“. . .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!”
With these words, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., ended his “I Have a Dream” speech at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D. C. on August 28, 1963. This dramatic conclusion and the eloquent words before it called for the peoples of America, of all races, creeds and colors to join hands and walk forward in peace and harmony.
This coming Saturday, on the 47th Anniversary of that glorious inspiration, that same spot will be mocked by a charlatan preaching hate and division. Fox News’ Glenn Beck is staging his “Restoring Honor” rally that day, a day in which he and his other speakers no doubt will spew forth divisive talk, such as they have done over the last several weeks, spreading unwarranted fears against Muslin American citizens.
What a mockery of the message of hope and harmony that resonated in the words of Dr. King!
There’s a deeper reason for far-right propagandist Beck’s staging of this rally … beyond his obvious quest for self aggrandizement — and that’s that it will continue to politically appeal to more and more white Americans through their fear of people of color and of other cultures. Sadly, too many Americans are falling prey to these messages of fear, and may tilt the ballot boxes in November to vote for candidates who, if elected, would do harm to the message of Dr. King.
What should we do, those of us who believe in the American dream that “all men [and women] are created equal,” to counter this messenger of hate? The answer lies in our own speaking up for our values of justice and equality. We have a positive and strong message to make. Let’s make it!