Has MLK's dream been realized?

Over the weekend, tens of thousands of people marched on Washington to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Rev Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech. During the event, called the “Realize the Dream March and Rally," civil rights leaders ranging from Reverend Al Sharpton to Martin Luther King III spoke to the crowd about the continued fight for equality, and focused heavily on voting rights.

Representative John Lewis of Georgia – who was the youngest speaker at the original March on Washington 50 years ago – said, “You cannot stand by. You cannot sit down. You have to stand up, speak up, speak out and get in the way. Make some noise. The vote is precious. It is almost sacred. It's the most powerful non-violent tool we have in a democratic society and we've got to use it.”

This coming Wednesday, on the August 28th anniversary of Rev. Martin Luther King's original “I have a Dream” speech, President Obama will give a speech from the very spot at the Lincoln Memorial where those powerful words were originally spoken. The event will be called the "Let Freedom Ring Commemoration and Call to Action Ceremony." Just Obama's presence says something.

According to the NYT - The election of America's first black president is a testament to America's sometimes halting progress toward what Dr King that day envisioned as an "invigorating autumn of freedom and equality." We have come a long way towards real equality, but we still have a long fight ahead.


Flopot's picture
Flopot 9 years 40 weeks ago

The dream realized after the murder of MLK, JFK & RFK is our current nightmare. The nexus of power that Eisenhower warned against took control by the murder of the greatest leaders of that generation. We still live with the consequences of that coup d'etat.

Live the dream...

Yes we can...

Green_TZM's picture
Green_TZM 9 years 40 weeks ago

There has been a corporate coup, and we have lost! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C8H0ty327o0

intok's picture
intok 9 years 40 weeks ago

Links for today:

The NSA is cracking the UN's video confrencing encryptin all after condemming China for doing it


Teens actually starting to care about online privacy


Cookieless tracking being done now via ETags


Fukushima worse then reported


The secret cleanup of Soviet nuclear test site


GMO rice passing on it's roundup ready genes to weeds


The next level of corporate explotation of the public


intok's picture
intok 9 years 40 weeks ago

Oops, forgot this one: Cencorship spreads like a disease


Mark Saulys's picture
Mark Saulys 9 years 40 weeks ago

MLK was concerned with economic justice and equality for ALL people not just people of color and he started the Poor Peoples' Campaign. His mission and legacy was betrayed in this way more than any other. Particularly so because racial "diversity" and a very capitalist assimilation of African American society into mainstream American society (which started sometime after King and continues now) was used to divert attention away from economic inequality.

That is partly because in the care free, middle class U.S. economy of the '60s we were a middle class society. Labor was strong (and corrupt - it had become part of the problem, a strong impediment to social change and the redistribution of power) and poverty was almost non existant. What poverty there was was largely race based, i.e., it was largely the result of racial dicrimination. For this reason the social justice movements of the '60s took up issues of racial rather than economic - or class - justice and the idea of a class struggle never really became popularized, hip or fashionable in the U.S.. Labor's corruption led to its demonization and ultimate decline lending itself to the Right's campaign against it and the suppression of class consciousness.

Meanwhile the big bussiness media, in service of the Right's campaign, diverted attention from economic injustice by cynically exploiting racial issues pointing to "diversification" of the elite sectors of society. We now have Clarence Thomas, Condoleeza Rice and Barrack Obamma so everything's right with the world. We're "post racial".

Henry Louis Gates Jr., an African American Harvard professor, in his book Beyond Race, argues that class is a greater divider than race in current society (don't know what he might say now after his famous encounter with the police when he locked himself out of his his house and he they mistook him for a burglar). That's kind of a traditional Marxist view and kind of likeThom's "Billionairistan" thesis. In contemporary U.S. society it is easier to have a friend - or even to marry someone - of another race than of another class.

For further reading I recommend The Trouble with Diversity: How We Learned to Love Identity and Ignore Inequality by Walter Benn Michaels, Henry Holt and Company, 2006.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 9 years 40 weeks ago

Personally I believe the dream MLK envisioned has been achieved. Why? Because this dream is more than just social change; it is, in fact, personal change. We must realize this dream of equality first within our own hearts. When we have accepted that than we can expect no less from society. The change begins within each and every one of us. As we accept the change and universal equality within us, we express that change in the world around us. Therefore, accept universal equality first within your own heart, and the dream of MLK will be real and true to you. That is the first and final triumph in his dream. That is the only way to change the world. Be the change that you want to see in others.

