He had a dream

In August, 1963, Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his “I Have a Dream” speech, to me the most moving work of oratorical art in American history.

Oh, there are some speeches by Ronald Reagan that move me. And nobody doubts that Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address is brilliant – but rumor has it that Lincoln had a squeaky voice, so the delivery likely wasn’t that impressive. But the writing was remarkable.

The text of King’s speech is clear, simple and elegant. But it is the delivery that sets it apart and makes it extraordinary.

If you have not watched and listened to King’s speech, you really should. I always find myself fighting back tears.

The tears have always come from the pain of knowing the country I loved once tolerated slavery and terrible discrimination against many of its people. The tears have become thicker over the past decade as I realize how miserably we have failed in pursing his dream. Frankly, we’ve made quite a mess of it.

Were Rev. King to suddenly spring back to life, he likely would be thrilled to learn that we have a Black President, Attorney General and various senior White House advisors. He would learn that many Blacks are prominent in the arts, sports and education.

Then he would learn the bad news. The Black unemployment rate is twice the White rate. A third of the Black population since his death was never born; it was aborted. Our national government is campaigning to eliminate the belief that marriage is a union of one man and one woman. The vast government programs that were supposed to help people have devastated the Black family.

He would be deeply saddened. But I believe he would point the way out of our misery.

He would remind us of the importance of faith in Almighty God. He knew that government wasn’t intended to grant or deny rights – that they come from God. And our society’s problems can only be solved by our becoming a God-fearing people with strong families and freedom to seek life, liberty and happiness.

Today is January 21, 2014. Yesterday was the holiday that rightly honors Rev. King. Tomorrow is the March for Life in Washington, DC. If he could be there, Rev. King would add a dream to his glorious speech of 1963: “I have a dream, that every baby – Black or White, male or female – will grow up strong and healthy and enjoy the freedom of life in this great nation.”



About Jim Fair

Jim Fair is a writer and consultant. He lives in the Chicago area and has a wonderful wife, son and daughter. He enjoys fishing and occasionally catches something. He tries to play the piano and sings a little. In addition to writing for Regnum Christi Live, he blogs at Laughing Catholic. And you can follow him on Twitter: Jim Fair (@fishfair).
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