Fifty years later is the dream being realized? There have been a lot of strides towards equality, not only for African Americans, but for women, seniors, gays and lesbians, but there still exists a cabal of haters whose clout far outweighs their numbers. We have not yet reached that day that Dr. King spoke of, when the content of one’s character matters more than the color of one’s skin and racism and bigotry are still alive and palatably well in America despite all of the efforts and pronouncements to eradicate them from our lives.
Hate reigns in the hearts of too many people. Amazingly we have elected a Black President twice over and yet that very act of the electorate has created more hatred and fear than tolerance and joy. One major political party in this nation has enjoined to make it part of their creed to disenfranchise whole segments of our society and to make it their one and only goal to not pass a single piece of legislation introduced by or on the behalf of one Barack Hussein Obama.
And their claim that what they are doing isn’t racist or bigoted in nature and action falls falsely because they can claim all they want but by their actions they shall and are to be known and judged. They have derived to alienate entire segments of our society simply because they wish to see Barack Hussein Obama go down in flames and have marked his presidency with an intransigence not seen ever in the politics of our nation.
They have conspired to set civil rights back one hundred years. They have and are conspiring to set back the cause of women more than fifty years. They have gutted the very act that has made it possible for millions of students, seniors, women and minorities to have an equal say in the everyday life of this democratic republic and they don’t care. If it suits their ends then to them the means are justified.
We are living in an age of a conscious dumbing down of America and a huge segment of its population. We have climate deniers. We have evolution deniers. They are working on a grand scale with their corporate enablers to take us back to the dark ages. We have ministers who should and do know better making outrageous claims that Jesus wrote the entire Bible even knowing that most of our citizens are aware that he wasn’t even around at the beginning of time.
And the time of our world started six thousand years ago despite all of the scientific evidence that proves conclusively it begin hundreds of thousands of years prior to that. Our glaciers are disappearing at an alarming rate and yet we have elected officials who scoff and say global warming is a man-made hoax even as they wink, wink knowingly otherwise.
There is a scene in the movie Inherit the Wind starring Spencer Tracy and Fredrick March (which was a fictional account of the Scopes Monkey Trial) whereby this great character actor was making the case not for evolution but for devolution. It sounded funny and preposterous at the time I saw the movie, but now as I look back on that scene I am more and more convinced that our nation and some of its citizens are devolving. With their racist, bigoted screeds they certainly are not making any attempt to advance our civilization forward.
So where are we now fifty years after the March On Washington and Dr. King’s ‘I Have A Dream’ speech? We have come a long way baby, to use the old rallying cry of the feminist movement but we seem to be going two steps back for every one step forward. Is this an ‘Age of Enlightenment’ or is it the ‘Age of Denial’? I am reminded of Mark Twain famous quote, “Denial ain’t just a river in Egypt”!
The demographics of our nation are changing even as I write this so that in just a couple of years white Americans will be the in the minority and yet too many of that segment of our society don’t want to go into that good night, but seem intent on continuing down the road to denial of the rights of the rest of our population, screaming and kicking.
As Kipling opined in his epic poem ‘The Gods of the Copybook Headings’, “They deny the moon is Edam, why they deny it is even Dutch”. We know that the moon ain’t edam nor Dutch, but we wouldn’t be able to discern that from the cabal of cranky rich old white guys who want to deny every single year of our march towards equality over the past fifty years and return us the those ‘thrilling days of yesteryear’. The Lone Ranger ain’t happening he quit riding to the rescue a long time ago when they took away his mask and those ‘good ole days’ weren’t all that thrilling anyway!
We must keep working to bring this nation and its citizens into the 21st Century, kicking and screaming if necessary. We can’t afford to allow those who would deny some our citizens their rights to have their way. It’s not patriotic nor is it American. Let us do everything in our power to stamp out hate and bigotry and love one another, every single other! That’s the American way!
Is the Dream still alive? Yes I believe it still is but it may soon be on life support unless we head to the streets and say we aren’t going to let it die!