The battle for the 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 slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

I have a dream today!

I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of "interposition" and "nullification" -- one day right there in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.

When we allow 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!

Dr. King spoke these words 47 years ago today.The practical implementation was clear: give blacks the vote, give blacks equal rights. The vision is clear: fight double standards, don't give freedom only to some while denying it to others, fight hatred.  How sad that people like Glenn Beck today, who promote hatred against unpopular groups, are trying to invoke some connection to these words.

In a much more subtle way, the aid industry has never come close to the moral clarity of this vision; it often practises double standards, with freedom for white men, but condescension and denial of voting rights and other rights for black men.  It covers this up with euphemisms and jargon, which I satirized on the Huffington Post yesterday with the Powerpoint aid jargon version of I have a Dream.

People don't realize that often the most skeptical and critical people have a soft spot for inspirational eloquence.  It certainly applies to me. I am getting goose bumps as I listen to "I have a dream" right now. ...let's speed up that day when all of God's children can be Free at Last.