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Still Dreaming After All These Years

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Posted on Jan 19, 2009
AP photo

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. acknowledges the crowd at the Lincoln Memorial for his “I Have a Dream” speech during the March on Washington, D.C., Aug. 28, 1963.

(Page 2)

There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, "When will you be satisfied?" We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality. We can never be satisfied as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities. We cannot be satisfied as long as the negro’s basic mobility is from a smaller ghetto to a larger one. We can never be satisfied as long as our children are stripped of their self-hood and robbed of their dignity by signs stating: "For Whites Only."

We cannot be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote. No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until "justice rolls down like waters, and righteousness like a mighty stream."

I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and tribulations. Some of you have come fresh from narrow jail cells. And some of you have come from areas where your quest—quest for freedom left you battered by the storms of persecution and staggered by the winds of police brutality. You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive. Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to South Carolina, go back to Georgia, go back to Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettos of our northern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed.

Let us not wallow in the valley of despair, I say to you today, my friends. 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.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal."

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I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

I have a dream today!

I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of "interposition" and "nullification"—one day right there in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.

I have a dream today!

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, and every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight; "and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together."

This is our hope, and this is the faith that I go back to the South with.

With this faith, we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith, we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith, we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.

And this will be the day—this will be the day when all of God’s children will be able to sing with new meaning:

My country ‘tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing.
Land where my fathers died, land of the Pilgrim’s pride,
From every mountainside, let freedom ring!

And if America is to be a great nation, this must become true.

And so let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire.

Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York.
Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania.
Let freedom ring from the snow-capped Rockies of Colorado.
Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California.

But not only that:

Let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia.
      Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee.
Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi.
From every mountainside, let freedom ring.

And when this happens, when we allow freedom 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!


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By software development uk, August 14, 2009 at 3:33 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

That was an inspiring post,

I hope he was alive and could have seen that now america is free and an african american is now the president

Thanks for writing, most people don’t bother

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thebeerdoctor's avatar

By thebeerdoctor, January 21, 2009 at 4:26 am Link to this comment

re: Little Brother

Being the savvy self promoter that I am, I would like to point out a piece called “Only when it is dark enough, can you see the stars”, written back in April 2008, that not only compared Obama with King, the social visionary, but also with John Coltrane, the musical visionary. Both of these men have seen their essential vision diluted by a marketing-driven media.
http://beerdoctor-beerdoctor.blogspot.com/2008/04/only-when-it-is-dark-enough-can-you-see.html

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By Little Brother, January 20, 2009 at 8:38 am Link to this comment

Even for an irony junkie like me, it was too much when Reverend Martin Luther King, assassinated by Amerikan security state operatives, was deftly transmuted in death from a radical, subversive social critic—in the best and finest sense of the terms—into Martin Luther King™, paragon of docile and conformist public service.

Even the embalming job they did on Lenin wasn’t as effective as the one the political and corporate media elite did on Dr. King.

If that wasn’t bad enough—and it was—worse yet is the Happy Horseshit conflation of Dr. King and Obama.  Obama, the savvy self-promoter, was only too pleased during the primaries to have Caroline Kennedy pop out of the Obama Express caboose and shovel clean-coal sentimentality into the furnace, promoting Brand Obama as the Second Coming of JFK.

At the time, one of the many gushing nitwits published at the Huffington Post crowed that Caroline is “the last blood heir” to JFK.  Mark Twain’s attempts to wean naïve and ignorant Amerikans away from atavistic and decadent royalism were in vain.

And now, in part because of coincidences of the calendar, Obama is shoehorned into Dr. King’s legacy.
I’m sure there is no end of kitsch commemorating this artificial public-relations linkage. 

I expect a chorus of credentialed talking heads to enthusiastically pluck this artificial fruit and pitch it on teevee until the juice runs down their collective chins.

Stuff and nonsense!

