Thursday, April 30, 2009


I watched Martin Luther King’s, “I Have a Dream” speech on a tiny T.V. in August of 1963. Oh, what a day.

I was as idealistic then as any 21 year old graduate student could be. I believed in the dream of equality. Tears welled up in me as he lyrically chanted his dream in an unforgettable cadence. I can hear him in my mind as I write.

Today, I reread his speech. The teary eyed idealist lives on all these years later. In certain scenes I am just a wimp.

“ Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a
bad check, a check which has come back marked “insufficient funds.”

There is no doubt he was correct. In 1963 many parts of America were still segregated. Some Southern Governors were elected based upon a promise to promote racist policies.

Martin Luther went on to say, “There will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the Negro is granted his citizenship rights.” Though preaching peaceful revolution his words were strong and new to an America that had not yet experienced liberating efforts. The 50’s were quiet, while the 60’s exploded into a rapid march toward a new world order that was long overdue.

The marches and speeches continued and gradually our nation began to let go of its discriminatory ways. Schools were desegregated, civil rights bills were passed and equal opportunity became more than a slogan. Many previously locked doors were opened.

Sadly, though not surprisingly given the times, Martin’s door was closed by his 1968 assassination. His words, however, lingered on like a morning fog on a hillside. His dream had much to do with mountain tops.

“ 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!

Little by little from the 70’s on that dream became a reality. It reached maximum strength and lift off power in November, 2008 when America elected its first black President, Barack Obama. No matter your politics that had to be a defining moment for our great country.

Somewhere, Martin Luther King is saying, “Damn, that check finally got cashed.”

I have a dream as well. Someday, hopefully soon, the world will return to a healthier state. People will be judged, not by their net worth, but by their self-worth. Then the world will live as one in peace, harmony and emotional prosperity. At that time, John will smile and say, “I imagined it long ago.”

I too have a dream and I am confident that someday it will come to be. Like Dr. King, Dr. Penzer will probably not be here when it happens. Like him, I will know that it did.

Bye For Now,


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