Is Martin Luther King Jr.’s Dream Dead?


Jake Gant, Staff Writer

“I have a dream that my four little 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 character. And when this happens, and 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!'”

In August of 1963, Martin Luther King Jr. made his “I Have a Dream” speech in front of the Lincoln Memorial. The Civil Rights Movement rapidly growing stronger, with the support of President John F. Kennedy and Americans nationwide. He envisioned an America where people were judged by their character, and not for their skin. An America where we could all sit at “the table of brotherhood” together, despite our differences. An America where we could come together and embrace each other.

What happened? Here we are 55 years later, and his progress is fading away. It’s not our President halting change, it’s not our government. It’s us; we are letting the simplest of issues and differences change how we view each other. Conservative or liberal, white or black, rich or poor. We demonize each other all the time. Conservatives calling liberals libtards, and liberals calling conservatives fascists or nuts. Not only that, but we are re-energizing racial divides, on top of sexuality, gender, and religion.

According to Gallup Polls, racial tension had a dramatic increase from 2014 to 2015. As of 2018 it has begun declining, but what causes this tension and what can we do to prevent it? Do not discriminate against another person for their race, gender, sexuality, religion, eye color, hair color, fingernail length, shoe size, or any other personal thing or difference. We are all different in so many ways (which is beautiful), but if we as a people were more focused on finding our similarities as we are our differences, we would transform each other.

Martin Luther King Jr.’s revolution was not one of hate; it was one that promoted everyone to treat each other with respect, and for us to judge based on character, not by physical traits. Unfortunately racism hasn’t gone away, and it likely won’t if we continue to handle relations like we do in modern America. Martin Luther sought peaceful means to get his point across, not violent protests like we see today.

We as Americans need to get off of each other’s throats and we need to love each other. We all have struggles, we all have flaws, but we are all human, and we all feel. Let’s treat each other accordingly. Let’s do it every day when we go to school, or go to work. Let’s smile at each other in the hallways, because a smile never hurts. Let’s find our common ground, and sooner or later, we’ll realize we are all on the same side. That’s what Martin Luther King Jr. stood for, and that’s what I stand for.