Sunday, August 28, 2005

I Have a Dream

42 years ago today, the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., was in our nation's capital for an enormous civil rights march. He delivered one of the most famous speeches, a beacon of inspiration that shines forth as brightly today as it did in 1963.

This speech should not be invoked lightly. "I have a dream ... of free toppings with every ice cream sundae" is nothing short of sacrilege. "I have a dream ... of gasoline under $2 a gallon," even moreso.

I have a dream ... of a nation in which the bank of justice is not bankrupt, that the state of Texas will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice, that one day soon all of God's children, American and Iraqi, Christian and Moslem, Jews and Palestinians, 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!" — adapted from MLK's speech on 1963-08-28; see or hear the original speech
Here's an actual quote from MLK:
We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of Now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God's children. — Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., August 28, 1963
We again face "the fierce urgency of Now," and must make real the promises of a good and moral nation, in order to walk the sunlit path of worldwide justice and peace.

By the way, "Now" would also be a good time for the United States to rise from the quicksands of racial injustice within our own borders, too. "The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges."