There is controversy surrounding whether Glen Beck purposely choose to hold his rally on the anniversary of my uncle’s I Have a Dream speech. Some question whether Glen Beck and the Tea Party and are hijacking the message, meaning and symbolism of his great dream for America.
I haven’t talked to Glen Beck or any representative of the Tea Party. So I will leave to others to debate what their message is and its meaning. But on the symbolism it is appropriate for Glen Beck to hold a rally protesting for rights on the anniversary of the Dream Speech. As Dr. King told us in the speech his dream was “deeply rooted in the American dream”. The speech in its content, character and symbolism completed the final unfinished task left to us by our great founding fathers. That task is to recognize all of our fellow citizens as EQUAL thereby transforming America into a true democracy, the greatest in Human history.
A dream for all Americans
For any group protesting for rights attempting to link its efforts to the King legacy is a promising sign. Its an acknowledgement that his dream is not an African American dream. It is an American dream for all to be embraced by all.
This is a first step to understanding Kingian principles of nonviolence and human relations, which validate the notion that we are all God’s children therefore we are responsible to and for each other.
Glen Beck and the Tea Party symbolically linking their cause to King is no different than my uncle linking the Civil Rights Movement to Abraham Lincoln, the Civil War, the Declaration of Independence and the founding fathers. Through their linkage they are validating the Martin Luther King Jr is an American icon equal to the pantheon of American legends such as George Washington, Patrick Henry or Thomas Jefferson.
Same speech for white American discrimination
This does not diminish what the dream and his leadership means to the African Americans. It in no way means that African Americans should not take pride that one of their own has provided such citizen leadership.
But the fact remains that if white Americans had been discriminated against in the same manner. My uncle as an African American would have given the exact same I Have A Dream speech. He would have led the same marches and given his life for the freedom of his fellow white Americans.
He believed men and women should be judged by the content of their character, not the color of one’s skin or in this case political ideology. In 2011 we will dedicate the new memorial to my uncle as it takes its rightful place next to Washington, Lincoln, Jefferson and Roosevelt where I suspect it will be the destination of many marches and rallies. Hopefully in keeping with the spirit of the man these marches and rallies will be a blend of all races, political stripes, religious denominations, sexual preferences and ethnic origins thereby affirming that this great nation is truly the melting pot we proclaim it to be