On August 28, 2013 President Obama will give a speech to commemorate the “I’ve Have a Dream” speech and many are speculating on what he will say and how he will say it. Here’s what the President has to contend with from 50 years ago:
This speech is a tough act to follow, even after 50 years. The president by the mere fact that he is the President is the best follow-up to what has been described as one of the greatest civil rights speeches in history. But many have forgotten all of what Martin Luther King had to say on that day. That’s why I posted the link above. Please hear the entire speech. He had so much more to say than that he had a dream that people would judge others by the content of their character and not the color of their skin (while I’m on the subject, I did not vote for Obama because of the color of his skin, there have been many black candidates who ran for President before him, I voted for him because of his message, because of the “content of his character”). The focus of this speech was to rally all Americans to fight for the rights of all Americans.
The March on Washington was for Jobs and Freedom. Many of those who spoke before Martin Luther King focused on the extremely liberal view that all Americans regardless of race, ethnicity, or creed deserved jobs. It was more than just being able to “buy a hamburger but to be able to pay for that hamburger” as MLK once remarked.
King mentioned that “1963 wasn’t the end of the struggle but the beginning.” This was before the Civil Rights Act and Voting Rights Act were passed by Congress. King also made mention on that day that along with the “Negros” in the crowd, were Whites. He remarked that those whites knew their needs were intertwined with the needs of the Blacks. This wasn’t for just the “Negros”, this was for all Americans of all categories. All deserved equal rights, equal treatment and dignity.
Most importantly in his remarks was the fact that all those who struggled for those rights must do so nonviolently and there shouldn’t be hatred for all whites because many whites were there too demanding the same rights. He remarked that those who struggled shouldn’t “degenerate to physical violence” and should be “meeting physical force with soul force.” It was a call for a disciplined and honorable fight to bring rights to all Americans regardless of the anger, hatred and violence those who oppose them may present.
50 years later, an angry mob represented by those who call themselves the Tea Party have fought to take rights away from Americans. Funded by the money interests who demand more freedom for themselves and less for the average Americans have been the loud voice that permitted State Houses, Congress and the Supreme Court to take away voting rights and civil rights that many have shed their blood for in the 1960’s. They are using the anger, violence and threats that Martin Luther King cautioned the civil rights “Freedom Riders” to not use.
So what should President Obama say on Wednesday?
He should follow up with what King called for in 1963, he should rally all Americans to recognize the plight of all Americans and fight for the rights of all Americans.
He needs to renew the struggle to return the protections of the Civil Rights Act and Voting Rights Act that do apply to all Americans regardless of the political affiliation. He should demand that we refrain from the intellectually shallow and hurtful anger utilized by the Tea Party Activists and learn the facts of the world around us. Then have open conversations with others and then follow up by utilizing our civic duty to vote for the candidate that best represents and will provide not only what we want, but what we need.
He should renew the call to action that King started in 1963 because it’s not over. 50 years later we see that this struggle may never be over. There will always be those of selfish intent and inhumane reasoning who will coerce and con the intellectually lazy to do their bidding and destroy the fabric and promise of this nation.
We are the People of the United States of America. We are the Government, We are not Corporations. We are flesh and blood Americans who need to look out for ourselves by looking out for others, whether we like them or not. The only way we can effectively do that is to be political aware, politically active and vote in all elections. Otherwise we are merely spectators to the demise of our rights and privileges as taken away from us by the rich and powerful.
President Obama, tell us to be responsible American Citizens looking out for one another, nothing more nothing less.
Oh, and maybe remind Americans of Martin Luther King’s warning to all on August 28, 1963 that “Those who hoped that the Negro needed to blow off steam and will now be content will have a rude awakening if the nation returns to business as usual.”
The Koch sponsored Tea Party are trying to bring us back to business as usual. Lets stop that now.