“I Have A Dream” Speech

The March On Washington 1963, Plus 54 Years: Backtracking On Civil Rights And Civil Liberties!

Fifty four years ago, The March on Washington occurred, with the most famous moment being the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr delivering his “I Have A Dream” speech before a crowd of whites and African Americans estimated at a quarter of a million people.

The march was impetus for the passage in the following two years of the Civil Rights Act and Voting Rights, with Lyndon B. Johnson picking up where John F. Kennedy left off.

Now, a half century later, the great progress on civil rights and civil liberties has suffered backtracking, partly by the right wing Supreme Court, and partly by the policies of President Donald Trump.

It is very disconcerting and even tormenting that the progress made has been reversed.

But that means the battle to restore and expand what makes America a democracy must not be abandoned because of setbacks, but rather pursued with renewed energy and commitment, in order to fulfill the dream of Martin Luther King, Jr.

August 28—Emmett Till Murder, 1955; March On Washington, 1963!

60 years ago today, one of the most outrageous racial crimes  in American history occurred in Mississippi, when 14 year old African American Emmett Till of Chicago, visiting relatives, flirted with a white woman, and was murdered by a mob of whites, infuriated at his behavior.  They tortured him, beat him to a pulp, and shot him, and dragged his body, one of the worst examples of lynching that went on for many decades in the South, without any accountability.

Eight years later, we had the March on Washington, by a quarter of a million people of all races, and the momentous and historic “I Have A Dream” speech by the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, calling for civil rights laws, which would come to pass in 1964 and 1965, but with King being assassinated in 1968.

These two anniversaries should sober us on the unfinished work on race relations, which is so evident in 2015, with the racial divide still massive despite progress from the time of Emmett Till!

50th Anniversary Of Martin Luther King’s “I Have A Dream” Speech And The March On Washington!

It is hard to believe that this weekend, and specifically next Wednesday, four days from now, marks the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington by a crowd estimated at a quarter of a million people, calling for racial equality and justice.

It was a peaceful march, with a crowd of people of all races, an historic moment on the way to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

It was a time of the greatness of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther, King Jr, and his brilliant “I Have A Dream” speech, one of the few greatest speeches ever given by any American in our entire history!

It was a time of hope and optimism, before the tragedy of the assassinations of John F. Kennedy, Robert Kennedy, and Martin Luther King, Jr himself, as well as the tragic war in Vietnam, which took 58,000 lives!

It was a time of optimism and a sense of progress, and now, sadly, the same battles fought over race and voting rights haunts us, as the Supreme Court majority, created by Republican Presidents who represent a desire to move backwards on the subject of race, seem to believe that denial of voting rights and the issue of race no longer is of importance in America, when it continues to be a divisive matter that prevents the full development of justice and equality in this nation!

This is a sad time when the Republican Party, which in large measure supported the civil rights legislation of the mid 1960s, now has adopted the old Southern Democratic racist policies that the national Democratic Party repudiated fifty years ago, and the GOP seems unembarrassed that they have become the “poster boy” for racial prejudice and nativism!

So while we celebrate the anniversary, we are still having to fight the battles won, and then lost, due to the party that once boasted of Lincoln, TR, and Ike, and now boasts of despicable leaders who have no shame, including Mitch McConnell, John Boehner, Eric Cantor, Paul Ryan, Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Rick Santorum, Rick Perry, et al, and their ilk!

Two Historic Anniversaries And The Presidential Inauguration

150 years ago on January 1, 1863, Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation.

50 years ago, on August 28, 1963, Martin Luther King, Jr delivered the “I Have A Dream” speech.

50 years later, on January 20 privately, and January 21 publicly, Barack Obama is taking the oath of office for his second term as President, the product of what Lincoln and King did!

This is, indeed, a very historic time in so many ways!