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Monday, January 21, 2008

What Happens To A Dream Deferred

11:33 AM |

.....trying to figure out what to do with all these raisins

Once again we take time off from our busy schedules to lounge around the house on the day the government has set aside to recognize and celebrate the birth of one of our nations most loved activists. We paraphrase the most well known parts of his "I Have A Dream" speech. We look at society and see "how far" Black people have progressed. We marginalize his contributions and his desire for change and equality based on the few lines that the media chose to embed in our heads. And with this being an election year, we look at the young Black man currently contending to be the Democrat nominee for President, and we say the dream has been realized. (I heard that on the radio today and it really infuriated me).

I have a hard time believing that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. would look at the state of society today and feel that all the things he wished for in his dreams had come to fruition. I believe that he would be glad to see the progress that has been made. But I think he would be saddened to see people not fully taking advantage of the opportunities that are out there. I think, had he not been assassinated, he would be continuously working for equality. Dr. King did not solely fight for racial equality. He fought for everyone, with hopes that all people had access to the same resources, regardless of race, creed or social standing. He was a true activist; fighting not only for racial rights, but for human rights. Though his contributions to the advancement of colored people were great and historical, we cannot deny his contributions to the advancement of society as a whole. And to only speak of one side of his fight, is to marginalize his power and his memory.

So today instead of reciting those two lines of his speech you remember, attending parades, or watching your CSI Miami marathon, get up, get out and do something. That is how you will truly honor the legacy.


Anonymous said...

That's what the media like to leave out.... he wasn't JUST about rights for African-Americans. He was fighting for equal opportunity for everyone. He was in Memphis to show support for striking sanitary workers - who weren't all Black! I heard or read somewhere that he was killed not because he was fighting for our right to go to whatever school we wanted, but for EQUAL PAY. Once the man started talking about the financial situation of the POOR, the powers that be knew it was time to shut him up...

Lawrenorder said...

He spoke about social inequality and was anti-poverty before John Edwards made it a punch line.
We was anti-militarism before the veterans got back from Vietnam to protest for themselves.
He was a thoughtful man, who through his face saw the common humanity in us all and spoke to THAT equality. That regardless of your situation you are no less a person than anyone else. Though you may not have as many material possessions, you still have the dignity of being a human. That communication and understanding will asuage separatism. That progress is made through understanding and your words will get you there. Expression, COMMUNICATION, above all can inspire others to join your mission.
I tend to think if he saw "us" today, if he saw humanity today, he might be sorely disappointed and very very tired.