Misinterpreting “The Dream” has been detrimental

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As we prepare to celebrate the day for one of the country’s greatest heroes, I began to think about the famous speech that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered on August 28, 1963, called “I Have a Dream.”   At the beginning of this great speech, Dr. King spoke of the Emancipation Proclamation.  He stated that even though this document had been manufactured, and signed, that the Negro was still not free 100 years later. Dr. King then went on to elaborate on the subjects of segregation, and discrimination.  

The more I listened to these profound words over, and over again, I realized that we in 2016 had not reached a mark that would consider the dream fulfilled.  

When I look at the status of Black America, I find that we may not have fountains with signs that prohibit us. We may not have restaurants that will not serve us. We don’t have to sit at the back of a bus when a white person gets on, but there are still some things that we endure which prove that “The Dream” has not been fulfilled.  The national unemployment rate for blacks remains higher than it does for whites.  The killing of blacks by whites is still a problem (including law enforcement), but the fratricide, and sororicide has taken over. 

When we take a look back at 1963, we find that blacks were in an all out war for equality.  The one thing that I saw then, that I don’t see now, is that they stuck, and worked together for the common good of every black person. In 2016, we do not follow the same code. 

Black men are losing ground when it comes to education.  There was a time when our grandfathers and grandmothers had to work in the fields of a plantation instead of getting an education. There was a time when the National Guard had to escort us into schools. Now we have children dropping out at an alarming rate.  We created our own Universities and colleges, and now fewer black men are going to college each year. 

During the civil rights fight, blacks cared about their brothers and sisters.  Blacks were happy when one of us received a chance to integrate a company or a profession, because we believed that individual was going to fight to open the door for others.  Now we have blacks who are happy to be the only engineer, doctor, attorney, or manager in the office. They feel like they are more special, or brighter than the rest of the black folk.  

We have become so selfish.  We have become a race that has segregated ourselves from our own people.  There was a time when we took care of each other. We used to open doors for one another.  We used to make sure that the young were given a chance to do better than us. Now all that has changed. Now, we stand over our brothers, and sisters while looking down on them.  

We are reckless with our money, and would rather look like we have it instead of actually having it. “The Dream” was not about buying Jordan’s, or carrying Gucci bags. “The Dream” had everything to do with the Black race as a whole having equality on all fronts. I am sure Dr. King would be pleased with the progress that we have made.  I also believe that he would say that we have a long way to go to fulfill the words that he delivered on August 28, 1963. 

Barack Obama is not “The Dream.”  I will repeat this again….Barack Obama is not “The Dream.”  “The Dream” would mean that the President would be able to be looked at as just another President, and not just a black one.  “The Dream” would be that the 1st black president would not have just happened in new millennium.  “The Dream” would be that there are so many black CEO’s in fortune 500 companies that having one would be the norm.  “The Dream” would mean that there are more than 3 black billionaires in the US.  “The Dream” would be that you can not only play in the NFL, or NBA, but that you can be the majority owner of a team (there is only 1 majority owner of color in the NBA).  “The Dream” would mean more black banks, businesses, schools, etc.  

I am sure you get the picture by now.  So before you wear that T-shirt with Barack Obama and Dr. King on it that says, “I have a dream/ I am the dream,” think again.  Don’t go on your Facebook page and show some simplistic view of this magnificent dream. Take some time and actually Google the speech.  Once you have read it, place it in your head, and heart.  Once that has been done, go out and help this wonderful dream come true, because this was not only a dream of a common man, this was the dream of a King.

 

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