Wednesday, August 28, 2013

I Have A Dream (thank you, Martin Luther King, Jr.)

Today is the 50th Anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr's most famous speech, given at the historic March on Washington on August 28, 1963. With the understanding that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, I will paraphrase the good doctor.

Now 50 years later, we must face the tragic fact that the Negro is still not free. Fifty years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. Fifty years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. Fifty years later, the Negro is still languishing in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land.

The dream has not come true. Fifty years later, this nation has not risen up and lived out the true meaning of its creed - we hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.

Fifty years later on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave-owners do not sit down together at a table of brotherhood.

Fifty years later the state of Mississippi, a desert state, sweltering with the heat of injustice and oppression, has not been transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

And fifty years later, Dr. King's four little children do not live in a nation where they are not judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

The dream has not come true for many Americans. Freedom does not ring but we must be the change in our lifetime. And when this happens, when we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual: "Free at last! Free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!"