What's Happened to the Dream?

Dr. King's "I Have a Dream" speech still sends shivers up my spine. Without question he was a gifted orator. The speech is truly one of the greatest ever delivered. I keep it mounted on my office wall: a continual reminder of how love can conquer hate. What a contrast to the diatribes of Donald Trump as he Tweets his lies and often venom-drenched, hateful message.

I was young enough when I made my first trip to New Orleans as a child to remember the sadness and confusion I felt when my dad was told to move because he was sitting in the back of the trolley car, the zone to which "blacks” were confined. I remember he refused to move. However, unlike Rosa Parks he was not arrested or even put off the car. No, the conductor simply moved the sign further back.

As I grew older, I made several more trips to New Orleans about one decade apart. Each time I witnessed the courageous protests for equality. I saw the evolution in my uncle's department store, Mason Blanc near the French quarter, from segregated food counters, drinking fountains, and washrooms. Interestingly, next to last visit I noted that the previously "Whites Only" counter was now serving "blacks" too. However, at the "Black's Only" counter were no whites sitting at all.

That was no longer so on my last trip.

Change is slow to be sure. Especially social change. The time has long past, however, when segregation, racism, and hate should end. I, too, have a dream. I share it with the late Martin Luther King Jr. How we so need others as bold and brave and visionary and peace loving as he!

All I see now in the U.S.A. is the "mean-ing" of America.

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