Monday, January 19, 2009


As we celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. day today, I can't help but be reminded of dreams. We all have dreams. Every night we fall asleep and dream of something or someone - some dreams we remember, some we don't. But these aren't the dreams I'm talking about. The dreams I speak of are the ones we wish for - hope for - pray for.

We often hear our friends and family dream of a new car, a new house, the perfect job or winning the lottery. When was the last time you heard somebody dream for peace, or justice, or equality, an end to violence or an end to hate? Do we not have these dreams? Are they not realistic or are these things that we just don't think of dreaming about?

Perhaps the most famous dreams of all, were the dreams of Martin Luther King, Jr. Who at the time seemed to be speaking of winning the lottery to those who listened. Over 45 years ago today, he made his famous speech in Washington, D.C. He didn't talk of new cars or new houses or money or fame. He simply wanted this country of ours to unite as one.

I didn't write about the election of Barack Obama as our President, mainly because I hadn't started with this blog, but it was nothing short of historic. Over four years, after I witnessed Obama speak at the Democratic National convention in 2004, I had a feeling that this guy was the real deal. I like politics, I read about politics and I get into politics, but rarely do I get excited about politics. About three years ago, I asked people who would we elect President first: a woman or an African-American. Almost all of my responses were a woman - Hillary Clinton (although I think I got a Colin Powell in there from somebody). I came out and said no. I said it would be an African-American and it would be Barack Obama (see Amy A. to verify this if you like), and they said, "who?"

That was my dream.

As far as we have come as a nation, I knew that a good percentage of our population would never vote for a black man for President. I was excited, hopeful and yet cautiously optimistic when he decided to seek the nomination - especially starting out in Iowa. I wondered how many people could look past the color of his skin, or the Internet smear campaigns. But the American people came through and looked beyond what many couldn't 45 years ago. We elected Barack Obama as our President. This is, however, just a small step to reaching equality in America.

At this time in our lives, when we are fighting two wars, our economy is at it's worst since the Great Depression, jobs and houses are being lost, people struggle to put food on the table and provide for their families, we must again dream big. And at the same time we are also full of hope. Hope that this country will again be looked up to in the World, and hope that every kid today can live out the American dream of that big house, nice car, stable job and a wonderful family.

What will you dream for?

So on the eve of inaugurating the first African-American President of the United States of America, I leave you with his dreams from August 28, 1963:

"I say to you, my friends, 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, with is vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of 'interposition' and 'nullification', one day right there 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, and 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..."

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