Wednesday, January 16, 2008
Hey Bloggers, is today Martin Luther King Day? That annual holiday of the year that honors the former peacemaker, marcher, minister, activist, civil rights leader of the past. I have been seeing emails today titled "The I Have A Nightmare Speech", and "In honor of Dr. King on his 79th birthday Jan 15th". Oh, so maybe January 15th is his birthday, and that was yesterday wasn't it? Let me look at that Gregorian calendar again and see what it says..... Well this calendar that I am looking at says January 21 is Martin Luther King Day, so either this day is here or it is near. And when I think of Martin Luther King, I think of that German guy, Martin Luther, the guy who started the Protestant church, and those other great peaceful leaders from the 60's, John F. Kennedy, Rosa Parks and even Gandhi, the guy who gave up his worldly belongings to wander the earth and preach peace. And what the heck is that "I have A Nightmare Speech" email all about that I received in my inbox today. That email title looks interesting enough that I want to read it now to see what it says.... And I just read it, and that email is a very long anonymously written passage that I am not exactly sure what to make of that reads:
The "I Have a Nightmare Speech"
I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as an insignificant demonstration for complacency in the history of our nation.
Five score hours ago, a White middle class American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, signed the credit card bill for his Starbucks Latte. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of mainly "so and so" middle class ego trippers who had been seared in the flames of withering insignificance. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of their obscurity.
But one hundred hours later, the mainly "so and so" middle class loiterer still is not in control of the world. One hundred hours later, the life of the mainly "so and so etc;" middle class American is still sadly crippled by the manacles of insignificance and the chains of absurdity. One hundred years hours later, the mainly middle class American lives on a lonely island of barely moderate prosperity in the midst of a vast ocean of material poverty. One hundred hours later, the mainly middle class American is still languishing in the center of American society and finds himself an non-entity in his own land. So we have come here today to dramatize a shameful condition.
In a sense we have come to our nation's capital to ask for a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every mainly middle class American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all mainly White middle class men, (but, of course, not black men or Latino men or poor White men and certainly not most women), would be guaranteed the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her mainly middle class citizens are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the mainly middle class American people a bad check, a check which has come back marked "insufficient funds." But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. So we have come to demand this check — a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice taken from the labor and resources of those who are not fortunate enough to be "So and so" and/or middle class and We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quick sands of injustice against the mainly "so and so" middle class to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God's "So and so" and middle class children.
It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment. This sweltering summer of the mainly middle class legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality. Two Thousand and Eight is not an end, but a beginning. Those who hope that the mainly middle class needed to blow off steam and will now be content will have a rude awakening if the nation returns to business as usual. There will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the mainly middle class is granted the citizenship rights of everyone in the world. The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice for mainly middle class people emerges.
But there is something that I must say to my people who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice. In the process of gaining our rightful place we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by throwing drink from the cup of bitterness and hatred in the face of other people.
We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force. The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the mainly middle class community must not lead us to a distrust of all non - "so and so" people, for many of our non "So and so" brothers and sisters, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up to be beneath our destiny. They have come to realize that their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom. We cannot walk alone but must have all others beneath us and carrying our luggage and a beer or two in case we get thirsty.
As we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead of all other people. We cannot turn back and even look at those less fortunate than us. There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, "When will you be satisfied?" We can never be satisfied as long as the mainly "so and so" middle class is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of not enough police brutality against those who challenge our privileges and superiority. We can never be satisfied, as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain free lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities. We cannot be satisfied as long as the mainly middle class's basic mobility is from a smaller job or career to a larger one. We can never be satisfied as long as our children are stripped of their selfhood and robbed of their dignity by signs stating "Not For "So and so" Middle Class Only". We cannot be satisfied as long as a middle class person in Mississippi cannot win all the votes and a middle class in New York believes he actually has to vote in order to win an election. No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream inot our pockets every time we want something.