SteveS's picture
SteveS 9 years 39 weeks ago

Now that the Voting Rights Bill has been scrapped? Now that marchers' "New Jim Crow" signs have been destroyed by police? Now that the Trayvon Martin case was horribly misjudged? I don't see how you can even ask the question.

MMmmNACHOS's picture
MMmmNACHOS 9 years 39 weeks ago

He had a dream...We live in a nightmare.

President Obamney, is a snake tongued house nigger! [Oh my he said the "N" word!!!] Yep if it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck...It must be a duck. Anyone here know the difference between a House Nigger, a Field Nigger, and a black person???Oh I'm sorry, I wasn't being PC, I mean African American! Here is a clue; A black person acts without prejudice.

In the case of Barrack H. Obamney...He is just another corporate puppet dancing for Wall St. That he is a black corporate puppet just adds insult to injury.

Obamney has absolutly no buisness giving a speach regarding Civil Rights Leader and Anti-War Activist Martin Luther King.
President Obamney is hypocrite...He speaks of peace, justice, transparency, etc...Yet his actions as a leader have opposed those benchmarks.

Talk is cheap Mr Obamney... It's especially cheap when it comes from your lips.


Luis_L.'s picture
Luis_L. 9 years 39 weeks ago

While there has been some progress in realizing MLK's vision we are far from making it real or lasting. Socially we are changing a little bit at a time but economically our country is as divided now as we were in the mid 1950's. The gap between rich and poor is actually wider now than it was then. Now the few gains are in danger of being lost completely if the few political and legal gains are overturned by the courts and backwards looking state legislatures.

Flopot's picture
Flopot 9 years 39 weeks ago


I'm going to play devil's advocate here. How did people cope under 60 years of Soviet rule? How did people live for a generation under the rule of fascists in 1930s Europe? How do the Chinese still cope living under a totalitarian regime? My point is that all a person can do when living under a totalitarian regime is cope. There is nothing else you can do and self-enlightenment, which is what we are engaging in over the internet, cannot replace the grind of everyday life. It helps us cope. It is a consolation. But it seems to me that totalitarian regimes fall under the weight of their own corruption or though an external force.

Now the reasonable reponse is that the US is not quite yet a totalitarian state (a corporate run totalitarian state). I think the evidence overwhelmingly shows that the US is now a totalitarian state. It is DizNazi Land - you just cannot see the gun for all the candy floss.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 9 years 39 weeks ago
Quote Flopot:My point is that all a person can do when living under a totalitarian regime is cope. There is nothing else you can do and self-enlightenment, which is what we are engaging in over the internet, cannot replace the grind of everyday life. It helps us cope. It is a consolation. But it seems to me that totalitarian regimes fall under the weight of their own corruption or though an external force.

Flopot ~ All too true. However, if this is a response to my previous post you are missing my point. I'm not suggesting we cope with a totalitarian regime. I'm suggesting we learn to cope with each other. Totalitarian regimes maintain control by sowing discord amongst its subjects. Racism is nothing more than another tool of the totalitarian regime to maintain control. That is why one of the first steps to "overcome" is to banish racism, as well as any other "ism" that prevents social harmony. Social harmony, unity and cohesion is the greatest enemy of a totalitarian regime.

You must remember that Dr. Martin Luther King was as much about political change as he was about social change. He knew that social change would have to take place before political change could be addressed. That was his dream. Only through social harmony, unity, and cohesion can we stand up as a people and overcome. That Power of the People begins inside each one of us. That was the dream of MLK. I believe we have reached that point--at least from my own perspective. When we all realized the dream of MLK we will as a people be more powerful than any totalitarian machine. Why do you think he was killed in the first place? His philosophy represents a grave danger to the powers that be. He brought black and white together to fight for the same cause. The power elite would much prefer that they fight each other for nothing than to unify for social/political change.

Be the change that you want to see in the world and the world will change. The power to change the world is within you.

Carson L's picture
Carson L 9 years 39 weeks ago

All of change is either awkward or terrifying. And it will never be "got used to". I was just about to permanently rearrange the black chilli and moldy white cheddar on nacho's face for him so that he doesn't ruin the appetite for such a Mexican delicattessen for anyone else but perhaps he's on to something.

We've made plenty of, far too gradual, advancements on social justice since MLK in this unjust nation where every differing type of person on Earth is forced to face each other. But I also agree with Danne in that the real change required is personal change.

I believe that racial tension will exist between whites and blacks for ever as long as the word 'nigger' holds it's evil powers. Powers given to it by racism, racist people on both sides.

