It was a warm Wednesday afternoon in Washington DC on Aug. 28, 1963. While the weather service records indicate a pleasant set of conditions the mood of the country was making some rather hot under the collar.
On that day 250,000 people packed into Washington DC around the Reflecting Poll and in front of the Lincoln Memorial to hear a number of speeches regarding the issue of civil rights for American minorities. Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King, Jr. was the final speaker of the day.
He had his remarks prepared and no where in the original script are the words best remembered, "I have a Dream." That was ad-libbed by him while he spoke so well in front of the crowd and to television audience. It was a watershed day in American history to be sure.
I was 11 years of age and I remember that people were talking about his words quite a lot after his speech. You knew right away that he had struck a cord with many folks and it wasn't just people of color who were affected.
So where are we today? It would be foolish to think that we have come so far since that speech that race isn't an issue. Unfortunately I get the feeling that the very people who would have been at the forefront of promoting the dream are the very ones keeping racism alive.
In August of 1963 the wealthy white son of a politically connected family sat in the White .brother serving as attorney general and another brother sitting in the U.S. Senate having just won the seat the president had vacated when he became president.
There were nine white men on the Supreme Court and all cabinet secretaries were white and well connected.
Black actors for the most part were relegated to roles of playing servants and were seen as not well educated.
To satisfy those who choose to count 50 years later we have a president who is black, the attorney general is black, the head of the NSA is a black woman, we have had a black chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff, a great golfer in America is black, we have a Supreme Court justice who is black, two of the three women who have been on the Supreme Court are still serving on the bench, the most powerful force in television is a black woman, the number one movie in the US this week was about a black butler ( another servant role) at the White House. Several elected politicians in Washington, in different states and in cities across this country are black.
They have risen to their positions of power by hard work and being able to convince people that they are qualified for the job. If non-minority people had not voted for those people they would not have been elected.
So the elective process has worked for people of color. Dr. King would be happy to know that. Dr. King stated that people should be judged by the content of their character and not by the color of their skin. When I was 11 years of age that made sense to me and it still does today.
My conservative friends and I don't agree with the policies of Barack Obama, and we don't agree with the views or like the actions of Eric Holder. I never hear the subject of their pigmentation discussed when conservatives I know are discussing our disgust with those political leaders.
The liberals on the other hand are always mentioning skin color. If anyone disagrees with the president we must be a bigot or racist. I don't care about his pigment I only care about his leftist agenda and the corruption of his administration. I don't care about the color of the people listening in on every American's telephone conversations and reading our e-mails. I care that they are listening and eavesdropping on law-abiding citizens in violation of the Fourth Amendment.
The fact is that Dr. King spoke in front of a monument dedicated to a white Republican who lost his life because of his belief that all men were created equal asking us to see past the color of the skin of our neighbors.
In 1963 liberals would call conservatives bigots for mentioning race when discussing somebody. How ironic that on the 50th anniversary of the great speech the conservatives are the ones who seem to ignore the pigment of the skin but judge the content of the character of the person.
I invite the liberals to join us at the table of brotherhood.