Sunday, January 19, 2014

I have a Dream...

Martin Luther King Jr. Day. A day to remember a great man who did great things. A man who poured his entire self into making his Dream a reality. A man who let no one and nothing stop him in his crusade against injustice and for equality. The leader of the Civil Rights Movement.

I wholeheartedly believe in his Dream.

"I say to you today, my friends, so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American 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 see the things my little ones bring home and the things I'm told they will be learning, and I ask my boys, "what was his dream?" and they tell me his dream was black and white. and it breaks my heart because they miss the point. I know it's what they are being taught in their schools, but it's not the whole truth, not the end of the Dream.

The Civil Rights Movement is still alive and going strong today. His Dream will not be realized until all are free of the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. He did not only fight for racial equality, or Racial Rights, he fought for Civil Rights. His vision was Equality for All.

"When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."
I get angry because they have cut his Dream into pieces, distorting and butchering his words until it's broken down to the simplest terms of black and white. Perverting his message from one of equality and freedom for all to equality only for black and white- a goal they can pretend to have accomplished so that no more work is needed and a false sense of comfort is taken that his words do not need to be taken to heart and learned from. The lesson is taught that this movement is in the past. Done. Over with.

"I say to you today, my friends, so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream."

Today, I cannot argue my son's right to an equal education, or an education that helps him reach his full potential because he doesn't have that right.

Today, smart boards are being taken out of self-contained classrooms to be put in general education classrooms with no consideration, no care, of how that would effect our children. Without caring what message that is sending our children- all of our children- about where the disabled, or differently-abled, people in our world rank in the hierarchy of humanity.

Today, our children have no more than a token involvement in school activities.

Today, our children are hidden in the shadows of the schools, never to be seen in public. Not in photos posted of school activities, not in news blasts updating us on the wonderful things going on in our schools.

Today, our children are a shameful secret only to be taken out on the special occasions that showcase inclusion or to earn our schools a pat on the back.

Today, our children are an afterthought in planning school activities and building plans, some just to make sure our kids aren't going to interfere with what they are doing, or to ensure they are meeting the minimum of what the law demands .

Today, employers add an "optional" box on applications asking if you are disabled, promising that they don't discriminate. (You do know that when you give a disabled person a job just because they are disabled, that is discrimination, right?)

Today, our adults have to petition the courts to buy their freedom. They have to prove their worth and their capability while people their age and younger, and oftentimes with less sense, are allowed to fly or fall on their own merits.

Today, we have capable adults who are not offered support, but imprisoned by the ruling of a court to be at the mercy and the judgment of another human being until the time, if ever, that they can prove they deserve the freedom to live their lives as they see fit.

Today, we have children and adults that have to fight the discrimination of society to be able to survive, survival being their highest ambition and their strongest desire because they have been taught by our schools and our society that they don't have the right to thrive.

Today, our children and the adults in our community are still bound by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination.

"We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy...Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God's children." 
"We cannot turn back. There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, "When will you be satisfied?"...we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream."
 "I have a dream today." 

I will not stop speaking until that Dream is realized.







(All quotes from Christian Today.)

2 comments:

  1. Amen x

    I love this and, yes yes yes, with all my heart I want my kids to really know and understand and live their lives in a way that brings equality and freedom to all. I want them to live in a society and community where everyone is working towards this goal.

    Sarah x

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