Tuesday, January 17, 2012

In Honor of Dr Martin Luther King Jr- I Have A Dream

Aris Arnelle Durocher

Martin Luther King Jr day honors the assassinated leader. Today's Federal holiday in the United States of America, is a remembrance of one of its great leaders. His act of strength through the greatest perils of injustice, inequality and hate of a people. His reverence to lead all people into what he called a promise land of honor, freedom and justice. The promise of hope, life, human understanding. One of the greatest attributes Dr Martin Luther King had was his remarkable understanding of human relationships of all walks of life. With this understanding he was able reconcile conflicts and experiences he witnessed in his life. With his life experiences and education he was able to dream and present to the world a better way to live for all people. He was able to bring forward that dream and his sense of duty and obligation to his fellow humans and lead his people and the world into the enlightenment of the promise of faith and hope.

The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

The one way that comes to mind in memory of this great leader, is by listening to his words of wisdom of freedom, friendship, equality, acceptance and love. Dr Martin Luther King Jr, was one of the greatest leaders for all humans on this earth. He had a dream and he pursued and died for that dream.
Dr King, was studious and he studied Thoreau and Gandhi, with the approach of non violent resistance and protest. He waited for his opportunity to bring forward his dream and goal to obtain human rights, legal rights and equality rights for his people. Dr Martin Luther King embraced his opportunity the day that Rosa Parks sat for what she believed in, with the mindset of non-violent resistance, Dr King not only inspired and raised his people, he raised his nation and people from all over the world from all walks of life.
Dr King went to India to study Gandhi and marveled about how well he was treated there in contrast to his treatment in his own country. With that experience and his study of " Henry David Thoreau" ( one of the pioneers of civil non-violent resistance and the champion of justice) and his remarkable experience studying "Gandhi's doctrine of Satyagraha", Dr King drew from those examples and put his dream forth into a reality that will never be forgotten.

I have a dream speech:

I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation.
Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of their captivity.

But one hundred years later, the Negro still is not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languished in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land. And so we've come here today to dramatize a shameful condition.

In a sense we've come to our nation's capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the "unalienable Rights" of "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note, insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked "insufficient funds."

But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. And so, we've come to cash this check, a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice.

We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of Now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God's children.

It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment. This sweltering summer of the Negro's legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality. Nineteen sixty-three is not an end, but a beginning. And those who hope that the Negro needed to blow off steam and will now be content will have a rude awakening if the nation returns to business as usual. And there will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the Negro is granted his citizenship rights. The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges.

But there is something that I must say to my people, who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice: In the process of gaining our rightful place, we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred. We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again, we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force.

The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to a distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny. And they have come to realize that their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom.

We cannot walk alone.
And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead.
We cannot turn back.
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 self-hood and robbed of their dignity by signs stating: "For Whites Only." We cannot 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."¹

I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and tribulations. Some of you have come fresh from narrow jail cells. And some of you have come from areas where your quest -- quest for freedom left you battered by the storms of persecution and staggered by the winds of police brutality. You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive. Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to South Carolina, go back to Georgia, go back to Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettos of our northern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed.

Let us not wallow in the valley of despair, I say to you today, my friends.
And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal."

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

I have a dream today!

I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of "interposition" and "nullification" -- one day right there in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.

I have a dream today!

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, and every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight; "and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together."2
This is our hope, and this is the faith that I go back to the South with.
With this faith, we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith, we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith, we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.
And this will be the day -- this will be the day when all of God's children will be able to sing with new meaning:

My country 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing.
Land where my fathers died, land of the Pilgrim's pride,
From every mountainside, let freedom ring!

And if America is to be a great nation, this must become true.
And so let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire.
Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York.
Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania.
Let freedom ring from the snow-capped Rockies of Colorado.
Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California.
But not only that:

Let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia.
Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee.
Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi.
From every mountainside, let freedom ring.

And when this happens, when we allow freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual:
Free at last! Free at last!

Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!

The words of Dr Martin Luther King Jr lives on to this very day and is an inspiration as a legendary lampstead and roadmap to the way of peace, justice, love, hope, equality and freedom for all humans. The greatness of Dr Martin Luther Kings Dream lives on and still growing strong!

