Dear Rev. Dr. King Jr,
I am an immigrant of African descent who came to the USA about 13 years ago. I am sorry to say that I didn’t know about you nor did I ever hear about you in my life. I don’t remember hearing your name often in my history class – or maybe I took the wrong history class? Anyways, I came to read some about you. I came to appreciate you and still wonder why I have to go to work on a day celebrating everything you did for us. I admire- and have so much respect for you not because of the impact you have had on our lives, but also because you reminded me so much about my grandfather – your strong belief in fighting for what is right, your strict principles and fierce activism. From what I read about you, I can see that you were never on the grey side – it was either white or black. A man with dreams so powerful and a future so bright that got his enemies terrified – that is who you are. YES! That IS and not WAS because you still live on in our lives. The same fear [of truth] that led to your assassination is the fear that is instilled in our society today. The fear of change, the fear of justice if it doesn’t benefit those with the power, the fear of equality, the fear of me – a black, highly educated and successful female immigrant, and the fear of anything non-white because it doesn’t “make America great [again]”.
I know you are seriously rolling in your grave with everything going on in America right now and probably shaking your head at the huge mess. I just want to apologize on behalf of all the people privileged to live in this “land of the free”, which is drifting away from the dream you had for us all. WE ARE SORRY!! I know that there are so many things you would have loved to say, so I thought to ask you a few questions. These are questions that I had when I read your quotes and wondered how we got here at this time and age where I still feel safer walking with a white person than a person of color. A time where I may still get judged for being overly ambitious as a black successful woman; where white is better than black (hasn’t it always been?); where male is better than female; where christianity is better than Judaism and Islam; where it is riskier helping a beggar or hitchhiker on the road than not; where children blatantly disrespect their elders; where it is about left or right and not right or wrong; where the second amendment supersedes the right to life; where no place is safe – even the church, whose principles you fought for; where walls are built and where America needs to be great again. Since you are not here with us physically, here’s to hoping that we, as a country, will find it in ourselves to provide answers.
“I have a dream that one day little black boys and girls will be holding hands with little white boys and girls.”
- Do you still have a dream? Or has it been, in part, a nightmare so far?
“A lie cannot live.”
- Dr. King, America has been living a lie about 5-30 lies a day on average. Or have times change much?
“There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe nor politic nor popular, but he must take it because his conscience tells him it is right.”
- If you were to choose a party, will you be republican or democrat?
“Everything that we see is a shadow cast by that which we do not see.”
- Dr. King, should we, then, be worried about the future of America?
“Never forget that everything Hitler did in Germany was legal.”
- Do you think there were really fine people on both sides?
“In our glorious fight for civil rights, we must guard against being fooled by false slogans, as ‘right-to-work.’ It provides no ‘rights’ and no ‘works.’ Its purpose is to destroy labor unions and the freedom of collective bargaining… We demand this fraud be stopped.”
- What about Make America Great Again?
“You will change your mind; You will change your looks; You will change your smile,laugh, and ways but no matter what you change, you will always be you.”
- How can I be me if I am “not enough” or “too much” or blamed for being harrassed because of how I dress?
“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”
- How else do we speak up when we get called arrogant, aggressive, obnoxious or defensive?
- How else do we speak up when we get judged by the color of our skin, how we talk, or who we choose to love?
- How else do we speak up when they call us ignorant, uneducated, or clueless?
“We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.”
- Do you think the foolery has gone overboard?
“If I cannot do great things, I can do small things in a great way.”
- What do you think about building walls? Is that a great thing to do?
“Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health care is the most shocking and inhumane.”
- Will you want to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act? Do you believe in universal healthcare?
“We cannot walk alone.”
- I agree – Trayvon Martin walked alone. Tamir Rice played alone. Sandra Bland drove alone. Stephon Clark was alone. We cannot walk alone, or play alone, or drive alone, or be alone. So, who do we walk with?
“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.”
- We continue to pray for that dream!
I think you would have preferred a better outcome than what our country is currently facing, don’t you? Nonetheless, on behalf of everybody else, I want to thank you for being so WOKE at a time where it was a taboo. I thank you for laying down your life for us. I thank you for shedding the light on inequality and injustice, which still prevail or are rather exacerbated in current times. We will use your words as a guide and best believe that we shall overcome someday! Your legacy lives on!
*Disclaimer: I am well aware that Dr. MLK Jr said these things based on those times. The purpose of some of my questions is to attempt to apply these quotes to the current state of the US. There is no intent to disregard the power of the words he spoke.