Saturday, September 13, 2014

Savant's Words


 Today is the 49th anniversary of the famous 1963 March on Washington, a mass demonstration of over a quarter million Americans demanding civil rights, economic justice and an end to racism and oppression. Of course, it was the gathering where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. gave is eloquent "I have a Dream" speech. It is desirable that we remember that inspiring address which is one of the greatest orations of the 20th Century. But it is also important that we remember that Dr. King's legacy, and that of the Movement he sympbolized and led, is ot reducible simply to those moving words spoken by him before the Lincoln Memorial in 1963. Anyone can recall a few memorable words and prhases. But do we remember the CAUSE? It wa about more than the winning of civil rights, or the rights of citizenship. It was also about th the quest for social and economic justice. It is no coincidence that many placards carried that day by marcher had signs reading "JOBS and FREEDOM." Not only those precious civil liberties denied by the totalitarian racial caste system of the South, but also the concrete freedoms of economic justice and self-determination. Think not that the Dream has been realized while 12 million American children go to be hungry at night, and many millions more die of famine throughout the world. Nor can the dream be realized while war rages and their are fordes within this country trying to roll back rights won by the Movement during the 1960s, including an effort right now to gut the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Yet even beyond basic civil and economic rights, there was more to the vision or goals of the Movement. Ultimately, the aim of the Movement was "the creation of BELOVED COMMUNITY".

A cooperative society and community of freedom which affirms the dignity of every man woman and child on earth; a community encowed not only by freedom and justice, but human brotherhood as well. And this will require a "revolution of values" transforming us from a "thing-oriented" society to a "person-oriented" society. A revolution of values entialing both social transformation and personal self-transformation. It is only when we are committed to such change in oursleves and society that we can meaningfully talk of understanding the "Dream", and the whole cause for which hundreds of thousands of people marched in 1963, for which many gave their lives



I wish people would come to realize that with last summer's Supreme Court gutting of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 we're in danger of losing our voting rights in the REAL WORLD where far more important matters than "Miss Heritage Contest" are at stake. Yet we don't see discussions of this and other vital matters amidst all the internecine squabbling about not wanting a Black husband or a Black wife.



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