Notable and Quotable (II)

Posted by Kendall Harmon

We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force. The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to a distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny. They have come to realize that their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom. We cannot walk alone.

As we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead. We cannot turn back. There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, "When will you be satisfied?" We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality. We can never be satisfied, as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities. We cannot be satisfied as long as the Negro's basic mobility is from a smaller ghetto to a larger one. We can never be satisfied as long as our children are stripped of their selfhood and robbed of their dignity by signs stating "For Whites Only". We cannot be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote. No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.

I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and tribulations. Some of you have come fresh from narrow jail cells. Some of you have come from areas where your quest for freedom left you battered by the storms of persecution and staggered by the winds of police brutality. You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive.

Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to South Carolina, go back to Georgia, go back to Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettos of our northern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed. Let us not wallow in the valley of despair.

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 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 that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

I have a dream today.

--The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., forty five years ago today, in a speech that should be read and reread, listened to and relistened to--KSH

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch History* Culture-WatchRace/Race RelationsReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.

Posted August 28, 2008 at 9:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

1. Jim the Puritan wrote:

It only makes me sad that in many ways, we’re not any closer to these words of Dr. King:

“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”

In our country, people are still judged in innumerable ways by the color of their skins, including who will get admitted to which college and who is qualified to receive government benefits and asistance.

August 28, 11:03 pm | [comment link]
2. evan miller wrote:

He should be satisfied.  They’ve got everything he mentioned in his list, and then some.  And of course they have the added benefit of affirmitive action and a host of other preferential policies as JTP points out above,

August 29, 11:13 am | [comment link]
3. evan miller wrote:

That said.  He was perhaps the greatest orator this country produced in the 20th Century.

August 29, 11:14 am | [comment link]
4. Kendall Harmon wrote:

Evan Miller do you honestly think that if Martin Luther King Jr. were alive today he would be satisfied?

August 30, 1:37 pm | [comment link]
5. evan miller wrote:

No.  If he were to be satisfied, he’d be out of business.

September 2, 9:54 am | [comment link]
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