The Dream Re-Awakened?
Yesterday, August 24 2013, people gathered in Washington D.C to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the "March on Washington". The event, made famous by Dr. Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream Speech", may have helped advance the Civil Rights Act and later the Voting Rights Act. It also showed the ability of the Civil RIghts Movement to organize and mobilize.
For those that gathered to remember, many who were at the 1963 march, they might be asking, "How far have we come?" Poverty and economic injustice still plague African-American's, and the urban areas that many find themselves in. The "Poll tax" and "Literacy Tests" that were used to disenfranchise them have been replaced by "Voter ID" laws. The sheriff and the lynch mob have been replaced by "Stop and Frisk" and "Stand your Ground" laws. Many of these laws are coming from the linear or ideological heirs of people like George Wallace and Strom Thrumond. Folks like Joe Arpaio and Lou Barletta may have simply found a new "brown menace" to use as a scapegoat.
But I also see hope, the tactics used by the folks who gathered in August of 1963 have been re-discovered and re-applied in places like Wisconsin, Texas and North Carolina. Perhaps what needs to be done is that the struggles of workers, women, Hispanics, African-Americans, LGBT, etc need to be combined into one, broad, movement. Much like the "Freedom Summer" in which young people risked and even gave their lives, a "Justice Summer" could be staged in 2014. Registering and organizing those who stand to lose the most from Republican and "Tea Party" gains around strong, progressive candidates. A re-awakened "Occupy" movement could play a role, those that have not abandoned the system completely.
America has come a long way in 1963, there are efforts to roll some of those gains back, and America still has a long way to go to realize Dr. King's dream. But America is also a nation that has proven what it's people can do!
© 2013 TeaPartyCrasher