Keeping Things in Perspective this Week

by Roger Clegg

So, how much of what Dr. King was asking for 50 years ago has been delivered?

Well, to help put things in perspective, here is the paragraph in his “I Have a Dream” speech where he spells out his movement’s agenda most specifically:

There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights: “When will you be satisfied?” We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality. 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. We cannot be satisfied as long as the Negro’s basic mobility is from a smaller ghetto to a larger one. We can never be satisfied as long as our children are stripped of their selfhood and robbed of their dignity by signs stating “For Whites Only”. We cannot be satisfied and we will not be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote. No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.

Now, seriously, how much of that is unattained? Yes, of course, we do not have complete justice and total righteousness yet, but the (supposedly) analogous complaints now are about voter ID and Trayvon Martin. A world of difference, thank goodness.