August 28, AD 1963, on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C., Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. preached his famous message, “I Have a Dream.”
He spoke of a check that needed to be cashed.
“In a sense we have come to our nation's capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men would be guaranteed the inalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
In his message, he specifically asked for three simple things (numbers have been added):
“There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights,
‘When will you be satisfied?’
1. We can never be satisfied as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities.
2. We cannot be satisfied as long as the Negro's basic mobility is from a smaller ghetto to a larger one.
3. We can never be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote.
No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.”
-Martin Luther King
To a large extent, these very legitimate requests have been satisfied. America is vastly different in this respect than it was 54 years ago. On a regular basis, I see Black folks treated the same as others – in motels, restaurants, banks, all types of businesses. Not just as customers, but also employees.
Speaking of ghettos, one of the best ways out is a job. Black unemployment is now the lowest in 45 years.
“In the 45 years since the Bureau of Labor Statistics began tracking black unemployment, this is the first time that the black unemployment rate has dropped below 7 percent to just 6.8 percent.”
Mississippi was specifically mentioned by King. Today Mississippi has more Black elected officials than any other state in the nation. No, that’s not to say Mississippi is perfect, but it has radically changed from the days Martin Luther King spoke these words.
“I have a dream that my four 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.”
-Martin Luther King
While we have made great strides, this should always be our goal.
To this I would add a more recent quote:
“The oppression of black people is over with. This is politically incorrect news, but it is true nonetheless. We blacks are, today, a free people. It is as if freedom sneaked up and caught us by surprise.
Of course, this does not mean there is no racism left in American life. Racism is endemic to the human condition, just as stupidity is. We will always have to be on guard against it. But now it is recognized as a scourge, as the crowning immorality of our age and our history.”
Today, African-Americans, and all USA citizens are free. Thank God for that. Pray often for America. Use your freedom wisely.
-David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor, January 15, AD 2018.
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