© Copyright Truth Is Pagan Media That Bites 2007- 2014


Monday, January 16, 2012

Connecting the Dots- The Civil Rights, Native American & IrishMovements.

Aris-Arnelle Durocher
Article Dedicated to GW- Aho GW

One of my friends who is Native American had posted that he was saddened that a few people did not like the fact that he honored Dr Martin Luther King Jr. Thankfully those that didn't think they needed to honor MLK day was met with many who voiced their opinions on that thought. Out of fairness while many older people would know some history of the era and time of uprising of human rights, sadly some youths of all walks of life do not realize the importance of the Civil Rights Movement and Dr King. The Civil Rights Movement was a movement between 1954- 1962 and sparked other movements for equality and rights between the years of  1950-1980. The Civil Rights movement started in 1950, however its growth reached its peak to proceed in civil disobedience in 1954.

This same friend of Native American Ancestry participated in the Civil Rights Movement, which proves that sometimes folks need to step back because they don't know the person in entirety or their personal life experiences.

The fact is the Civil Rights Movement was a human rights fight. Most certainly Black Americans were more visible fighting for their civil rights and the right to vote, however, this fight was also for any people that were oppressed and suffered the same fate such as Native American Indians who also could not vote, Latinos who also could not vote, Asians who also did not have the right to vote. It was a fight for human principals, justice and equality for all peoples who by and large had their rights revoked by racist government legislation of discrimination. 

Native American Professor John Salter Civil rights activist sitting next to Black civil rights activists in 1963 being assaulted by racists: Salter describe one of the most publicized violent attacks as follows: A huge mob gathered, with open police support while the three of us sat there for three hours. I was attacked with fists, brass knuckles and the broken portions of glass sugar containers, and was burned with cigarettes. I’m covered with blood and we were all covered by salt, sugar, mustard, and various other things.
I also think that people may want to remember that this fight was fought by all peoples and that many Native Americans marched on Washington as well. Sure in a population sense, Native Americans or anyone else were not visible to the naked eye as African Americans, however, Native Ancestry did participate and some of them marched on Washington in the Civil Rights Movement, as did other cultures that were non African American.

It was in essence everyone's fight. ( Viola Luizzo)

Historically in the South and other places public water fountains could be found in some places in America, labeled, Colored, Indians and White. There was also three places of segregation in movie theaters for Colored, Indians and Whites in some states.

Once Civil Rights Legislation was successfully enacted, from that day forward the legislation protects African Americans and all peoples that would be at risk of suffering discrimination. And who suffered the same and similar fates of having their rights revoked, which included the protection of Native American Indians, and the Indigenous in general.

My friend who honors Dr King, wrote the following when I pointed out the above. 

This sign is a sign that was very similar in Canada and the USA. Pic from "Indigenous Nationhood" 
I have an old metal sign that was used in Oklahoma up until the 60's that says "no liquor served to Indians"...there is also a sign I saw in front of a bar on a road from Pine Ridge reservation to Rapid City that says "no dogs, women or Indians allowed"...I think that sign is still up and the bar owner is very proud of it! and some say racism no longer is a problem in "amerika (graywolf)

I responded with the following:

I am always happy to see sharing of all information on great leaders that really stood up, was counted for, gave of themselves and some that died for their belief.

These people taught us and inspired us. There are many great leaders of all walks of life, today it is the well earned day of Dr Martin Luther King Jr and if the few that don't like it or refuse to honor this leadership which is badly needed in the world today, so be it. However, they should know not to rain on somebody's else's parade who does want to honor the day.

My friend is a man of greatness because of his life experiences that he has  interconnected of similar/same  human struggles and he teaches in his own way, which causes jealousy of him, because  people pay attention to him and some others with their wonderful thoughts and guidance to younger generations.

"University of California, Berkeley, students who support the Third World Strike get into a scuffle with police. February 4, 1969. The Civil Rights Movement and demands by African, Asian, Latino, and Native Americans. The students issues were not being heard, in which  they demanded that colleges create Ethnic Studies Departments with minority teachers to conduct classes and research into minority issues."

