Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Dream Anyway

It seems there is never enough time. Not enough time in the day to do all the things we should do. Not enough time to be with the people who mean the most to us. Not enough time to cover all the stories we want to either. Sometimes, it seems there's barely enough time to sleep, let alone dream.

That said, we're purposely taking the time today - a bit more than last Friday - to focus one more time upon the significance of today, and the incredible event that happened fifty years ago. August 28, 1963 was the day when Martin Luther King, Jr. gave one of the most important speeches in American history from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.

That we're taking a solemn break today won't matter to the neo-cons and chickenhawks, who will still be screaming for President Obama to go to war in Syria. The debt ceiling disaster will still loom, as will a potentially catastrophic nomination for Fed Chairman by the President. Massive problems like the relatively new Republican-backed voter suppression laws will still be snapping at our nation's heels, too.

Today, every American should be taking the time to look at where we were fifty years ago, and where we are today.

As President Obama said yesterday to nationally syndicated radio host Tom Joyner and co-host Sybil Wilkes, Dr. King would likely be amazed at all the progress America has made in the last fifty years. To start with, our President is now an African American man - technically of mixed race - an idea that was unfathomable fifty years ago.

The technological progress we've made has been stunning too - even if the nation's newspaper of record has been hacked twice in less than a months' time. Dr. King would likely be surprised at what has happened to both the Republican and Democratic Parties in the last fifty years too.

He would also likely be both saddened and encouraged. Saddened by the fact that fifty years later the economic gap between blacks and whites persists, racial inequality is still so prevalent, and the simple right to vote is under renewed attack. Encouraged by the new civil rights movement and labor rights movements that are emerging around the nation.

The speech Dr. King gave, after all, was at the "March for Jobs and Freedom."

As we noted last Friday, Americans know that we haven't yet achieved King's dream. But that doesn't mean we've given up. John Lewis, an activist King knew well back in '63 is a Democratic Congressman now, still fighting for civil rights, like the right to vote. Republicans like Rep. James Sensenbrenner are also fighting alongside Rep. Lewis, just as some whites stood with African Americans on the mall that day fifty years ago.

In many different addresses throughout his lifetime, Martin Luther King Jr. reminded all of us to keep following the words of our founding fathers, to keep working towards a more perfect union.

We still agree with him wholeheartedly, fifty years later.

Life expands to fill the time every one of us is given. Make a difference with the time you have.