a historic event, but not as remarkable as what happened 40 years ago (because of the withering adversity King faced, in the midst of which he delivered an obviously prophetic speech) .. something I think Obama will be mindful of when he sets his hand on Lincoln's Bible.

Before closing, I want to say I think the reason we are swearing in out first black president tomorrow has more to do with the course our country has taken these last 8 years, than the efforts of MLK 40 years ago.

In other words, if the nation wasn't in sure dire straights, and so desperate for competent leadership, we'd be swearing in another white male. (So yes, it has gotten that bad.)

I leave you with some U2.

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This page contains a single entry by Rad published on January 19, 2009 4:50 PM.

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