I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and tribulations. Some of you have come fresh from narrow jail cells. Some of you have come from areas where your quest for free money left you battered by the storms of persecution and staggered by the winds of the lack of police brutality to help you get richer. You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned money is redemptive.
Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to South Carolina, go back to Georgia, go back to Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettos of our northern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and but never will be changed. Let us not wallow in the valley of despair - they are not going to ever overthrow us.
I say to you today, my friends, so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a nightmare. It is a nightmare deeply rooted in the American horrors.
I have a nightmare 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 middle class men are created equal."
I have a nightmare that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slave owners and the sons of former business owners will be able to sit down together at the table of the exploitation of brotherhood.
I have a nightmare 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 and a nice place to rip people off.
I have a dream that my four little middle class 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 bank accounts.
I have a nightmare today.
I have a nightmare 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 poor working class little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers all helping the mainly middle class become more prosperous.
I have a nightmare today.
I have a nightmare that one day every valley shall be exalted, 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 Money shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.
This is our hope. This is the faith that I go back to the North with. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of subordinated brotherhood. With this faith they will be able to work together to make us richer, to pray together to make us happier, to struggle together to serve us better, to go to jail together if they disobey us, to stand up for free money for us together, knowing that they will be never be free but will serve us forever..
This will be the day when all of God's middle class children will be able to sing with a new meaning, "My country, 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty for me, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers stole, land of the pilgrim's theft, from every mountainside, let free money ring."
And if America is to be a great nation this must become true. So let free money ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire. Let free money ring from the mighty restaurants of New York. Let free money ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania!
Let class domination and privilege ring from the snowcapped Rockies of Colorado!
Let class domination and privilege ring from the curvaceous slopes of California! (Or at least from Santa Monica and the Westside and especially from the Peace Center)
But not only that; let class domination and privilege ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia!
Let class domination and privilege ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee!
Let class domination and privilege ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi. From every mountainside, let free money for US ring.
And when this happens, when we allow class domination and privilege to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's White middle class children (and a very small number of token Black men and Latino men Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics - but no Muslims or Hindus), will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old middle class spiritual, "Free money at last! free money at last! thank God Damn Almighty, we are have free money at last!"
And here is that other email "In honor of Dr. King on his 79th birthday Jan 15th", taken from a speech given by Dr. King .
The Need To Be "Maladjusted"
Modern psychology has a word that is probably used more than any other word. It is the word "maladjusted. " Now we all should seek to live a well—adjusted life in order to avoid neurotic and schizophrenic personalities. But there are some things within our social order to which I am proud to be maladjusted and to which I call upon you to be maladjusted. I never intend to adjust myself to segregation and discrimination. I never intend to adjust myself to mob rule. I never intend to adjust myself to the tragic effects of the methods of physical violence and to tragic militarism. I call upon you to be maladjusted to such things. I call upon you to be as maladjusted to such things. I call upon you to be as maladjusted as Amos who in the midst of the injustices of his day cried out in words that echo across the generation, "Let judgment run down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream." As maladjusted as Abraham Lincoln who had the vision to see that this nation could not exist half slave and half free. As maladjusted as Jefferson, who in the midst of an age amazingly adjusted to slavery could cry out, "All men are created equal and are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights and that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." As maladjusted as Jesus of Nazareth who dreamed a dream of the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man. God grant that we will be so maladjusted that we will be able to go out and change our world and our civilization. And then we will be able to move from the bleak and desolate midnight of man’s inhumanity to man to the bright and glittering daybreak of freedom and justice.
And after reading these passages from above in observance of Martin Luther King Day, I think of that social tees t-shirt that I have seen with the words black, white, red, yellow and brown crossed out and replaced with the work human. And I think to post that coexist photo again on this day. That humanity can coexist together in a peaceful world. No one is free while other are oppressed. Is another world possible. Peace on earth and goodwill to all mankind. And what does this have to do with a No Police State?