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thebeerdoctor's avatar

By thebeerdoctor, January 20, 2009 at 5:26 am Link to this comment

For some strange reason the King legacy has been diluted to the point that it now appears as simply a call to do charitable service. This is strange when you consider that King’s essential message was about injustice; whether it was racial or economic, and where unbridled militarism was an oppression to all of humanity, along with the violence that such actions ensure.
Consider what happened in Moscow yesterday: the human rights lawyer Stanislav Markelov was gunned down in broad daylight, after a news conference. Markelov represented the family of an 18-year-old Chechen woman, Heda Kungayeva, who was strangled in 2000 by Col. Yuri Budanov, as part of Russia’s war on Chechen “terrorists”. The colonel was freed last week. Markelov announced he was considering an international court appeal against Budanov’s early release. He was shot in the head soon after, by a masked gunman using a silencer. Novaya Gazeta freelance journalist, Anastasia Baburova, 25, was also killed, attempting to intervene.

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By Shepherd, January 20, 2009 at 2:11 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Can’t we just enjoy MLK Jr.‘s work and Obama’s achievement without dragging Israel, Aquarius and subpar eloquence into this?  It’s a great day in American history. Let’s just leave it at that for at least 24 hours.

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By eileen fleming, January 19, 2009 at 7:25 pm Link to this comment

In the ‘60’s two black men in America; one a Christian and one a Muslim shared a similar dream with different philosophies and means to achieve them.

Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. had “a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed… that all men are created equal.”

Malcolm X’s radical creed was, “Anything you can think of that you want to change right now, the only way you can do it is with a ballot or a bullet. And if you’re not ready to get involved with either one of those, you are satisfied with the status quo. That means we’ll have to change you.”

Both men dreamed of a world freed from the bondage of prejudice and racism, a world in which their children would not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character. While King consistently advocated for a brotherhood of all peoples and persisted in only nonviolent actions to achieve it; not until after a pilgrimage to Mecca, did X evolve in his spirituality and thus reject his separatist beliefs and begin to advocate for unity and a world wide brotherhood.

Both can be said to have fully understood that there are “truths that are self-evident: That all men are created equal and endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights;…[and] that, to secure [those] rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; and, whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it.”- The Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776,

Both men engaged in the struggle to wake up good people whose ears were not ready to hear, whose eyes were not ready to see and whose hearts were not yet pierced to bleed for the least and oppressed of humanity. Both men were shot dead before either could see any of their dreams realized.

A few weeks before Rev. King bled to death on a patch of pavement in Memphis, he said:

“Peace for Israel means security, and we stand with all our might to protect its right to exist…I see Israel as one of the greatest outposts of democracy in the world, and a marvelous example of what can be done, how desert land can be transformed into an oasis of brotherhood and democracy.”

King died ten months after the 40 years of Israel’s Military occupation of Palestine began.

On May 14, 1948, The Declaration of the establishment of Israel proclaimed: “On the day of the termination of the British mandate and on the strength of the United Nations General Assembly declare The State of Israel will be based on freedom, justice and peace as envisaged by the prophets of Israel: it will ensure complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion it will guarantee freedom of religion [and] conscience and will be faithful to the Charter of the United Nations.”

The Hebrew prophet Amos prayed:

“Let JUSTICE roll down like waters and righteousness like an ever flowing stream.”

I contend that if King and X had lived, they would have followed the call of Amos and would have called for an IMMEDIATE Bilateral ceasefire, free flow of humanitarian aid into Gaza, and END to the Israeli Occupation and upholding of Universal Human Rights, upon which Israel’s statehood was CONTINGENT upon upholding:

Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world,


Whereas disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind…


http://www.wearewideawake.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=107&Itemid=1

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By Libarchist, January 19, 2009 at 5:04 pm Link to this comment

Obama is afraid to utter the word liberal—and the sheeple are saying we are in the new Age of Aquarius.

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By coloradokarl, January 19, 2009 at 3:05 pm Link to this comment

Martin Luther King died for our sins. A martyr for the ages, His words will forever shine as a beacon in the night for all who can see. The hardened heart of the Fearful Racist drowns his soul in the sea of humanity that surrounds most in the warmth of love. The Racist feels no love. Hate breaths a Fascist sigh of hopeless anger, Joyless in life, A fast fading memory, The funeral pyre burns dim. Alone at last, an eternal Damnation.

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