Was King’s Dream Too Hopeful?…or Taking An Angry Black Woman Moment

The older I get, the less the “I Have A Dream” speech moves me. Not because it’s not a beautiful speech–it is. Maybe it’s because I like the imagery of the “Mountaintop” speech better:

Well, I don’t know what will happen now. We’ve got some difficult days ahead. But it doesn’t matter with me now. Because I’ve been to the mountaintop. And I don’t mind. Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I’m not concerned about that now. I just want to do God’s will. And He’s allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I’ve looked over. And I’ve seen the promised land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people will get to the promised land. And I’m happy, tonight. I’m not worried about anything. I’m not fearing any man. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.

Which is a re-imagining of this:

Then Moses went up from the plains of Moab to Mount Nebo, to the top of Pisgah, which is opposite Jericho, and the Lord showed him the whole land: Gilead as far as Dan, all Naphtali, the land of Ephraim and Manasseh, all the land of Judah as far as the Western Sea, the Negeb, and the Plain—that is, the valley of Jericho, the city of palm trees—as far as Zoar. The Lord said to him, ‘This is the land of which I swore to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, saying, “I will give it to your descendants”; I have let you see it with your eyes, but you shall not cross over there.’ Then Moses, the servant of the Lord, died there in the land of Moab,  (Deuteronomy 34:1-5a)

Anyway…last year at this time I was fretting over the sermon that I was going to give the next day. I had been fretting over it for almost two weeks and, as I had been telling my supervisor, trying very hard to not be an angry black woman. I think I succeeded, even though I spent too much time talking about the ball commemorating South Carolina’s succession and Virginia’s declaration of Confederate History Month with no mention of slavery.  Since, as is my usual stance, I’m not going to be anywhere near a UU church tomorrow, I’m going to take this moment to be an angry black woman.

Earlier this week on Facebook, I posted a link to an article saying:

According to a recent study conducted by the Yale University Child Study Center, Black boys receive less attention, harsher punishments, and lower grades in school than their White counterparts.This trend persists from kindergarten all the way through college, regardless of socioeconomic status.

So…almost 60 years after Brown v. Board, young black men, no matter what their parents’ socioeconomic status, are still getting an unequal education. And I could say separate if the numbers about the percentage of black and Latino children going to majority-minority schools are even half-way near right. This of course doesn’t go into the numbers of black children who are placed in special education; not because they have more learning disabilities but because of other reasons.

If that weren’t enough…

…the foreclosure rate among African Americans is twice that of whites in the same circumstance…

…the unemployment rate for African Americans is 15.8%…

…40% of black children are living in poverty…

…one-third of African American males are in jail, on parole or on probation (and receive harsher sentences than whites for the same crimes)–which means that there are still more black men involved with the criminal justice system than in college…

…and to top it off a significant percentage of the American public still believes the birther nonsense (last I heard it was somewhere in the neighborhood of 15%)

King was too  hopeful. Maybe he had to be that hopeful; but he was still too hopeful.

Here ends the angry black woman moment.


2 thoughts on “Was King’s Dream Too Hopeful?…or Taking An Angry Black Woman Moment

  1. Taking your last point- “…and to top it off a significant percentage of the American public still believes the birther nonsense (last I heard it was somewhere in the neighborhood of 15%)”- that’s about the same number of people who believe that AIDS was invented in CIA labs to kill Black people, that Bush/CIA/Mossad did 9/11, that there’s a 1,000MPG carburetor being suppressed by big oil, and that aliens are phasing through our walls in search of our precious bodily fluids. All it proves is that 15% of humanity are idiots.

    • If it were only that people believed the birther nonsense, that would be one thing. The thing with the birthers is that they keep going to court. Not only that, there are courts that listen to these arguments.

      As far as I know, none of the other conspiracy theories (or theorists) go to court and get a hearing. But I could be wrong.

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