I posted this essay last year on Martin Luther King Day, but it is still relevant, if not even more so, given current post-election events.
“I still have a dream, a dream deeply rooted in the American dream – one day this nation will rise up and live up to its creed , ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal. I have a dream.”
On this day we celebrate the life and legacy of our most famous civil rights leader, who launched the American Civil Rights Movement with these words; words which were said 52 years ago on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.
While we have made much progress toward eliminating racism in our country over those 52 years, have we really achieved Dr. King’s dream? Sadly, we have taken a giant step backwards in the past 40 years, by sitting on our civil rights and allowing the government to erode the Constitutional guarantees that were supposed to protect them. Instead of a nation of the people, governed by the people, we have become, as President Carter said, a nation whose government is controlled by an elite oligarchy. A nation where money can buy our elected representatives and the rich control the course of our collective destiny.
The American Dream, once thought to be achievable by hard work and persistence, that dream which has been a beacon of hope to many throughout the world, is, sadly, out of the reach of many in the United States, as the elimination of the middle class continues. The rich get richer and the poor get poorer in our modern America. And as our civil rights are eroded by over-zealous executives, seeking to promote the economic causes of the elites who put them into power, the consequences of putting “bombs in the air” above foreign skies and “boots on the ground” with a militarized police force at home are the lives and liberty of many innocent victims, which results in an “us against them” mentality which has turned our brothers into enemies.
For a nation which once burned the torch of liberty so brightly that it could be seen around the world, we now have a government which can suspend the civil rights of its citizens; a government which justifies the surveillance of its own citizenry, and the torture of any person accused of being an “enemy of the people.” Martin Luther King would be ashamed of the reverse progress we have made toward achieving his dream. On this day, let us remember what that dream is, and spread the word to our children, grandchildren, friends and neighbors that this dream is still achievable. Vote for Dr. King’s dream in the next presidential, Congressional and Senatorial elections. Send the incumbents – all of them – out of office. We must take the profit out of politics and the power out of the hands of the elites. That is our responsibility. If we fail to do this, we have nobody to blame but ourselves.
Kenneth Eade is an author, hailed by many as “one of the strongest thriller writers on the scene.” www.kennetheade.com