I Have A Dream Speech

Dr Martin Luther King was the author of the iconic “I have a dream” speech. In it he spoke about his hopes for his daughters and the United States of America in terms of greater tolerance and acceptance of racial diversity. In the years since he shared his dream with America and the rest of the world how much has changed? Some would say drastically. The Supreme Court of the United States of America did away with segregation and the first African American President was elected but there is still quite a ways to go before the dream becomes a reality.

Why he wrote it

On the heels of the civil rights movement, the movement for marriage equality scored a major win when the federal laws that defined marriage as being between one man and one woman were deem unconstitutional and over turned making it possible for all consenting adults to marry. Even persons fundamentally opposed to homosexuality agreed that it is an injustice to deny anyone the benefits accorded by marriage because one disapproves of who they have decided to share benefits with. While the subject of gay marriage is polarizing and often the subject of passionate and heated debates there is consensus that that discrimination in any form should not be allowed to persist.

The aftermath and modern times

Unfortunately, incidents of police brutality directed towards minorities specifically black men are on the rise. The deaths of several African Americans at the hands of the police have once again raised the need to address institutional racism. The recent massacre of a Charleston church which left nine members of the congregation dead and the subsequent upsurge in the vandalism of predominantly African American churches is disconcerting. It begs the question has society made sufficient changes to ensure that all persons are adequately protected within the

Although the law attempts to address inequality from a legal and institutional perspective there is a clear need for individuals and communities to take steps towards rectifying the way that they approach, think about and behave towards people who are different. If every person on the planet made a concerted effort to adopt Dr Kings philosophy of judging persons only by the content of their character the world would be a much more tolerant and peaceful place. Even his later contemporaries like Malcolm X were tempered by his non violent approach.