Can We Stop Talking About The Dream and Start Talking About The Check Returned Saying ‘Insufficient Funds’?
ah yes…it’s Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday weekend this weekend. And many a preacher is going to get up into their pulpits and give the usual tired MLK Sunday sermon. You know that sermon, right? The sermon that talks about King’s line:
I have a dream that one day,…..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.
or maybe this line:
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.
and mentions how much things have gotten better ‘cuz, let’s not forget, we have a black President and then everybody joins hands and sings Kum-By-Yah or Lift Every Voice.
You know this sermon (and Sunday), right? I do. And that’s why I don’t go to church (at least not white liberal ones) on MLK, Jr. Sunday.
Don’t get me wrong, I see why the last third of the “I Have A Dream” speech is easier to preach than this:
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.”
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. (Amos 5:24)”
But which sermon would be the more truthful?
It’s time to stop talking about the dream and start talking about the insufficient funds and how that can be changed.
Or better yet…why not use something else King said/wrote? There’s the Letter from a Birmingham Jail. Or the “mountaintop” speech. Or Why We Can’t Wait.
Why are liberals so stuck on “I Have A Dream”? Is it because the dream is easier to deal with than reality of insufficient funds?