I Have a Dream, but It’s Changed

One of my favorite speeches of all time is Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech. In it, he saw the oppression, discrimination and segregation of the time but looked forward to the future with optimism, hope and prayer. It is evident from the speech that he loved our country and the ideals on which we were founded. These words he prayed, “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.’ speak of a vision he believed could be achieved.

Reading his words again today, I wonder how he would view how far we have come and the journey we have left to travel before we truly judge people by the content of their character and not by the color of their skin. He spoke of immeasurable faith, in our country and in fellow citizens of all colors and religions.

“With this faith, we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith, we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.”
Dr. King was an inspired and moving speaker. His vision, almost a half century later, remains as a goal for our nation. Unfortunately, the further in time we get from the original speech, the more clouded the public’s recollection of the true dream becomes.

Today, we have public figures say things in vain attempts to change Dr. King’s wondrous vision. This last Sunday, Al Sharpton while speaking at a Connecticut church about Social Justice attempted to define or explain Dr. King’s dream for America.

“The dream was not to put one black family in the White House, the dream was to make everything equal in everybody’s house.”

Sharpton does not sound like he talking about Dr. King’s dream, but a dream of communism. After all, the phrase, “all men are created equal” describes that God made us all in His image. Neither Dr. King, nor our country’s founding documents, relate being created equal to being ensured equal outcomes in life, or equal amounts of stuff.

Dr. King’s speech was about bigger things than how much money you make, where you live, or what type of job you have. For Sharpton to co-opt that vision and attempt to remake it for his own personal aggrandizement is shameful.

Read the famous speech for yourself again. Don’t let public figures like Al Sharpton cloud and remake Dr. King’s famous, inspired vision for our nation.