I am slow to comment on this, but. . .
In my opinion, I don’t believe that Hilary Clinton’s charge that Martin Luther King Jr’s dream was further realized by Lyndon Johnson’s actions as a president were intended to comment on Martin Luther King’s blackness. I believe that the point was to place her self in the role of Lyndon Johnson, and saying that she is the candidate that, in the White house, would further the dream of MLK and contemporary Black Americans.
Clinton wanted to remind people that JFK’s hopefulness –she intentionally and explicitly mentioned JFK- did not, legislatively, help Black America, but rather it was Johnson’s stability that lead to legislative change. Since the germination of his candidacy, Barack Obama has been considered the reincarnation of JFK. Barack is young, Christian (but not evangelical), handsome, and full of hopeful speech (Superficially I think that this comparisons stand true, but as many have said in recent days, certain policies and tactics vary). Clinton seemed to be recycling back to this comparison and analogously suggesting that Obama (JFK) was, in the long run, not going to be a great a conduit for change than herself (Johnson).
Because of how I consider the nature of her words, I was not offended. However I was shocked the statement. Although I was not offended I knew that this was going to garner serious backlash. In the time where the elections were so racially heated there is no way she couldn’t have considered that this might meet with disapproval from both African-Americans and Euro-American (I believe from other ethnicities as well, but as profoundly).
But, this doesn’t mean that Clinton’s statements will not have race-specific implications. I will say that perhaps in the long run this will actually help Clinton. I don’t think she is as concerned with African-American voters as one would think because in the African-American community Obama is not the overwhelming favorite. Clinton is concerned with getting white voters who also want to see change occur and who would either immediately or eventually grasp the connection I believe she was trying to make.