The Substance of the Dream

On this day of service many honor the life, legacy and works of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. not by with lip service, but with service. Far too often people equate Dr. King to a dream, but fail to realize the nightmare he was speaking about. Many are in Washington D.C. today to witness what is in essence the symbolic cashing of that check Dr. King reference on August 28, 1963.

The irony of history has brought us to this day, a day before the Presidential Inauguration of Barack Obama. An improbably journey traveled by many will soon be realized. Don’t allow yourself to mistake this as a journey that should be celebrated by Black folks, because it was a shared journey, a collective struggle with mutual sacrifices by across the spectrum of race, culture and class.

Tomorrow may bring a gratifying smile to a group of people with a history of servitude and suffering, but let this be the emancipation of our emotional ties to slavery, Jim Crow and all of the wrong this country has inflicted on its people. I am not naïve to believe that racism is no more, but as we begin our “watch night” service on this promise of America lets not forget those who continue to encourage us to Strive Toward Freedom.

We often find ourselves hating each other because we fear each other; we fear each other because we do not know one another; we don’t know one another because we fail to communicate; we can not communicate because we separate ourselves.

Tomorrow the devotees of the status quo will be forced to ask themselves a question. A question that I hope convicts them to reconsider some of their actions. Dr. King once said that life’s most urgent question is, “What are you doing for others?”

Now the previous administration has done a lot for others, but far too often it was for their own self interest wrapped with the red gift wrap of creative marketing to persuade a people to support their agenda.

These devotees are not just Republicans, but include Democrats and Independents too. I only ask that they reconsider their perceptions of power. Once you begin to rise above the narrow confines of your own realities into a broader concern of all humanity then will you realize the power of change.

As I along with those who choose to celebrate the life, legacy and works of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. I ask that you see the man beyond the confines of a single speech. He was more than a dreamer, but a practical visionary who understood that when you grasp for great vision, no one is in chains.

Dr. King’s dream was integration, not assimilation of an already dysfunctional societal and governmental system. He was not some idle dreamer, but that of a freedom fighter. Now is the time for us to honor the journey and those who has helped us make it and march together into history tomorrow.

Regardless of your race, regardless of your desired beliefs, regardless of your party affiliation, regardless if you’re an American or living under the fear of another Israeli attack in Gaza, deplorable human conditions in Sudan, suffering a cold winter by the lack of Gas by the hands of Russia or even suicide bomber in Iraq, now is the time for us to make what Dr. King worked for a reality. We must work to create the dream of a Beloved Community a reality. We can not walk alone.

We the people of America of all races, colors, cultures and creeds have come such a great distance in our social interactions, morals and philosophy. It hasn’t been pretty or easy, and we have not “stepped into the promise land” as of yet. But we’re on the right road.

Although we all continue to face barriers and biases due to individuals who embrace false perceptions, ignorance and a dysfunctional relationship with their God, I still choose to adopt the principles that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and so many others stood for…

Tomorrow will be seen by some as the redemption of the unearned suffering of many who are not able to witness it. Many who knew that this journey would be considered improbably, but if it wasn’t for them I now believe that it is possible.

The substance of the Dream is not the dream itself, but the vision, belief and courage that it can be expressed in what we know now are these profound words, “I Have a Dream”.

References & Inspirations
Thoughts, Ideas & Suggestions – 06/19/08 “We the People: My Celebration of Juneteenth
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. – Book: “Strive Toward Freedom
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. – 08/28/68 “I Have a Dream”


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