Dr. King's speech is inscribed on the Lincoln Memorial but the Ten Commandments are booted from the courthouse? There's a whole lot of God in the "I Have a Dream" speech. What's the difference? The inscription, over 2 ft wide, reads:Is MS. Konig particularly dense? She really needs to ask the difference?
``I have a dream Martin Luther King Jr.
The March on Washington For jobs and freedom
August 28, 1963.''
40 Years ago this week from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. delivered the most memorable speech of my life. I was 18 years old at the time. Many of us have been made aware of it but few under 55 today actually heard it. These phrases are indelible in my mind and central to being a Democrat.
These words still bring a thrill to my heart and a tear to my eye:
.........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.The power of these words was matched by the power of the voice that delivered them. On April 3, 1968 King delivers his "mountaintop" speech at the Masonic Temple in Memphis
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 slaveowners 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.
I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, 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. This is the faith with which I return to the South. 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.
This will be the day when all of God's children will be able to sing with a 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. 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 snowcapped Rockies of Colorado!
Let freedom ring from the curvaceous peaks 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 every molehill of Mississippi. From every mountainside, let freedom ring.
When we let 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!"
"We've got some difficult days ahead, but it really doesn't matter with me now. Because I've been to the mountaintop. And I don't mind. Like anybody, I would like to live a long life; longevity has its place. But I'm not concerned about that now. I just want to do God's will. And he's allowed me to go up to the mountain, and I've looked over, and I've seen the promised land. I may not get there with you, but I want you to know tonight that we as a people will get to the promised land."I will be in Memphis on August 28, 2003 and I will remember Dr. King's dream. I will have been very hard on Tennesseans who profess a love of GOD, Freedom, Liberty, and Justice yet vote for Republican money, conquest for oil, and Ashcroft oppression. Too many of those votes are out of blind ignorance and racial hatred bought by men of greed and self-interest who foster a mistrust of women and minorities to their advantage and the disadvantage of poor uneducated white males. Dr. King's Dream did not die in Memphis in 1968 but it has not prevailed. In Tennessee in 2000 the percentage of African American and Black voters who supported the prevailing Bush vision of America was less than 8% of 16% of the voters in the state. Any party that invites polarization between white anglo-saxon protestant males on one side and women and minorities on the other is by definition the party of the rich and the powerful. The interests of working class white males are much more closely related to women and minorities than wealthy Republican corporatists and war mongers. Tennessee's white males must learn from their mistakes and remember the Dream to get to the Promised Land.