This rampant racism and blatant injustice must stop!
Pray for “Giant George” (nicknamed “Big Floyd”) and his family.
Reread MLK’s “I Have a Dream.”
It’s well overdue.
I Have a Dream
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his iconic speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial on August 28th, 1963. Fifty-seven years later, it is time to revisit this unfulfilled dream. LET’S MAKE THIS DREAM COME TRUE!! Be a catalyst for long overdue change and racial equality. Let’s reach out, dissolve all divides, and just love one another!!!!
Time to revisit Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr’s dream, hear his peaceful pursuit of racial equality, and time to MAKE THIS DREAM A REALITY!
(The bold print in this speech are my emphasis. I feel those statements are so appropriate to the injustice and the reactions seen today – May 29, 2020… a sad time in America’s history amidst this George Floyd travesty and the COVID-19 that sees not color or class, but preys on areas of density and poverty).
“Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of their captivity.
But 100 years later, the Negro still is not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later the Negro is still languished in the corners of American society and finds himself in exile in his own land.
And so we’ve come here today to dramatize a shameful condition. In a sense we’ve come to our nation’s capital to cash a check. 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.
It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked insufficient funds.
But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. And so we’ve come to cash this check, a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice.
We have also come to his 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 rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice.
Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God’s children.
It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment. This sweltering summer of the Negro’s legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality. 1963 is not an end, but a beginning. Those who hope 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…
But there is something that I must say to my people who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice. In the process of gaining our rightful place, we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred. 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. And they have come to realize that their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom…
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 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. …
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. I have a dream that one day down in Alabama … little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.
I have a dream today. I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.
This is our hope. This is the faith that I go back to the South with. With this faith, we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood.
With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.
This will be the day when all of God’s children will be able to sing with new meaning: My country, ’tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrims’ pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring.
And if America is to be a great nation, this must become true. And so let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire. Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York. Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania. Let freedom ring from the snow-capped Rockies of Colorado. Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California. But not only that, let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia. Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee. Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi. From every mountainside, let freedom ring.
And when we see this happen, when we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual: Free at last. Free at last. Thank God almighty, we are free at last.”
Here is American civil rights leader Martin Luther King (1929 – 1968) as he addressed crowds during the March On Washington at the Lincoln Memorial, Washington DC, in 1963 where he gave his ‘I Have A Dream’ speech.
Do not let Martin Luther King Jr’s dream die. Do not let George Floyd’s death be in vain. Let your righteous anger spur you to action. Pray that God will show us what He wants us to do next in the memory and honor of MLK,Jr. and “Big Floyd.” Make their lives count. Make the dream a reality!
It’s been a busy day. I am ready to tuck in early. But first, I need to share with you a message I received from our neighbors who live at the end of our road 1/2 the year and in Nashville, Tennessee the other half of the year.
Most of you are aware by now that earlier this week a massive tornado devastated a 50 mile trail that went through the heart of some of Nashville’s beautiful neighborhoods. I wrote my neighbor/friend, Debbie, and asked how she and Steve are doing. This is what she wrote back,
“Thanks for asking. It’s been a tragic, scary, powerful disaster. It first touched down about 4 miles away at a private airport. That airport has $100 mil worth of damage. Then it plowed thru the neighborhoods of north Nashville (about 3 miles away) tearing up homes, churches and 3 schools in that lower middle class, black section. Then it hit the very trendy, expensive Germantown section just blocks from the Capital. After destroying Germantown it gained strength, crossed the Cumberland River (where our son Joel’s shop missed being hit my 1/4 mile). He was without power for only 10 hours. Then it moved to a section called East Nashville. This is where I grew up and where my brother still lives. The damage there was heartbreaking. East End Methodist Church was destroyed. This is my brother’s church… He has been there for hours helping out each day and met with the structural engineer who said no way to rebuild. It is just tragic. Yes the church is more than the building but when the building is 113 years old and you worship in such an astonishingly beautiful place with the souls of the many worshipers gone before, it seems trite to say it was only a building. There is no telling how long it will take to get power back on in that area. So the tornado jumped the river again to the neighborhood known as Donelson, then Hermitage, then Mt Juliet, then out in the country to Cookeville where 23 people were killed. This event has consumed our town.”
