Thursday, August 29, 2013

Dream Deferred?

Yesterday was the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, as I am sure that everyone knows. Pictures of Martin Luther King, Jr. along with quotes from his I Have A Dream speech made the rounds on every social media outlet that I subscribe to. Media aided in the hype (as usual). People changed their profile pictures to black and white photos from the day in question. Activists linking arms, raising their voices in one unified tone, declaring that the status quo wasn't good enough. Using one voice to say that the bare minimum was no longer acceptable. I saw those pictures and my heart jumped and fell- all in the same moment. The history nerd in me rejoiced and the realist in me looked on with sad eyes and a sorrow filled heart. Being able to look at those pictures made me so incredibly happy to see what kind of stock American people come from, yet so ridiculously upset at the static state of our society today.

I think that I have typed these words before, so the following should come as no shock: We are NOT living the dream that MLK was talking about. I am not part of the group of people who think that JUST because our President is Black we have overcome. We, as a society, are further behind than we were 50 years ago, in some aspects. Women and minorities still get paid less than white men on a regular basis. Minority children still get a substandard education when compared to the education received in primarily white neighborhoods. Racial injustices still happen daily. Gender discrimination is an every day occurrence. Rape is an EVERY day occurrence. Disenfranchisement happens in polling places AND in state legislatures in 2013. War is happening. The American public is paying with tax dollars AND the lives of our beloved soldiers EVERY day and it is not being reported in our 24 hour news streams. Our leaders are corrupt and WE are not holding them accountable for their actions. Our troops and the elderly are being bilked out of their hard earned money and being left to suffer alone- by the government and their families- in assisted living facilities. Worst of all, we do not have a promising field of minority leaders who are battle tested and ready to take their place on the front lines to fight against inequality.

That last sentence is what I believe will kill the dream altogether. People have been lulled into a false sense of security. They sign an online petition and figure that they have done their job. There is no sense of unity- everyone is too obsessed with the next new thing, new group, new iPhone. They are way too willing to talk about rap verses and not willing enough to defeat their neighborhood thugs. They are way too concerned with fast ass musicians at an awards show than helping the family down the street put food on their table. People are willing to wait in line for some limited release sneakers, but won't wait in line to register to vote. Some think that BECAUSE we have a Black President that the fight is over. It isn't. Your oppressed brothers and sisters are out there- and they need your help.

Don't let the 60s be repeated. Don't let the work and the deaths of the people who sacrificed everything be in vain. Get out and make your dream, and the dream of your neighbor, come true. We are all fighting for the same thing, right? The ability to live our lives, take care of ourselves and our families. Don't quote the I Have A Dream speech to me. Live it daily... and you will get my attention.



Lefty said...


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