on august 28th 1963 martin luther king jr. delivered a very powerful and very emotional speech in Washington
dc. it was to many the summation of mr kings ideology, his goals and his firm belief in equality and opportunity for all americans despite their race, religion, sexual orientation or other differences. his opening decreed that it was perhaps the greatest demonstration for freedom this country has ever seen. considering the times and that moment in history he could very well have been correct. in delivering this speech he set the course for a transformation this country has seldom seen. he laid out the path for freedom, equality and opportunity for all, free from racism, free from prejudice, free from oppression, free from the long held beliefs that any man or woman is inferior or superior to another....for any reason. many view this as a speech only for the black population of America and the wrongs they had endured for years at the hands of those that held on to the principles of segregation and racial division. it developed into a call for all Americans to be free and have equal opportunity as decreed in our constitution. dr. king declared," And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead.. We cannot turn back."
we stopped moving ahead. there are those that would have us turn back. today, dr. king's dream is dead. it began to die the moment he was assassinated in Memphis Tennessee. today there is noone carrying forth that dream of equality and justice for all the people. even dr,king's associates seem to have forgotten the very foundation of that dream and have failed to continue the struggle until it completely manifested itself. the dream that dr. king lived for, struggled for, and ultimately paid for with his life has been snuffed out. it has been replaced not with the ugly disease of racism, not with the prejudiced opinions about being white or black, not with the terrible injustice of denying basic American liberties and rights because of the color of our skin....but with the failure of us, as americans, to hold on to those dreams and beliefs that dr. king so passionately spoke of on that day. dr. king had a dream of not only racial equality, but another sort of equality. he had a vision that all americans would have the opportunity to pursue the American dream of raising a family, having a home and being secure when old age beset us.. dr, king had a dream of not one single woman or child being homeless in America. he had a dream of every man, woman and child living in this country to have adequate food and the ability to pursue the happiness and security that has eluded many of our population since that dream began. he had a dream of a great America where all people lived together with the belief that all us, each and every one of us, could rest at nite secure in the fact that tomorrow would not bring homelessness, hunger, addiction or the lack of basic opportunities and employment.
that dream has died for America. it has been replaced by a nitemare. it's a nitemare of the reality of homelessness, which knows no color. it's the nitemare of hunger permeating our society and becoming the accepted rather than the rarity. dr.king's vision of economic opportunity and equality has been replaced by a government that destroys our opportunities to fulfill that dream for the sake of corporate profits, budgets and federal control of our economy. dr, king would be greatly disturbed to see what America has done to his dream. today I firmly believe that he would once again go into the streets to demand change. he would demand change from the government to reverse the damaging laws, policies and strategies that have slowly but surely destroyed the very lower and middle class that he fought to protect, preserve and offer an opportunity to prosper. he would condemn with a loud voice politicians in Washington who pass laws that do nothing but damage and do harm to our children...our most precious and vulnerable asset. he would demand change to protect those struggling with poverty in America and ask...no demand...that we aid and assist those struggling for food and shelter daily. it was his dream. it was his life's goal. it was what he paid for with his life.
today...we should begin again that dream. we should resurrect it from the ashes of the recession and our own moral failings. we should breathe life into that dream and begin a new policy and a new dream, not only in Washington but across America that we once again make decisions, pass laws and make it our generation's goal that we raise up the American people and bring prosperity to all. if he were alive I think once again he would say "And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream."
we all should have that dream. America...we need that dream again. we need to make available to all the opportunities to achieve those dreams.
it's time to dream once again.
see you around town