When I was young; my father said Martin Luther King was a Communist. He and my older brother often said that they thought he was instigating violence behind the scenes while preaching peace in public. I believed it because someone in authority; whose opinion I trusted said it was true.
When I was a child; MLK was leading the Civil Rights Movement. He was marching on Montgomery and Birmingham and he was Marching on Washington DC. Many thousands of people heard him speak and saw him stand up against the ill and unequal treatment that blacks received in our country; speaking to America about his dream.
But I believed he was an upstart. Someone who just wanted to tear this country apart because I was a child; I thought like a child; and I believed what I was told by a man who was forty-one when I was born.
But who knew? Who knew?………………………………………………………………………….
Who knew that the man who had fought on Okinawa and believed he understood what America was all about; would miss the biggest clue in our recent history (of course it could be argued that all American history is recent); and miss his one big chance to truly be an American hero.
Not me; that’s for sure. it took me thirty years to begin to see the truth about MLK; to learn the meaning of his dream.
But not just his dream. The dream of a nation of people. A dream we have been dreaming for 235 years.
Well; to be fair; it’s two dreams. The befuddled dream state we have all been living in. The one that would have us believe that we already are living the second dream. But that first dream is more of a Propaganda Induced Hallucination.
The real dream; the dream that we were promised and then denyed was alive in this man. It was alive and real in his mind and in his heart.
When Martin Luther King Jr. was so horrifically shot down; he was finally at the conclusion of the fight for Civil Rights; for the equal rights of the Black people in America. he was far from finished his course however.
Because the dream that Martin Luther King Jr. dreamed; was not just for black people. It was for all people of all colors and races.
Martin Luther King Jr. would be disappointed to say the least if he could know that forty-three years after his death; after his ultimate sacrifice; the sacrifice of his life and blood upon the alter of American Freedom; there are still places and people who still, have never understood the dream or it’s value and continue to act; though more discreatly than in the past; as though Martin Luther King never came amoung us and never ignited the spark of freedom in the hearts of Americans.
He would no doubt, be proud of the progress we have made in race relations for the most part but would be saddened to see that the wealthy and powerful; rather than accept the intended nature of this nation; have failed to even attempt to change their opinion of poor black people. Have instead shed the pretense of hatred for black people and have finally showed us the truth.
That they have a hatred and a total lack of compassion; empathy; and sympathy for black people; red people white people and all other people unless they are able to amass wealth and wield power equal to their own.
On NPR today; a guest made the comment that although we have come a long way in race relations; we still allow and accept certain types of discrimination; namely in our Higher Education System. Schools still today make admission choices based on race.
I say, “Of course they do” because while the average American has changed what he believes and how he relates to other cultures and races; those who hold the wealth and power never have and never will. They have known all along that there is no qualitative difference between races of people. They really don’t care very much what race you are as long as you have the big bucks and big stick.
Of course since most of these people are white; and since they like a small club; it is inherent in their plan to frustrate the attempts of as many people as possible and as they have maintained the illusion of racism among their followers; they naturally find it ever so simple to gain the co-operation of these Universities in discrimination “Just ‘lak the old days”
I guess we would have to get the private money out of the Univerities as well as the Political System in order to quell the rampant discrimination and corruption.
A sobering thought. A disturbing thought. But not a new thought.
Martin Luther King knew. He understood that gaining equality for black people and all other people in the proccess was only the beginning.
His dream was for all Americans to be Free and Equal and Cared for. Not cared for as is so often suggested (to their embarrassment) by the Conservatives and Libertarians. Not cared for to the exclusion of work. But cared for in that when they are not able to work; they should still be able to live with dignity and not be made to feel the less for it. Cared for in that they are not cast aside like an obsolete machine part.
When he died he was already in the proccess of beginning a new movement. A Movement of the poor people
of this nation. Judging by his success with Civil Rights; (a relatively harmless movement from the point of view of the wealthy movers and shakers) the thought of him unleashing his dreams and charisma on them must have seemed a frightening concept.
But as always; those who do the most for man are appreciated the least by “The Man“.
So we get what we had in 1968; Murder. Bloody Murder of a True American Leader.
Yet; even though he is no longer here to speak to us. Even though he has been dead for forty-three years and his voice has not been heard; his dream and his message to all of us still exists. It exists in the hearts and minds of all people everywhere who yearn for freedom. The message that the Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King Jr. was trying so hard to make us hear; so hard to help us see; so valiently to help us believe is that there is only us and them. The wealthy power mongers and the rest of us; us of all races. If we allow “them” to set us at each other’s throats; we will surely be the losers in this ongoing battle for freedom that is America.
So if this Movement needs a leader; if the 1% ask who represents us; tell them we are followers of Martin Luther King and we come with the authority and power of his dream and demand equality of dignity and self respect for all Americans; not just the fortunate few who wield the money and power.
But who knew? Who knew that forty-three years after his death; we would still not have found another leader to take up his dream.
Still not found a leader to champion the people of America as did Martin Luther King. Perhaps they all fear meeting his end;…………..and who could blame them.