On a wonderful and sunny Sunday morning, thousands enjoyed the opening ceremony of the Martin Luther King Jr. (MLK) Memorial in D.C: A stone of hope. MLK was a drum-major for change in his time. Are we now living MLK’s 1963 dream speech? [The following quotes are paraphrases of the speeches]
“We have change. We have reached a long way, but we are not there yet! The election of President Obama, is not the fulfillment of the dream; it is just a down payment” (John Lewis, Congressman). “Today, we do not judge people on the color of their skin, but on the color of their money” (Dan Rather, ex-CBS anchor). “Today, ordinary people are rightfully raising up against corporate greed (Christine King Farris, MLK’s sister). “Today, prison is one of the fastest growing industries in this country, and there are more black people in US prisons than in college” (MLK III). “Today, we still strive to make democracy reality” (Julian Bond, Chairman NAACAP). “Today, we do not have justice when people are put on death row on dubious evidence” (Al Sharpton, Reverend). “Today, we’ve normalized poverty and homelessness” (Diahann Carroll, actress). We are not there yet!
“It’s not ’bout Obama – it’s bout our mama” (Al Sharpton)… Still, President Obama held the official opening address: Obama honored Dr King’s dream. He honored the foot-soldiers for justice, upholding that progress is slow and hard. Dr King’s journey was far from an easy one; he was constantly criticized and demolished. Change has never been quick and without controversy, Obama warned – It requires persistency: “Don’ get obsessed with the is’ness of today – push for the ought’ness of tomorrow.”
We must all live the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. We must all speak out for justice.