Today we celebrate the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr here in America. His is a legacy of peaceful disobedience and social justice. As a young girl growing up in the South, I was taught the usual things about MLK. His peaceful protests, his eloquent speeches, and his desire to see all people to be judged upon their merits; not their skin color. While this may be hard for many to believe that in the South you can receive an unbiased education on Dr. King, there are still issues even I have with his legacy.
The biggest issue I have is that of Dr. King being a Zionist; and how such a learned, honest man could support land theft and genocide. The Israel/Palestine issue is the very definition of social injustice and racism. But, I am attempting to put his views and beliefs into a historical context of the day to try to understand this obvious existential conundrum.
Dr. King was cut down and murdered in the prime of his life at 39 years of age. That rings home to me as I, myself, am 39. I look back on what I have achieved in my short life, and all the great plans I have yet to fulfill. I have accomplished little to that of the legacy of Dr. King. At 35, he had already won a Nobel Peace Prize. My accomplishments ring hollow compared to this honor that he so richly deserved. He was a gigantic presence on the world’s small stage, so I don’t beat myself up too badly about being a little fish. He was a tireless champion for civil rights for blacks, and an instrumental voice in the Anti-Vietnam War movement. In other words, he is a man worthy of admiration and veneration; sadly he was not to enjoy this in his natural life.
As much as I admire Dr. King, reading his Zionist beliefs left me confused and bewildered. Israel officially was recognized as a nation in 1948. The 6 day war between Israel, Egypt, Jordan and Syria began June 5th, 1967. It was June 8th, 1967 when Israel attacked the US vessel, the USS Liberty, to feign blame on Egypt to drag the US into the war. The US did not actively enter the war; and it was Senator John McCain’s father, Admiral John McCain, Jr that was instrumental in covering up Israel’s involvement of the incident. I can see how Dr. King would have no knowledge of this event; or how US media twisted the 6 day war to favor Israel. Growing up a Christian in the South myself; I can see how this also would skew his view of Israel. But how is it that Dr. King had no knowledge of the Deir Yassin massacre? Or the King David Hotel bombing? Or any of the events of the Lavon affair? Can his lack of awareness of these events be categorically laid at the feet of the US press? Perhaps he had knowledge of these events and sought to overlook them; and if that be the case, then he wasn’t quite the champion of social justice as the history books would lead us to believe. It is true there is no human born that is above sin or reproach. Debating these things in one’s mind is, well, troubling at best.
I should like to think that Dr. King had no real knowledge of Israeli orchestration of massacres of innocent Palestinians in their attempt to complete the Yinon plan. I should like to think that if he were alive today; Dr. King’s voice would be loud in objection to the apartheid state of Israel, the displacement of the indigenous people, the illegal settlements, and the outright racism against Africans. So, Dr. King- this girl from North Carolina has a dream too. My dream is that Palestinians will one day go home and will no longer suffer at the hands of those who think they are “chosen” and above reproach. Yes, this is my dream.
I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation.
Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of their captivity.
But one hundred years later, the Negro still is not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languished in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land. And so we’ve come here today to dramatize a shameful condition.
In a sense we’ve 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, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the “unalienable Rights” of “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note, insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked “insufficient funds.”
But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. And so, we’ve come to cash this check, a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice.
We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of Now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God’s children.
It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment. This sweltering summer of the Negro’s legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality. Nineteen sixty-three is not an end, but a beginning. And those who hope that the Negro needed to blow off steam and will now be content will have a rude awakening if the nation returns to business as usual. And there will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the Negro is granted his citizenship rights. The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges.
But there is something that I must say to my people, who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice: In the process of gaining our rightful place, we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred. We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again, we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force.
The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to a distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny. And they have come to realize that their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom.
We cannot walk alone.
And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead.
We cannot turn back.
There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, “When will you be satisfied?” We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality. 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. We cannot be satisfied as long as the negro’s basic mobility is from a smaller ghetto to a larger one. We can never be satisfied as long as our children are stripped of their self-hood and robbed of their dignity by signs stating: “For Whites Only.” We cannot 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.”¹
I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and tribulations. Some of you have come fresh from narrow jail cells. And some of you have come from areas where your quest — quest for freedom left you battered by the storms of persecution and staggered by the winds of police brutality. You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive. Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to South Carolina, go back to Georgia, go back to Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettos of our northern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed.
Let us not wallow in the valley of despair, I say to you today, my friends.
And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.
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.”
I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.
I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.
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.
I have a dream today!
I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of “interposition” and “nullification” — one day right there in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.
I have a dream today!
I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, and every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight; “and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together.”2
This is our hope, and this is the faith that I go back to the South with.
With this faith, we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. 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.
And this will be the day — this will be the day when all of God’s children will be able to sing with new meaning:
My country ’tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing.
Land where my fathers died, land of the Pilgrim’s pride,
From every mountainside, let freedom ring!
And if America is to be a great nation, this must become true.
And so let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire.
Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York.
Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania.
Let freedom ring from the snow-capped Rockies of Colorado.
Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California.
But not only that:
Let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia.
Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee.
Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi.
From every mountainside, let freedom ring.
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!
Audio of speech in its entirety: http://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/mlkihaveadream.htm
1999 Court Decision: MLK murdered by US Government Conspiracy: http://www.examiner.com/article/mlk-assassinated-by-us-government-king-family-civil-trial-1999-decision-why-didn-t-you-know-this