Not until anyone can go outside in any neighborhood and holler out loud such a rude gesture and noone listening gives it any more thought other than concern for the current individual's mental state; will racism begin to be cured.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 9 years 39 weeks ago
Quote Mahatma Gandhi:"I do believe that, where there is only a choice between cowardice and violence, I would advise violence..."

"I have been repeating over and over again that he who cannot protect himself or his nearest and dearest or their honour by non-violently facing death may and ought to do so by violently dealing with the oppressor. He who can do neither of the two is a burden. He has no business to be the head of a family. He must either hide himself, or must rest content to live for ever in helplessness and be prepared to crawl like a worm at the bidding of a bully."

--Mahatma Gandhi


Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 9 years 39 weeks ago
Quote MMmmNachos:Obamney has absolutly no buisness giving a speach regarding Civil Rights Leader and Anti-War Activist Martin Luther King.
President Obamney is hypocrite...He speaks of peace, justice, transparency, etc...Yet his actions as a leader have opposed those benchmarks.

I sure don't disagree with you here!!

And now the US is poised to kill even more innocent civilians by attacking Syria. I hold no favoritism for Assad, for sure, but I highly suspect that the US may have been behind the use of chemical weapons in Syria. And yes...the US would do such a thing...as they have many times in the past. After all, if they are willing to mass murder thousands of US citizens on 9/11 and many more in a contrived illegal war, not to mention the hundreds of thousands more of Middle Eastern civilians, then they would not flinch at using a chemical weapon in Syria in order to blame Assad. And US leaders and spokesmen who say that Assad doesn't have any credibility is just ignoring the fact that the US has no credibility either...and they've proven that many, many times over.

As Flopot pointed out, by way of his link, the US helped and probably encouraged Iraq to use chemical weapons against Iran during the Iran/Iraq war. Previous to that information, I was only aware that the US merely provided satellite data to help Iraq win the war.

And here is Flopot's link again:

By the way, thanks to Intok for all those links...very interesting!! I wasn't aware of the MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome) that kills half of the people who get it and the possibility of it spreading via the Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca every year. All those pilgrims returning to their various homelands could easily cause a world wide epidemic where half of the population could be wiped out. The Saudi Government tries very hard to keep on top of this possibility and they go all out to provide medical stations throughout the pilgrimage areas to prevent such diseases. All these pilgrims do not all stay in hotels..they all sleep in tents...one gigantic sleep in. The stifling heat and potential unsanitary conditions (even though the Saudi Government tries very hard to provide sanitation) helps...but is it enough...people coughing..etc? But, the Saudi Government is usually very open about anything that might break out except this year they are being unusually very silent. They have cut back on the number of pilgrimage visas as well.


Carson L's picture
Carson L 9 years 39 weeks ago

Flopot, to your first message, I believe that great learners become great leaders just as great leaders are the ones who show us how best to learn. Please give us something positive to look up to like your message here to inspire will, yet, with hope. Even if simply the hope for the brillant outcome of such a glorious agenda. Hat's growing on me, btw.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 9 years 39 weeks ago
Quote article:As Washington ponders over whether to hammer Damascus over unidentified use of toxic agents in Syria, declassified CIA documents reveal that 25 years ago the US actually indulged ruthless Saddam Hussein to use chemical warfare gases in war with Iran.

The recently declassified documents at the National Archives in College Park, Maryland, suggest that the US was closely following the use of chemical weapons by the Saddam Hussein’s regime both against the enemy in the Iran-Iraq War (1980-1988) and against Iraq’s Kurdish population, reports Foreign Policy magazine.


Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 9 years 39 weeks ago

Green_TZM: Thanks for that link. Chris Hedges is great!!! And he is almost always correct in what he says..as far as I am concerned.

sfpauly's picture
sfpauly 9 years 39 weeks ago

The dream has not been realized, especially when a liberal like Dr. Mike Newcomb so freely uses the N-word on his show and when sitting in for Thom Hartmann. I fill a sting in my chest everytime I hear this loaded word and must turn off the show because it upsets me so. I can't be the only one.

Carson L's picture
Carson L 9 years 38 weeks ago

Friend, I understand why this sting occurs, but I strongly believe that it is this sting that needs to be addressed in all of us, and not the word. As long as we have any shame or hatered attached to such a small jesture. You're right, it's not a gesture, it's less, its a mere word. Not action.

, the whole point of the expression, sticks and stones... is not too make each insult less painful, but to help us realize that we can simply decide to not allow them to be.

(easier said than done, I agree, but I'm just trying to re-adjust our sights on our artillary in this war against the primitive practice of racism.)

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