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Wayne Independent - Honesdale, PA
  • The dream is still a national struggle

  • On the steps of the Lincoln Memorial yesterday, an African American President of the United States delivered a speech.
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  • On the steps of the Lincoln Memorial yesterday, an African American President of the United States delivered a speech.
    Probably 150 years from now, that will not even been newsworthy — hopefully.
    But on the anniversary of the "I have a dream" speech given by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., it was a mammoth moment.
    No matter your political persuasion, the fact this nation's first president of color was able to deliver that speech from the same spot of Dr. King is almost amazing.
    In the big scheme of things, 50 years is just a drop in the bucket of history.
    But those 50 years have meant huge changes in the fabric of the American society. The fact that President Obama is the president is quite an amazing accomplishment.
    In many ways, that is a sad statement, but it is true. When Dr. King began his mission to change this country, nobody would have dreamed yesterday could have happened.
    Then, people were simply fighting for jobs and equal rights. The Jim Crow laws in the South meant suppressing the black vote and it worked for a long time.
    But the young preacher from Atlanta did have a dream and that dream was for all Americans. His vision was of a society that put aside skin color and religion and judged people for who they were and their moral compass.
    Sadly, that dream remains a work in progress.
    Today, many people put all Muslims in one basket and say they are all terrorists.
    Dr. King would have been ashamed.
    Race, too, is still an integral part of the fabric of our society — many times not in a good way.
    Hatred of another race of people exists throughout this nation. Look at the divisions over immigration issues in this country. Nobody looks to Canada when they talk about immigration.
    Page 2 of 2 - The ideological beliefs of Americans are certainly part of the makeup of this country. It's why we are a free people.
    But too many times, those who deliver hate forget to look at the past.
    They are on the wrong side of history.
    Many said there would never be equal rights for women.
    They were wrong.
    Many said African Americans would always be second-class citizens.
    They were wrong.
    Many said gay people should be shoved in a corner and never allowed to be married or have families.
    They were wrong.
    History can teach us great lessons. And history does not lie.
    This country will continue to move forward and many of these issues will subside over generations. Not that they will ever go away, but at some point, those who have such beliefs will be such a minority themselves nobody will even pay attention to what they say.
    America is a land of opportunity and its people can achieve great goals. But it's also still a land where some people think they are right and nobody else can even have an opinion.
    That's exactly what Dr. King fought against so many years ago and that struggle continues.
    Thankfully, it is getting better over time and history is on the right side of this issue.
    We shall overcome ...
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