21 June, 2012

June 21, 1964

James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner were lynched by the Ku Klux Klan for their efforts in registering black voters in Mississippi.

I grew up in the deep south. While I haven’t spent much real time there in almost 20 years, I can say that the attitudes that lead to this lynching were still prevalent when I was growing up.

We’ve made much progress in this area, but we also have so much farther to go. Sadly, today, we have people that use events like this to promote more racial discord rather than to end it.

I can only hope that these people, who often pretend to be part of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy, will actually remember his words from Aug 28, 1963:

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 its 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."

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