Wednesday August 28, 2013, 12:22 am
Martin Luther King, Jr. influenced my political thinking more than any other individual. I was fortunate to have worked under him on Vietnam Summer and to have been present on the Washington Mall fifty years ago today on August 28, 1963. It’s hard to believe that we are once again fighting the battle to preserve the voting rights won as a result of his dream, and to restore them, where racist Republicans are outlawing the right to vote. After his speech, I need say nothing more.
Wednesday August 28, 2013, 2:37 am
You will be glad to hear that Martin Luther King's speech's figuring largely on the BBC today – there is an hour long programme on BBC2 tonight at 9pm – and I just turned to the BBC's 24 hour news and saw the poet Benjamin Zephaniah being interviewed about it. Excellent! I wish people would wake up and see how many hard won freedoms are being eroded one by one across the world – we must protest and now!
Wednesday August 28, 2013, 3:24 am
Thank you TC for your personal tribute to this great man. I was too young to have heard his speech, but he was such a powerful person that even after death he has influenced me in the early 70s. In the Netherlands Martin Luther King's speech has been remembered yesterday and today and a lot of documentaries and discussions about the man and his cause are aired today. He influenced the whole western world and beyond, and his words still shine and are heard. I hope for the world's sake not just by us oldies.
Wednesday August 28, 2013, 4:54 am
Without Martin Luther King life would be miserable but even so the world we live in is a horrible, horrible place. Much of racism is replaced with inability to make a living for anyone no matter who they are.
Wednesday August 28, 2013, 5:23 am
"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..."
(Martin Luther King Jr)
Wednesday August 28, 2013, 9:04 am
I think I see you there, Tom! How fortunate you were to be there, helping make history. I am awed by the courage it took for blacks (and whites) to achieve what should have been all along. Looks as if we may have to fight the fight again, too, but so be it.
Wednesday August 28, 2013, 9:15 am
That Dream is still unrealized in many ways and in many places. There are elements in our country, primarily in the states he mentioned so often, but also in many others, that are still attacking that Dream. He was right to say the struggle must be conducted on the high plains of dignity and discipline and far too much of the present day struggle is not. I know the times were different, I was 13, turned 14 the year he gave that wonderful speech, but I do so wish he had said all men and women or all people. I would like to see our constitution amended to say that because while the struggle for freedom, justice and equality goes on today, it goes on as well, as strongly for women. It is hard to believe, really, how little progress we have made toward that Dream. Some, certainly, but not nearly enough. There is much yet to do with discipline and dignity. Until all people, everywhere are truly free at last.
Wednesday August 28, 2013, 12:22 pm
28 August 1963. I was eleven years old living in southern Ontario, Canada. Growing up in a traditionally "white bread" area where there were lots of European immigrants (predominently Italian and Hungarian) but almost no Black, Asian or South Asian people, I was lucky to have had people from around the world come through my life, often staying with us. (I still remember Mrs Baba who was from India and had the most charming stories and gave great hugs!) This was a result of my father's work at the YMCA. And I was always taught the beauty of diversity by my paternal grandparents as well. Funny, to this day, I hate white bread and will only eat multigrain or rye!
I was aware of the march on Washington from the news, but its import was lost on me at the time because the year before, my father had taken up with another woman and moved away with her 4 kids, and my mother struggled to find work and feed us. My father, who had forbidden my mother to work or drive, wasn't paying any child support because as a result of his dalliance (which ended up lasting 43 years), he was fired. So life was very much in flux worrying about my own survival, something no child should have to worry about, no matter the reason.
However, in the next few years, I became more aware of the import of the March, or rather its goals of equality from first hand experience with my maternal grandfather who lived in Buffalo, NY. He was an "Archie Bunker" only worse! One day while visiting him, he walked with us to the corner store to buy a Squirt. He suddenly grabbed my shoulder and pulled me close saying "Come close girl or the N—–s will get you!" I was shocked and to this day, I have never forgiven him, although he died years and years ago.
Today, the goals of Martin Luther King Jr's march on Washington in 1963 and his "I have a dream…" speech are more important than ever as forces within the US threaten to turn back the clock, but just not on Blacks, but on all people that don't match up to the ideals of "white bread". And it doesn't stop there as religious intolerance bangs at the door too. SCOTUS gutted the VRA allowing this travesty to continue. It must stop!
To paraphrase a portion of MLK Jr's speech from 1963,
"…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, 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 ALL will be able to sit down together at the table of brother-hood.
I have a dream that ALL will live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of ;their skin or their religion but by the content of their character. …"
Wednesday August 28, 2013, 1:40 pm
Thanks to SCOTUS, the fight goes on! Next we need to change the law to term limits for SC Judges. It would be nice for Scalia to retire or just keel over, whichever comes first, but the nasty ones are always so healthy!
Wednesday August 28, 2013, 6:59 pm
In 1963 I was in college, had no car, did not even try to attend the march, and have regretted it since then. A former Universalist-Unitarian Minister, I later met years later told me he'd been there, and I was proud that he had become my minister.
The dream needs to be realized, for the entire "Rainbow Coalition," and more!
We will not really be a civilized society until we can get past our ingrained, automatic, or learned distrust of "the other," whomever that might be at any given time.
Wednesday August 28, 2013, 7:16 pm
Half a century and we still have to fight the miserable "Dream Killers" in public office. Here in NC they are trying to take us back to the Jim Crow era with their despicable voter suppression laws.