Sunday, August 28, 2011

I Have a Dream

There has been a lot of hoopla here in New England the last few days. A storm was coming that threatened to be a disaster. Indeed, there are areas that have seen disaster. People have lost homes, some have died, lots are under water, and tens of thousands are without power. Here in my little corner of New England it wasn't much of a disaster. My house still stands. A few branches are down. The last roses of the season have blown off. All in all, I'm thankful that me and my neighbors have escaped unharmed.

It nearly escaped me that today marks the 48th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech. It is a speech that I've listened to a lot recently. I've re-read many of Dr. King's speeches with an eye toward the narrative structures he creates for a paper I'm working on. His rhetoric was brilliant then in his time and remains brilliant now, in our times.

He offered up such a language of inclusion -- we are brothers. We are in this together. Together we will have a dream.

There is so much work to be done before we can share that dream. So much need for connection and togetherness. Take a look at the news and our current fascination with budgets and finances. We no longer care to help out our communities. We no longer care to help lift up those who need our help. We are slowly and completely turning our backs on our communities in preference of our selfish needs. The brotherhood,  community, and dream Dr. King spoke of are all becoming rapidly replaced with a singular self-interest in getting what we think we "deserve."

Interested in doing a little background reading on the overwhelming amount of rhetoric that stokes racial fear by the perpetuation of myths and falsehoods. Jeffery Ogbar presents an excellent analysis of just this in a recent article posted on the Root.

Some dream that is. Don't you think?

So today as millions of Americans reflect on Dr. King and the anniversary of his beautiful speech that envisioned all Americans having the same rights and opportunities to succeed and prosper, maybe his words will provoke more Americans to work to make his dream a reality. Because although there is an African-American president and people of color serving in Congress, there are still millions of Americans who barely subsist from day-to-day and conditions are getting worse thanks to Republicans who are more concerned with enriching the wealthy off the backs of the poor. 
Read more of this article here.

Take a minute an listen to the speech. Dream a little. See what happens. I think you'll be glad you did.

1 comment:

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