Took The Bus Home: About This Dream

Several parts of Martin Luther King's 1963 March on Washington Speech were mentioned in the time leading up to the march's festivities. The blank check was discussed often. (It's still bouncing and people really want reasonable payment about 10 minutes ago.) But of course, nothing was discussed as often as the dream. And while the necessity for the dream and well understood and oft repeated, it was what exactly participants were to do with the dream that left my brain too tired to think.

Reclaim The Dream
Advance the Dream
Live the Dream
Continue the Dream
Be the Dream.

Somewhere through all the rhetoric and noise I lost exactly what I was supposed to do with the dream.  In Martin Luther King's original speech, he states that he had a dream. He possessed this wish and hope that he wanted others to claim so that it would become a reality and true freedom could be achieved. Amongst our modern activists, there  is an implicit understanding that the dream has undergone some radical changes or that something has happened to the dream over the last fifty years.

I am not convinced that anything drastic has actually happened to the dream other than it failing to become a reality. That's where the failure within society lies. There's a cohort that believes the dream was co-opted by others for a white-washed society and in some sense made into a Disney movie, stripping it of the radical message that Martin Luther King had. That interpretation has it's own memory building in place as well, seeking to keep Martin Luther King as a radical for whatever purposes its proponents may have. This current battle over "the dream's" memory has been conflated with anger toward's Barack Obama's positioning towards the black community and turned into a nouveau wave of academic radicalism. Sometimes the positioning is just too much.

This comes with no prescription or solution. Still having a dream and being willing to take action is about the best that most people can do. And that, I dare say- will lead to a dream fulfilled rather than deferred.


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