He Had a Dream (Excerpts from ‘Loving your Enemies,’ ‘Letter from a Birmingham Jail,’ and ‘I Have a Dream’)

Today is Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Birthday! I figured I would commemorate this day and share this piece I had written in homage to the good and kind sir.

He had a dream that one day we would have traveled from the dark depths of prejudice to a promised land of racial justice
That we would no longer be exiles in our own land with deep groans and passionate yearnings of an oppressed race
That ministers of faith would stop speaking lies hiding behind the security of stained glass windows
That America would arise from a shameful condition of squabbling politicians to a true beacon of freedom, equality, justice, and humanity

He wanted to show that Nineteen Sixty-Three was not an end but rather a beginning
And wanted to place metaphors on our souls rather than weapons in our hands
Tearing down signs of hatred within our hearts and on store windows
While sleeping outside in the freezing cold being denied a hotel room
He revealed to the country the nightmare of a people reduced to just “niggers” with inner fears facing outer resentment

He witnessed America’s finest cops beat down and violently kill
But believed that in every firefighter with his water hose, every officer with his night stick, every angry Caucasian person screaming the words “Die Nigger” there was an element of good somewhere within that soul
Although necessities were taken from the masses of those oppressed to feed the lust of the privileged few
And cultures were destroyed in the name of freedom under imperial boots
He preached that we turn our hatred towards our own center of good first

King saw minorities living on a lonely island in the midst of a vast ocean of prosperity
And tried to open the cage of poverty that restricted our fellow brothers
Sometimes alone in a narrow jail cell, writing long letters, thinking long thoughts and praying long prayers
He wanted to ensure that “action” antidotes would effectively combat the disease of segregation

I know it is hard to love your enemies but it is more unfortunate to hate yourself
And I realize that minorities continue to be a victim of a broken promises and a check deferred upon
But King wanted to exemplify a love that asked for nothing in return
Understanding that a “wait” for change would become a “never”
Serving us with an agonizing loneliness that characterizes the life of the pioneer
With others like Emmitt Till, Rosa Parks, and the Little Rock 9 he fought for the hope of a solid rock of brotherhood

King died showing lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection
To stop America’s creeping at horse and buggy pace to gain a cup of coffee at a lunch counter
Fulfilling the American Creed of a perfect union, one and inseparable
With the words “I love you. I would rather die than hate you.”



3 thoughts on “He Had a Dream (Excerpts from ‘Loving your Enemies,’ ‘Letter from a Birmingham Jail,’ and ‘I Have a Dream’)

  1. Pingback: Nathaniel Smith: A Bright Mind | Faith, Love, & Travel

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