It was 57 years ago, in 1963, when Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. gave his “I have a dream” speech at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. In that eloquent oral testimony Dr. King said:
“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 a 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 they have come to realize that their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom. We cannot walk alone.”
He said “…we’ve came to our nations capitol to cash a check.” And he called out America for giving “…the Negro people a bad check.”
He called on us to meet physical force with soul force. He called on us to set aside feelings of bitterness and distrust for all white people. He called on us to know that “We cannot walk alone.” on the road to freedom and justice for all.
He said “This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism.”
We failed in that moment and for the past 57 years. We failed to stay united. We failed to frame and define the issues for ourselves. We failed to stay engaged and maintain a clear vision and agenda. We failed to consistently and peacefully insist on the vision and agenda we set. Some of us engaged in the luxury of cooling off. Some fell into fear and despair and retired to the pursuit of smaller things. Most allowed the issues, the agenda, and the solutions to be defined by the mainstream media and the establishment. And our failure soaked the sands of the soil we live on with the blood of many commodified people formerly known as “citizens,” and now commonly referred to as “consumers.”
We Remember You
All we do is done in loving memory of:
Ahmaud Arbery, Michael Brown, Terence Crutcher, George Floyd, Eric Garner, Oscar Grant, Freddie Gray, Botham Jean, Atatiana Jefferson, Bettie Jones, Trayvon Martin, Laquan McDonald, Tamir Rice, Breonna Taylor, Dominique White, and the thousands of others not recorded throughout the brutal racist history that is America to this day.
(To be continued…)