Sunday, January 15, 2012

How Dr. King gives me hope still today....

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in the face of impossible odds; enemies too many to count; enemies who were his neighbors and countryman led the movement of Americans who believed that indeed all men are created equal in the face of beatings, violence, murders, hate groups, the KKK violence and murders; police cover-ups and conspiracy; government cover-ups and conspiracy; separate and unequal wages, housing, food, education and the list goes on and on.  Dr. King led this resistance with peace, with resolve, with dignity and with the power of the people.  To say that I today can understand what people went thru in 1963 and prior would be a disrespect to everyone involved because I cannot possibly know for many reasons; however I can see in 2012 how things have changed and how far we have come.  Every situation is different, yet the pursuit of rights and happiness is universal.  I know things are far from perfect, but it is those words, 'I have a dream...' that ring in my head throughout times in my life of marching in D.C., petitioning the government, protesting companies/people/ect., it is that very phrase that gives me pause and hope....

One Nation Rally, Washington, D. C., Jeniffer Sams, Photographer

I have a dream too..... I have many dreams and many Americans right now are standing up and many people across the globe are standing up to Occupy their rights - their human rights.  They stand in non-violence, arm in arm to protest the injustice and in the face of things that seem impossible they believe.  I believe in large part because I have seen that one man or one woman, pure of intent, standing side by side with others for human rights which all humans deserve can change the world.  We can change our politics, our laws, our governments, our perceptions, our neighborhoods, our homes, our children, ourselves..... So on Dr. King's Birthday I will be celebrating by Occupying - I Occupy my art, Occupy my thought, Occupy my perception, and Occupy my roles.  We do not walk alone.  Dr. King's non-violence, resolve, commitment, fortitude, hope, and dreaming still give me the hope to this day that things indeed can and will change.... because he is still creating change even if it is just in me....

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech on this day on Aug. 28, 1963 at the Lincoln Memorial for the March on Washington, Washington, DC. (Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

"We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force. The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny and their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom. We cannot walk alone.

And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall march ahead. We cannot turn back. There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, "When will you be satisfied?" 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 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 cells. Some of you have come from areas where your 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 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, that in spite of the difficulties and frustrations of the moment, 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."

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 a table of brotherhood.

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

I have a dream that my four 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 the state of Alabama, whose governor's lips are presently dripping with the words of interposition and nullification, will be transformed into a situation where little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls and walk together as sisters and brothers.

I have a dream today...." From 'I Have A Dream' speech, August 28, 1963

And the Dream Exists

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