I don't think people realize how many Indians also had joined the civil rights movement and marched on Washington, MLK's dream was many people of oppressions dream as well.

We are all connected and every example of great leadership serves as an everlasting guidance that maps out what we as a collective people need to do to make this a better world for all of us.

A further point is as follows:

One inspiration leads to another, one movement will spark another movement when peoples rights are revoked. I honestly don't care what great leader I honor, I don't care what skin color they have, because in essence all visible leaders have come from all walks of life and skin colors. Each inspiring the other.

The Longest Walk, 1978 Solidarity between African Americans and Native Americans grew with the Native American Movement & The  Black Power movement of the 1970s, whose goals were closer to the nationalism espoused by American Indian Movement activists.

Picture and description in this caption from African Native American Lives Website.Pictured here (left to right) are Muhammad Ali, Buffy St. Marie, Floyd Red Crow Westerman, Harold Smith, Stevie Wonder, Marlon Brando, Max Gail, Dick Gregory, Richie Havens, and David Amram at a concert at the end of the Longest Walk, a 3,600-mile protest march from San Francisco to Washington, D.C., in the name of Native rights.

Then we have other great leaders that are more unknown such as my friend mentioned in this article. Trying to educate people, with informed well versed knowledge, is never a bad thing. The best knowledge always comes from the people that lived it, participated in it, was of the era.

Text books only give us basic information.  This march was also a legacy for all of us and the marchers future generations. They sacrificed for us, to give us rights, freedoms, equality. Even if a person didn't know someone that marched on Washington or participated in some way in the movement, it shouldn't matter, because on the merit of your Ancestry somebody of your ethnicity did indeed participate in the Civil Rights Movement.

People who are older then any one person  possess the knowledge that youth don't realize because they were of those generations. This is where wisdom comes with age!

Finally the Civil Rights Movement in Essence sparked other movements and uprisings of civil disobedience, protests and others fighting for their rights, worldwide.

Examples of this can be found with the " American Indian Movement", "The Northern Ireland Civil Rights Movement", "The French Quiet Revolution in Quebec in Canada" etc... etc.. The Civil Rights Movement paved the way for other movements and uprisings in that era and generation and the unrest we see today of civil disobedience and non violent protest.

Today's occupations that are worldwide prove one thing. Dr Kings and those that dared to dream with him, that marched on Washington has come true. In today's civil disobedience movements of occupations in North America, people are united from all walks of life. Nobody is afraid to protest with people of different origins, nationalities or ethnicity. Uprisings and protest also occur all over the world on behalf of others peoples human rights.

Remember this the next time a few of you want to not honor the Civil Rights Movement and Dr King.  He united people, he encouraged people to fight back, to stand up for their rights, and left a road map that people can follow so it will be a better world for all peoples as one.

 To dishonor Dr Martin Luther King Jr, is not just being disrespectful of him and his accomplishments and  African Americans who fought for this right in the movement, it is being disrespectful of all the peoples including Native Americans that supported the civil rights movement.

Those that bled for the civil rights movement, those that were under extreme violence and injury from the establishments of racism and some that died for the civil rights movement.

Remember all those that stood up with greatness and suffered like Native American John Salter in the Civil Rights Movement.  Please remember many Non African Americans aside from Native Americans also joined the movement and because of the unity of all walks of life, the message was clear to the establishment that human rights for all was imminent, that revoking peoples equal rights would no longer be tolerated by the people worldwide.

Lastly as you can see through the pictures I included we are all connected. Dr King and others leaders before him, after him in every walk of life had one thing in common in understanding and which helped them lead countries and the world, they understood human relationships and that human struggle was the same and similar from all walks of life of oppressed peoples.

All these notable leaders that we know off also fought for equality rights for everyone. GW understands the same thing in his teachings and life experiences.

The next time someone does not know or realize what the Civil Rights Movement really represented, they may want to think about their own Ancestors and peoples who also fought in the Civil Rights Movement itself believing in Dr Kings dream and other Movements that were sparked off of the Civil Rights Movement.

The Civil Rights Movement in essence gave " Human Rights" A Voice !  And made people free to stand up and fight for their rights. Those same rights that other generations enjoy today!

The dream lives on and is still growing strong people! Live the Dream!