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.Two score and three years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand gave the "I Have a Dream" speech. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to all Americans who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice.
It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of captivity. But forty-three years later, we must face the tragic fact that the Black American is still not free.Forty-three years later, the life of the Black American is still sadly crippled by the manacles of low expectations and the chains of affirmative action. Forty-three years later, the Black American lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of "caring" liberals who are living in a vast ocean of material prosperity.
Forty-three years later, the Black American is still languishing in the corners of American society and finds himself exploited by his own self-proclaimed Civil Rights leaders.So we have come here today to dramatize an appalling condition. In a sense we have 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 would be guaranteed the inalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
It is obvious today that liberalism has defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, liberalism has given the Black people a bad 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.So we have 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 lowered expectations or to take the tranquilizing drug of victimhood. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of racial preference to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to open the doors of opportunity to all of God's children. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood.
It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment and to underestimate the determination of the Black American. This sweltering summer of the Black's legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality. Two thousand and six is not an end, but a beginning. Those who hope that the Black needed to blow off steam and will now be content will have a rude awakening if the nation returns to business as usual.
There will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the Black 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 demagoguery. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by reflexively categorizing all criticism as racism.
We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and personal responsibility. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into blame shifting. Again and again we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting liberalism with common sense.The despicable new leadership which has engulfed the Black community must not lead us to distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their conservative principles, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny and their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom.
We can stand on our own two feet. And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall 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 our minds, heavy with the fatigue of lowered expectations, cannot gain a decent education in the public schools of the cities. We cannot be satisfied as long as the Black's basic mobility is from one created racial set aside to another one.
We can never be satisfied as long as a Black in Mississippi cannot vote against the democrats without being labeled an Uncle Tom and a Black in New York believes a vote for the democrats is always in his best interest. No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of brainwashing and race baiting. Some of you have come fresh from the narrow-minded NAACP. Some of you have come from areas where your quest for independent thought left you battered by the persecution of race merchants and poverty pimps. You have been the veterans of perpetual victimhood.
Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive.Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, 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 liberal condescension. I say to you today, my friends, that in spite of the difficulties and frustrations of the moment, 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 hills of Hollywood the sons of Black Americans and the sons of liberals will be able to sit down together at a table of brotherhood. I have a dream that one day even the state of welfare, a desert state, sweltering with the heat of inequality and low expectations, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice. I have a dream that my four 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 the blue states, whose governments' lips are presently dripping with the words of hypocrisy and condescension, will be transformed into a situation where little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with liberal white boys and white girls and walk together as sisters and brothers. I have a dream today. I have a dream that self-reliance shall be exalted, every alibi for self-destructive behavior shall be made low, the real issues will be made plain, and the intentions will be replaced with real results, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together. This is our hope.
This is the faith with which I return to the blue states. 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 liberalism 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.
This will be the day when all of God's children will be able to sing with a 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. 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 snowcapped Rockies of Colorado! Let freedom ring from the curvaceous peaks of California! But not only that; let freedom ring from Manhattan, New York! Let freedom ring from Hollywood, California! Let freedom ring from every hill of Ann Arbor, Michigan. From every mountainside, let freedom ring.When we let 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!"..Something Ain't Right.
By: Jason Hastings