It takes that tragic event and brings it home, doesn’t it? Makes it up close and personal.
Please, dear friends, add the people of Nashville, Cookeville, and the surrounding area (50 mile tornado path) to your prayer list. My heart is heavy for them.
Sweet dreams may be possible as time goes by, but for now there will be tears and nightmares for many.
God bless them and give them strength during this devastating time. Amen
It made me think long and hard about what I would write if someone asked me what I stand for. Living in the dash, 1939 – ????, I need to realize that I am on the latter 1/4 of the dash line (if each quarter represents 1/4 of a century – because of course, I intend to live to be 100).
And I’ll still be playing my accordion in 2039… you bet!!
[Go ahead – smile!]
What Do I Stand For?
Give the question some thought and see what you come up with. Here is what I wrote back to Sehr Jalil. (You should click on that link and see what SHE wrote in her blog about that! Quite interesting!!)
I believe these are the teachings of Christ, who said the greatest of these is LOVE. So I send you the gift of love today, my dear WP friends.
The Willow trees in our back yard were only saplings when we moved here
nine years ago. They are extremely fast-growing trees which are now at
least thirty feet tall. As I sat in their shade, I observed the wide
splits in the bark. The old years growth sheds away as the tree expands.
Eventually it falls away back into the soil. We are like trees. Those
who grow the most continue to shed things they no longer need; negative
attitudes, hurts, ideas, stereotypes, resentment, and bitterness, etc.
Some are trapped in their own bark unwilling to let go and change for
the better. How are you at shedding your bark?
Growth brings expansion
Stretching us //sometimes to our limit
Breaking us out of our comfort zone.
Growth causes cracks in our perception
Finding, perhaps there are other ways
Of thinking or feeling that may be different.
Growth brings change
Change is often painful
Forcing us to cast off old ways of thinking;
To have growth, we will have to change.
With change comes new strength;
New strength moves us beyond the present;
Fulfills our dreams for today…
Knowing tomorrow, we will again
Expand, stretch, and shed our bark.
Every first and third Friday our Madison County Writers’ Group meets in Ennis, Montana. We may have just two participants, or we could have eight or ten. Last February during our third Friday meeting, there were just two of us. I recently came across my notes from that meeting.
We begin our meeting each time with a prompt we draw from a bag. Anyone can add prompts to the bag at any time. On this particular Friday, Steve drew the prompt, “Writer’s Block.” We had ten or fifteen minutes to write on that prompt and then share with one another what we had written.
I decided to write a Haiku. It ended up as a 5 stanza poem… each stanza a syllabic count of 5-7-5 syllables. What would you have written with the prompt “Writer’s Block”?
Let me share mine with you.
Writer’s Block can trap You and me in wordless haze Floating in nothing
Nothingness can hold You and me in dilemma Pen in hand stands still
Stillness can reveal Treasures in the quietness You just can’t force it
Forcefulness is great If you adamantly feel Thoughts begin to swirl
Swirling thoughts spin out With contemplation and ease The Block disappears
We had so much fun sharing our ideas on Writer’s Block that we decided to draw another prompt. This one was “Words.” We gave ourselves another ten minutes.
This time since I was on a roll with the Haiku rhythm, I wrote a 3 stanza poem. Sharing it later with my husband, Bob, he asked, “What determines if your Haiku is going to be one stanza or 3 or 5?”
“You write what you have to say,” I told him. “When you have said it, you stop. The thoughts dictate the length.”
Here’s what I wrote to the prompt, WORDS:
When words just fail me, I sit back and dream awhile. Dreams don’t have to speak.
When dreams are wordless, My imagination spins – Motivating scenes.
Let pictures emerge. Print them on your mind and soul. Eventually: WORDS!
These kinds of dreams come to us as writers, but they come to painters and potters and musicians as well. It’s a capacity of the human brain that needs to be cultivated.
A productive life is one that can get beyond writers block, can use words to express inner feelings, and can listen with heart to the unspoken words of those around them.
I hope you are a proponent of the kind of arts education that promotes such critical thinking. Let your curious mind fly free.
Be a wise consumer of words and thoughts and dreams! Do you have a Writers’ Group? If so, tell me about it. If not, think about forming one. It’s such fun to share your creative thoughts with others face to face, not just on WordPress.