He Had A Dream, I Live This Nightmare

“There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, “When will you be satisfied?”

Such an odd question, really.  Why do you want to be treated as an equal?  Is that a question anyone would ever ask another person with any type of seriousness?  Do I have to ask people to not spit on me as well?  I have always been fascinated with the fondness that people look at the “I Have a Dream” speech by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  Most people seem to focus on the equality part but Dr. King points out social and economic problems stacked against people of color.  Things that are unfortunately still true today.

“We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality.”

13 years.  13 years in the military and I’m still afraid of the police.  Let that sink in.  I have done tours and been trained beyond any civilian need, but I’m still afraid of the police.  Here’s the biggest issue I have is that I was trained and had to follow the Genova Conventions, Laws of Armed Combat and other local laws they had.  We had to get approval for going red or shooting on site.  The police do not have to adhere to these same types of laws(they really don’t) yet they still have military level weapons and gear.

“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.”

Have you ever been in a situation where you were being treated differently and no one noticed?  Do you know why most people don’t notice?  It doesn’t affect them.  I recently had an experience with a boat captain.  A female friend and I were both doing the same thing and got two very different reactions.  Getting caught in my own bullshit didn’t allow me to realize that not only was the “captain” being racist but sexist as well.

“We cannot be satisfied as long as the Negro’s basic mobility is from a smaller ghetto to a larger one.”

I cannot ever get past this line.  Now more than ever.  Not only are minorities forced to live in lower income areas but once they move to nicer areas and more follow, those areas are slowly drained of their resources.  Funding slowly gets cut, then jobs and then crime rises.  It’s systematic.  Some places like Watts are torn to shreds and never recover.  Dr. King had a dream and that dream died with him.  People are finally waking up to see the nightmare has only really started and it’s too late.

 

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