Four dozen years ago, a great American*, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, delivered the famous “I had a dream” speech. This momentous speech came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of African-Americans who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of their captivity.
That speech is still applicable today, rather in a more global nature, as the magnitude of discrimination and suffering is all pervasive in many parts of the world. Let’s read through the key passage of MLK’s rousing speech, and this time apply it to other locations and people.
Fill in the blanks with the appropriate inequalities or bitter rivalries of your choice (Jews & Palestinians; Women in Islamic nations; citizens under dictators; warring sects in Africa; “freedom fighters” / separatists in many countries; even Democrats & Republicans; and many others):
“Let us not wallow in the valley of despair, I say to you today, my friends.
And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream.
I have a dream 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 men are created equal.
I have a dream that one day on the red hills of ________, the sons of ________and the sons of _________will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.
I have a dream that one day even the state of _______, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the colour of their skin but by the content of their character.
I have a dream that one day, down in _______, with its vicious racists, with its _____ (ruler) having his lips dripping with the words of “interposition” and “nullification” — one day right there in ______ little _____boys and _____ girls will be able to join hands with little _____ boys and ____ girls as sisters and brothers.
I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, and 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 Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together.”
And then, at the end, he turns global:
“From every mountainside, let freedom ring. And when this happens, when we allow freedom 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 children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual:
Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!”
*15th January is the Birth Anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.